October, 2009

Oct 09

Snack attack – the Katsu sandwich


Katsu or Tonkatsu is a Japanese method of cooking cuts of meat by dipping them in flour, egg and Panko breadcrumbs and deep frying them.

It’s as good as it sounds, and the Japanese serve it either with Miso soup or cut into slices in a sandwich made with the fluffiest white bread, pointed cabbage, mustard mayonnaise and a Japanese version of brown sauce (normally labelled Tonkatsu sauce) – perfect food for a TV dinner.

I have various spots in London that I head to for my favourite dishes, and Tsuru Sushi in Southwark – near the city’s famous foodie spot Borough Market – is high up on the list. They have perfected the art of Katsu and I recently managed to wangle their method.

The Katsu sandwich

Step 1
Choose your meat – pork shoulder or loin, chicken thigh or breast (or vegetables) – and cut to 1.5cm thickness. If using a chicken thigh simply remove the skin and bone.

Step 2
Coat the meat in flour (remove excess by slapping gently), then egg, then dip into panko breadcrumbs and coat evenly. The bigger the breadcrumbs, the crisper the katsu.

Step 3
Heat oil until a cube of bread browns in about 30 seconds to a minute. Fry the meat 2 minutes. Take out and rest for 1 minute. Fry for further 2 minutes. This resting ensures a crispy coating and perfectly cooked, juicy meat.

Step 4
Slice the katsu diagonally and arrange evenly on a slice of thick, fluffy white bread (the lighter the bread, the bigger the contrast in texture with the katsu, the better the sandwich).

Then drizzle tonkatsu sauce over the katsu, add a big handful of very thinly sliced pointed cabbage on top and then drizzle with mustard mayonnaise (recipe below) and make the sandwich.

Tsuru Mustard Mayo
•    100ml Japanese mayo (use normal mayo if you can’t find this)
•    20ml good English mustard
•    5ml lemon juice


Combine ingredients.

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