If you’re already a big fan of Japanese deep fried pork cutlet Tonkatsu (豚カツ), don’t miss out this quick and delicious one-dish donburi meal, Katsudon (カツ丼). A true soul food of Japan, Katsudon is said to have the ability to warm the coldest of hearts. Case in point: Crispy, breaded, juicy pork cutlet, simmered with eggs in a savory dashi broth, then served over a bowl of steamed rice, katsudon is pure comfort.
Today’s recipe is even better because we’re gong to skip the whole deep-frying process and make Baked Katsudon (揚げないカツ丼) for mess-free cooking. There is no worries about compromising the delicious benefits of deep frying as this baked version is just as good.
Watch How To Make Baked Katsudon
3 Secrets to Make Delicious Baked Katsudon
Secret 1: Choose Delicious Japanese Rice
First thing first, the quality of rice is as equally important as the quality of pork in Katsudon. As Japanese, we take pride in the quality of Japanese rice, and we pay close attention to how it’s cooked in Japanese cuisine.
Recently I received an email from a family owned rice company to see if I was interested in trying their Japanese Koshihikari Premium Sushi Rice. As I’m always looking for better, superior rice, I was intrigued and they sent me some samples. After having the opportunity to cook with their Koshihikari rice, I am excited to introduce Black Fox Brand to you.
Honestly, I was really impressed. The rice is slightly sweet with a nice fragrance and shine, and once it’s cooked, the texture is moist, fluffy and almost creamy. You can tell instantly when you eat high quality rice.
Black Fox Brand is Premium Japanese rice sustainably grown in the heart of the rice growing region of the Sacramento Valley in Northern California. Since 2006, they have been growing rice under the guidance of Japanese rice master Ichiro Tamaki (of Tamaki Rice), using the traditional Japanese growing techniques. I am thrilled to learn that I can now access to quality Japanese rice through a locally produced rice farmer.
How is this sustainably grown farmer different from other rice farmers?
- They have full control of the entire farming production, from seed to planting, harvest, drying, storing, transportation, and how it is milled; not many rice companies have that amount of control.
- They are also able to control the milling to keep the rice on a “need to mill” basis which ensure the rice is as fresh as possible. This means the rice won’t be milled until it is ready to be shipped out.
Secret 2: Toast Panko First
This way, your baked tonkatsu will have beautiful even color of panko crust. If you bake tonkatsu without pre-toasting panko, it will be harder to achieve the nice golden color crust and crispy texture like the deep-fried version.
Secret 3: Make Katsudon for One Serving
For donburi (Japanese rice bowl) dishes like Katsudon and Oyakodon, we make one serving at a time using a special Oyakodon Pan (親子丼鍋). This way, you can keep the balance of ingredients and distribute them evenly. The best part of this method is that it makes it easier to transfer the cooked food over to the rice as the size of cooking pan is similar to a donburi bowl.
The oyakodon pan I used in this recipe/video is my mom’s pan. Last summer I found it in my mom’s kitchen and I brought it home with me. I’m happy that I could use it in this recipe.
However, my mom’s pan is smaller and shallower than what we can get these days. So I got a brand new oyakodon pan with a lid (picture above). Alternatively, you can use a 5-6 inch pan instead.
If rice bowl is your type of dinner, you will enjoy this baked katsudon as much as I do. The contrast of juicy panko crusted pork, sautéed onion, soft eggs, fluffy steamed rice and a flavorful sauce, all comes together to deliver a bowl of deliciousness.
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- 1 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
- 1 Tbsp neutral flavor oil (vegetable, canola, etc)
- 2 pieces ½"-thick lean boneless pork loin chops (2 pieces = ½ lb or 226 g, thickness: 1.2 cm or ½" )
- 1 tsp salt (kosher or sea salt)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1-2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1 large egg
- ½ onion (divided - ¼ onion/serving)
- 2 large eggs (divided - 1 egg/serving)
- 2 servings cooked Japanese short grain rice
Gather all the ingredients. Adjust oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 400F (200C).
- Combine the panko and oil in a frying pan and toast over medium heat until golden brown. Transfer panko into a shallow dish and allow to cool.
- Cut the onions into thin slices and the mitsuba into small pieces.
- Remove the extra fat and make a couple of slits on the connective tissue between the meat and fat. The reason why you do this is that red meat and fat have different elasticity, and when they are cooked they will shrink and expand at different rates. This will allow Tonkatsu to stay nice and flat and prevent it from curling up.
- Pound the meat with a meat pounder, or if you don’t have one then just use the back of knife to pound. Mold the extended meat back into original shape with your hands.
- Sprinkle salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Dredge each pork piece in the flour to coat completely and pat off the excess flour.
Beat one egg in a bowl and coat the pork with the beaten egg. Finally coat with the toasted panko. Press on the panko flakes to make sure they adhere to the pork.
- Place the pork on the prepared baking sheet lined with parchment paper or even better if you have an oven-safe wire rack (as air goes through on the bottom so panko won't get crushed). Bake at 400F (200C) until the pork is no longer pink inside, about 20 minutes.
- Remove the tonkatsu from the oven and cut into 1 inch pieces (so you can eat with chopsticks).
Combine Seasonings in a liquid measuring cup or bowl. Beat one egg in a bowl.
Put half of the onion slices into the pan and pour ½ to ¾ cup of the sauce to cover them. Adjust the amount of sauce based on your frying pan size (I use oyakodon pan which makes for 1 serving, so you can slide cooked oyakodon onto a rice bowl easily. You can use a small frying pan). Bring the sauce and onions to a boil. Lower the heat to medium and cook onion slices until translucent, about 4-5 minutes.
Put one Baked Tonkatsu in it and turn the heat up to medium high heat. Pour and distribute beaten egg evenly and cover with the lid.
- When egg is half cooked, turn off the heat.
Serve rice in a donburi bowl and slide Tonkatsu and egg mixture on top. Continue with the second serving. Serve with shichimi togarashi (Japanese seven spice) on the side.
Recipe by Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe in your own words and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.
Full Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Black Fox Brand