Katsu Sando (Pork Cutlet Sandwich) is another Japanese sandwich that is very popular together with Cafe-style Japanese Sandwiches that I recently introduced you. As the name implies, the filling is a thick Tonkatsu (Pork Cutlet) smeared with a fruity Japanese sauce.
The combination of crispy cutlet and soft white sandwich bread gives you a great contrast visually as well as texturally. Katsu Sando perhaps does not look as elegant as Cafe-style Mikkusu Sando, but it is so filling and tasty.
Katsu Sando was invented by the tonkatsu restaurant Isen (井泉) in 1935, which was 5 years after the restaurant opened in Ueno, Tokyo.
Although it was in the Meiji era, the proprietress of Isen was brought up by parents who were ahead of their time, so her breakfast was toast and a cup of tea. Because bread was close to her heart, she thought of putting tonkatsu between the slices of bread.
The Isen proprietress thought of it because the geisha girls in Shitaya, near Ueno, were fond of tonkatsu, and by eating it in sandwiches the geisha girls would not smear their lipstick.
Isen is still in business and the location of the head office restaurant has not changed. If you ever visit Tokyo, you may want to try Isen (Japanese site).
What’s in My Katsu Sando (Pork Cutlet Sandwich)
There are only a few ingredients to make this gutsy flavoursome sandwich.
- 2 slices Japanese sandwich bread
- 1 large Tonkatsu (Pork Cutlet) that can cover the surface of the bread
- Shredded cabbage (or lettuce, optional)
- Tonkatsu sauce (I used Bulldog brand sauce)
- Karashi mustard (optional)
I used Japanese sandwich bread that is only 1cm/⅜” thick. However, since today’s filling is quite thick, you can use a thicker slice of bread if you prefer.
If your tonkatsu is not large, you can use two small cutlets to fill the bread. You just need to be careful about how you place them as I explained in the next section.
Some Katsu Sando come with just the cutlet and fruity sauce. They are still great, but if you add shredded cabbage and hot karashi mustard, you will experience a different flavour.
How to Make Katsu Sando (Pork Cutlet Sandwich)
The method of making Katsu Sando is not much different from the sandwiches that I introduced in Cafe-style Japanese Sandwiches (see the video). But I cut the Katsu Sando sandwich into 3 pieces instead of 6 small pieces.
- Butter inside the sandwich breads.
- Smear the karashi on one of the buttered sandwich bread slices.
- Place the tonkatsu on the butter side of a slice, then tonkatsu sauce over the tonkatsu.
- Spread the cabbage over the tonkatsu, then place the other slice of bread on top, buttered side down.
- Trim the crust off.
- Cut the sandwich into 3 pieces crosswise.
If you are using two small tonkatsu pieces, place them next each other ensuring that the joint between the two tonkatsu pieces does not align with the cutting line of the sandwiches. This will ensure that the sandwiches show the thick part of the pork when cut into 3 pieces.
In the case of Mikkusu Sando, I used 6 slices of sandwich bread for 2 servings. But Katsu Sando needs only 2 slices for 1 serving because it is quite filling with the thick pork cutlet inside.
I used pork loin to make the pork cutlet for Katsu Sando. The meat inside the Katsu Sando was so tender, which is just what is needed for a sandwich. I ate the Katsu Sando while the filling was still very warm, and I thought it tasted even better than Tonkatsu (Pork Cutlet) as a dish.
I recently introduced you to Cafe-style Japanese Sandwiches, and Katsu Sando (Pork Cutlet Sandwich) is another very popular Japanese sandwich. As the name implies, the filling is a thick Tonkatsu (Pork Cutlet) smeared with a fruity Japanese sauce.
Prep Time and Cook Time do not include the time required to make Tonkatsu.
Don't forget to see the section 'MEAL IDEAS' below the recipe card! It gives you a list of dishes that I have already posted and this recipe that can make up a complete meal. I hope it is of help to you.
- A sprig curly parsley (optional, note 5)
Spread butter on one side of each slice of bread and place them on a work bench, buttered side up.
Spread karashi on one side of the buttered bread.
Place the tonkatsu on the bread with karashi. If part of the tonkatsu is sticking out of the bread, trim it off the tonkatsu is similar to the shape of the bread. If part of the bread is not covered with tonkatsu, use the trimmed piece to cover it.
Pour the tonkatsu sauce all over the cutlet, then spread the lettuce/cabbage on it.
Place the other slice of bread on top, buttered side down, then press down gently with your palm.
Remove your palm and leave it for 5 minutes or so to let the ingredients blend in.
Using a sharp knife (do not use serrated knife), trim the crust off each slice. Ensure that the corner of the bread is 90 degrees (note 6).
Cut the sandwich crosswise into 3 equal widths, making long rectangle sandwich pieces.
Place the Katsu Sando, cut side up, on a serving plate and put a sprig of parsley on the side.
1. I used Japanese sandwich bread that is only 1cm thick. However, since today’s filling is quite thick and heavy, you can use thicker slices.
2. If you can’t make a large tonkatsu, you can use two smaller pieces.
3. I used Bulldog tonkatsu sauce. Bulldog brand sauces are available even at supermarkets now. You can find more details about Bulldog brand sauces with sample photos in my post, Yakisoba.
4. The best alternative for karashi is English mustard.
5. Parsley is optional, but I strongly recommend placing something green on the plate because brown is the dominant colour and a little bright colour lightens the plate up.
6. The sliced bread might not be in an exact rectangle shape. You need to adjust the width of the crust when trimming off.
7. Nutrition per serving.
serving: 399g calories: 976kcal fat: 29g (44%) saturated fat: 5.2g (26%) trans fat: 0g polyunsaturated fat: 5.8g monounsaturated fat: 10g cholesterol: 170mg (57%%) sodium: 1838mg (76%) potassium: 949mg (27%) carbohydrates: 118g (35%) dietary fibre: 7.7g (31%) sugar: 16.1g protein: 55.2g vitamin a: 3.5% vitamin c: 18% calcium: 26% iron: 51%