Monday, July 19, 2010

Tonkatsu Tales in Tokyo

The Japanese love pork just as much as we Filipinos do.
Case in point, one of the most popular Japanese dishes is tonkatsu or breaded pork loin cutlets. Restaurants devoted to tonkatsu alone can be found all over Tokyo and they range from the merely wonderful to the inordinately sublime.
Tonkatsu can be ordered two ways -- the leaner and more expensive hire cut and the more economical but fattier (and therefore JUICIER AND MORE YUMMY) rossu cut.
Of course you can always have katsudon, which is tonkatsu cooked with beaten egg and placed on top of rice but that sort of defeats the purpose of enjoying the crisp and crunch of a really good cut of pork tenderloin.

Tonkatsu, whether hire or rossu will always come with a generous heap of julienned or shredded raw cabbage -- supposedly to remove some of the guilt of eating all that fatty goodness. Miso soup and steaming hot rice rounds out the meal.
Condiments on the table will include tonkatsu sauce which is dark brown and sweetish, and a bottle of yuzu infused salad dressing for dousing the shredded cabbage with.
I always try and squeeze in a tonkatsu lunch or dinner or sometimes both, every time I am in Tokyo. Wako and Katsukura have branches in different parts of the city and are good places to have tonkatsu.
For the tonkatsu restaurants that Japanese foodies flock to, meander around the Ueno area, near the JR train tracks where the best ones are.

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