Japanese Menchi Katsu Sandwich is made with crunchy ground meat cutlet topped with thinly shredded cabbage and an irresistible homemade tartar sauce sandwiched in brioche buns.
Do you agree that anything fried and crispy can easily be transformed into a good, hearty sandwich? Take examples, Korokke, ebi katsu, chicken katsu, tonkatsu and ham katsu. All these deep-fried goodness are hard to beat when they are tucked into bread. So does menchi katsu – the crunchy panko-breaded, juicy meat cutlet that I’ve just shared last week. You could have it with steamed rice and a side of soup, or in a sandwich form like today’s recipe for a fuss-free preparation.
In Japan, menchi katsu sandwich often uses pillowy soft white bread called the shokupan. Slightly buttery with a subtly sweet milk taste, these Japanese sandwich bread, when paired with the crunchy cutlet, they make some killer sandwich. But shokupan can be hard to find unless your local Asian bakery shop sells them. Since I am a huge fan of brioche buns, I’ve opted the soft and fluffy French-style buns for my menchi katsu sandwich.
Build your own Japanese menchi katsu sandwich
When I make menchi katsu, I usually double the batch and freeze the leftovers for later use. It is the quickest way to make a sandwich and feed your sudden hunger pangs. Whenever you need a quick meal or a substantial afternoon snack, just pop them into a toaster oven and adhere the heated patty into a toasted bun, top with shredded cabbage, your choice of sauce and you’ve got yourself a satisfying sandwich. Since menchi katsu and the buns are relatively smaller in size, they are also great to be packed into a picnic lunch or for a beer party.
I’ve used my homemade tartar sauce for today’s recipe, but you can definitely switch it up with tonkatsu sauce or Worcestershire sauce or the spicy karashi mustard. Maybe all you have in the pantry is some Japanese Kewpie mayo and ketchup. Maybe you want to leave out the shredded cabbage and use a few slices of tangy pickles, or maybe you want to add a slice of cheese. Maybe you happened to have some leftover Asian coleslaw to use up. Go ahead and make your own version of the sandwich.
Casual or fancy, there’s no judgment on how you’d like to build your menchi katsu sandwich. You’re in for some good sandwiches regardless.
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Menchi Katsu Sandwich
- Toast the buns and spread the butter. Reheat Menchi Katsu in the oven or toaster oven - if it's leftover. Place shredded cabbage, Menchi Katsu, Tonkatsu / Worcestershire sauce, and tartar sauce on top. Serve with pickles.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on January 16, 2011.