Tonkatsu, the Japanese Version of a Wiener Schnitzel (breadcrumbed cutlet) is a typical case of Fusion Food or Crossover Cuisine in Japan called Yoshoku. During the Meji period (1868-1912) under the reign of Tenno Mutsuhito, Japan changed from a feudal state to an imperial big power.
Japan got interested in the technical achievements of the Western world and also in the Western cuisines. This was the time when Tonkatsu came up, formerly called Katsuretsu or Katsu. At the beginning Katsu was made of beef. The name Tonkatsu, means pork cutlet, has been coined in the 1930s and the recipe grew enormous in popularity. As the preparation is similar to a Wiener Schnitzel, with the exeption of the use of Panko (japanese bread crumbs), the side dishes are different. Tonkatsu is traditionally served on a bed of finely shredded white cabbage, topped with Tonkatsu sauce, a japanese variation of the famous Worcestershire Sauce. Additional sides are japanese mustard Karashi, Japanese rice and Miso soup. Nowadays the breadcrumbed japanese pork cutlet is a very popular Bento and there are also a few variations, like Tonkatsu Sandwich or Katsu-Kari (Japanese Curry with Tonkatsu).
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Recipe: Tonkatsu, japanese breadcrumbed pork cutlet
Ingredients per person:
1 pork cutlet
1 egg, beaten
Panko (japanese bread crumbs)
Karashi (japanese mustard)
Crumb the cutlet and fry it (see: Wiener Schnitzel Recipe), cut it in bite-sized pieces and garnish on a bed of finely shredded cabbage. Pour Tonkatsu sauce over the cutlet or serve the sauce in a small bowl. In addition serve japanese rice, Karashi and Miso soup.