Katsudon – Japanese Soul Food

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For those of you who have had the subliminal culinary experience of an authentic Japanese Kaiseki Menu, know of the myriad of flavours that Japanese cuisine boasts.

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A Kaiseki menu usually consists of ten or more courses. Above is an example of an Kaiseki starter.

After all Japanese cuisine is more than bland Maki rolls or tasty Sushi, it is a celebration of food, aesthetics, presentation, culture and the four seasons of the year.

However many westerners feel that while Japanese food is delicious it is not filling. While there may be some truth to this statement it does not account for the full bandwidth of Japanese cuisine.

Katsudon, a bowl of rice topped with a deep-fried pork cutlet, egg, and condiments certainly defies the rule. The hearty dish takes its name from the Japanese words tonkatsu (for pork cutlet) and donburi (for rice bowl dish) and could be considered the soul food of Japan.

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Katsudon is often served with a side-dish of picked vegetables or cabbage.

Like with most traditional and popular Japanse dishes Katsudon comes in various variations:

  • Sauce Katsudon is prepared with Worcestershire sauce,
  • Demi Katsudon is prepared with green peas, a regional specialty of Okayama,
  • Shio Katsudon is seasoned with salt, another regional speciality of Okayama,
  • Shōyu-dare Katsudon on the other hand is seasoned with soy sauce, a regional Niigata speciality,
  • And miso Katsudon is a Nagoya variation of Katsudon that uses miso paste in its preparation.

Unlike a lot of Japanese dishes Katsudon is very easy to make. Therefore the next time your in the mood for some soul food consider going Japanese. 

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