Menchi katsu is a breaded and deep-fried cutlet using ground meat on the inside. It is said that the name menchi katsu comes from the word mince which turned into menchi, and cutlet which turned into katsuretsu, which the abbreviated form is katsu. Ground beef, ground pork, or the combination of two are used for manchi katsu. It is one of the famous Westernized Japanese food which is called yoshoku. It is believed that menchi katsu was first served in the Meiji period (1868-1912), at a yoshoku restaurant in Asakusa, as minced meat cutlet.
Menchi katsu is served at inexpensive restaurants as lunch sets, or put in bento, boxed lunch, for kids school lunch. It is also sold at meat shops, delicatessen at supermarkets, and convenient stores. House wives or mothers who are too busy to make side dish often go buy menchi katsu at supermarkets and meat shops to eat for lunch or dinner. Menchi katsu is usually eaten by pouring on tonkatsu sauce made especially for pork cutlet.
The way to make menchi katsu is by first frying chopped onion. Make the meat patty by putting ground meat, egg, bread crumbs, salt, pepper, and nutmeg in a bowl and knead until it gets sticky. Divide the kneaded ingredients into small pieces, make them into flat round shapes, and put bread crumbs on them. The result will be better if the patties are refrigerated for about fifteen to thirty minutes in the fridge. Deep fry each side of the patty for three to four minutes until it gets golden brown.
There can be variations of menchi katsu using different kinds of ingredients. For example, cabbage can be put in the patties to create a crunchy texture, and can also take in dietary fibre. Menchi katsu can also be put in between breads, and made into menchi katsu sandwich.