Katsu (a deep fried cutlet) is soooo much different in Japan then it is in Hawaii. For instance, the quality is. so. much. better. But that’s to be expected, right? Haha. You can pretty much “katsu” anything (deep fry it in panko) but the main forms of Katsu that I’m used to are Tonkatsu (pork) and Chicken Katsu, which is super popular in Hawaii.
Tonkatsu is the main version, and there are two kinds:
– Hire Katsu (pork filet. Leaner cut. Usually more expensive but I prefer this one)
– Roast Pork (pork loin. A bit fattier taste)
The big difference, besides the quality, is that if you go to a katsu restaurant, they’ll give you this little bowl with grooves in it. You pour some sesame seeds into the bowl, smash it up into a powder (they give you this little wooden dowel), and then pour katsu sauce in it. It tastes really good! Also, if you’re at a good restaurant, they’ll give you an unlimited amount of cabbage. This is super important to me, it helps cut the oil.
For those of you who live in Hawaii, there is an “authentic” tonkatsu restaurant you can try in Waikiki! It’s called Tonkatsu Ginza Bairin. It’s a Japanese chain. They have a really little kiosk in the food court at Shirokiya but the restaurant is where you can get the full-on Katsu eating experience. My only gripe about that place is that I saw the chain in a food court at Narita airport. I’m not having a hard time paying $40+ for something I can buy for 1300~ yen (but I guess it’s cheaper then paying for airfare, right?)