Katsu Sando stacked on top of each other.

Katsu Sando

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: sandwich, tonkatsu
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 2
Author: Nami

Crispy juicy pork cutlets sandwiched between soft pillowy bread, this Japanese Katsu Sando is a homey kind of sandwich but downright satisfying! Get over your sandwich ho-hum with this new favorite. 



  • 1 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs) (I use Kikkoman® Panko Bread Crumbs)
  • 1 ½ Tbsp neutral-flavored oil (vegetable, canola, etc)
  • 2 pork chops (½ inches, 1.25 cm)
  • ½ tsp kosher/sea salt (use half for table salt)
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 leaf cabbage
  • 4 slices Shokupan (Japanese pullman loaf bread)
  • 2 tsp unsalted butter
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 4 Tbsp Tonkatsu sauce (I use Kikkoman® Katsu Sauce)


  1. Gather all the ingredients.
    Katsu Sando Ingredients

Toast the Panko

  1. In a large frying pan, add 1 cup panko and 1 ½ Tbsp of oil and turn the heat to medium to medium-high.
    Katsu Sando 1
  2. Lift the pan and shake it once in a while to evenly toast the panko.
    Katsu Sando 2
  3. Once the panko is getting darker, keep shaking the pan to get even color. Once the panko is nicely brown, transfer to the tray.

    Katsu Sando 3

Prepare the Tonkatsu

  1. Adjust the oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 400 ºF (200 ºC) degrees.
  2. 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 when deep frying and prevent it from curling up.
    Katsu Sando 4
  3. Pound the meat with a meat pounder. If you don’t have one, just use the back of a knife to pound. When using a knife, crisscross by first pounding top to bottom then left to right.
    Katsu Sando 5
  4. Mold the extended meat back into original shape with your hands. Season the meat with salt and pepper.
    Katsu Sando 6
  5. In a large bowl or plate, add ½ Tbsp. of oil for each egg you use and whisk them up. By adding oil, the meat and breaded coating won’t detach from each other while deep frying.
    Katsu Sando 7
  6. Dredge in flour and remove excess flour.
    Katsu Sando 8
  7. Dip in egg mixture. Dredge in panko.
    Katsu Sando 9
  8. Press panko onto the meat and transfer to the 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 doesn’t get crushed).
    Katsu Sando 10
  9. Bake at 400 ºF (200 ºC) until the pork is cooked through, about 20 minutes. Remove the tonkatsu from the oven.

    Katsu Sando 11

Assembly of the Katsu Sando

  1. Thinly shred the cabbage leaf.
    Katsu Sando 12
  2. Spread the butter on both bread slices (butter would act as a waterproof guard so sandwich doesn’t get soggy). Spread Dijon mustard on top of butter on one side.

    Katsu Sando 13
  3. Spread the Katsu Sauce on the other side.
    Katsu Sando 14
  4. Put the thinly shredded cabbage evenly on the Dijon mustard side. Then drizzle Katsu Sauce over the cabbage.
    Katsu Sando 15
  5. Place the tonkatsu on top of the cabbage and top with the other bread. Place the sandwich between two plates for 5 minutes.
    Katsu Sando 16
  6. Cut off the crust of the bread and cut in half.

    Katsu Sando 18
  7. Serve the Katsu Sando on a plate or box.

    Katsu Sando 19

Recipe Notes

Japanese Ingredient Substitution: If you want to look for substitutes for Japanese condiments and ingredients, click here.


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.