Thursday, January 24, 2008

Katsudon (Pork Cutlet on Rice)


An unequivocal success. Well, except for the price but that can be remedied by better shopping. On my NYC trip, I enjoyed Oyako-don, a dish of rice with a chicken and egg topping. Katsudon is a derivative of that style of dish...keep the rice and egg topping but add a fried pork cutlet. How can you go wrong? Well, lemme tell CAN'T.

To the recipe! I used Japanese Cooking A Simple Art.

Have fresh, hot rice ready and waiting.

A 6 oz. Kurobuta pork cutlet.Score the fat so the cutlet doesn't curl when you fry it. Generously salt and pepper the cutlet. Dredge in flour, egg and bread crumbs. Here's a pretty good webpage to help you through that. I can't remember the French term for the technique, anyone want to jog my memory? I used panko bread crumbs.
Set the cutlet aside while you do the rest of your prep work.

Slice a small, white onion into thin slices. Slice 4 green onions into 1.5 inch lengths.

Combine 2.5 cups of dashi, 7 tablespoons of mirin, 3 tablespoons of light soy sauce, and 3 tablespoons of dark soy sauce.

Beat 6 eggs.
You can simultaneously fry the pork cutlet AND make the sauce, but it's easier to fry the pork cutlet first and then make the egg mixture. The pork is fine if it sits for a few minutes while you cook the egg.

So. Heat up oil to 350 degrees. A candy thermometer will help here. CAREFULLY place the cutlet into the hot oil. It's gonna sizzle.
After a few minutes, maybe two, flip the pork chop.
God damn. Look at that delicious golden brown color. Cook for another two minutes. My cooking timings are somewhat iffy...I overcooked my chop by a little bit. The finished product:Set aside while you make the egg mixture. Feel free to use a wire rack so the underside of the pork doesn't steam and get soggy.

Saute the thinly sliced onion (NOT the green onion) until wilted and slightly transluscent.
Add the green onion and the dashi, mirin, soy mixture and bring to a simmer.
When simmering, pour in the egg. This is where I made an error. Allow the egg mixture to set...and then give it a stir and turn off the heat. I made the mistake of stirring too early so I ended up with something akin to egg drop soup. Oops. I will do better next time. This quantity of egg mixture/dashi is intended for four servings...I made the full quantity because I didn't feel like doing the measurement conversions for one serving.

Time to assemble the dish. Slice up the fried pork chop.
Add rice to a large bowl.Ladle some egg/onion mixture over the rice. Remember to get some of the broth to help season the rice.
Arrange pork cutlet on top.

Time- About 25 minutes total.
Food Cost-
Cutlet- $3.50...kinda expensive, i know, but i will buy cheaper pork next time
Eggs- $1.00
Incidentals- $1.00
So, the cutlet is $3.50, the egg mixture is $2.00/4 servings so $4.00 for my serving.


han said...

awesome! i love this shit. But I'll prolly make it with chicken since I hate frying things having the oil splatter everywhere. Can you explain how you'd make it w/ chicken?

Mike Czyzewski said...

No problem. To make the chicken variant (Oyakodon), I would take some boneless chicken thighs (or breasts, if you prefer) and slice them into bite size chunks. I would add the raw chicken to the pot along with the dashi, mirin, soy mixture. Simmer just until cooked through.

I'm sure everyone has a variation but this seems, to me, the logical way to incorporate chicken into this dish.