Menchi Katsu

Menchi KatsuWhile many people here in the United States have heard of Tonkatsu most have not heard of Menchi Katsu.  Menchi means mince in Japanese and Katsu means cutlet.  So basically Menchi Katsu is a minced meat patty that is breaded in flour, egg, panko and deep-fried.  When I first started on Twitter a couple of years ago I tweeted about how I missed the Menchi Katsu at my favorite restaurant in Tokyo and was planning on making it that night for dinner.  After that tweet I received many questions asking me about Menchi Katsu.  I thought to myself at the time that I really needed to share my Menchi Katsu recipe so everyone could see what they’ve been missing!

My recipe is based on one of my favorite pork specialty shops in Tokyo called Hirata Bokujo.  Hirata Bokujo is famous for gourmet Menchi Katsu and a variety of other pork dishes, made from a premium hybrid pork of the “sangenton” variety, raised on the restaurant’s own farm in Yamagata prefecture.  A few years ago we were living in Roppongi when Hirata Bokujo opened a restaurant and take-out counter in the Tokyo Midtown shopping center.  We lived right next door to Midtown so we would often pick up their Menchi Katsu at the takeout counter (they had a Menchi Katsu sandwich too, omg yum).  It was perfectly crunchy and oh so juicy, I could never stop at just one.

I remember the last time we were in Tokyo I went to Hirata Bokujo the morning of our departure back to Seattle to pick up a few Menchi Katsu to eat on the plane.  My hubby kept complaining that we didn’t have enough time and what was I thinking?  I don’t eat airplane food at all so I always make sure I’m prepared.  Actually the real reason it’s just so hard to part with all of my favorite foods when I leave Tokyo so I bring some of them with me.  Well, let’s just say hubby wasn’t complaining when I pulled the Menchi Katsu out mid-flight.  He was all smiles after that.

Leftover Menchi Katsu make great sandwiches and is perfect in bento so I love making extra.  I make my Menchi Katsu using ground pork but you can use ground beef or a mix of the two, 70% ground beef and 30% ground pork.  It’s a kid favorite, Enjoy!

Ingredients:  Serves 3-4

1 pound ground pork
1 small yellow onion finely chopped
1/2 cup Panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the Menchi Katsu coating fill three separate dishes with:

Flour
Beaten eggs
Panko

Menchi Katsu coating fillPreparation:

In a small bowl combine 1/2 cup panko and the milk and toss to combine and until the  panko is softened.  In a medium sized mixing bowl combine the pork, onions, panko mixture, egg, salt and pepper and mix well with your hands.  Divide the mixture into five or six patties depending on your size preference.  The smaller patties will cook faster and are easier to handle.

Menchi Katsu preparation

Carefully dip each patty in flour (shake off excess), then in the beaten egg, finishing with panko.  Fill a large, heavy bottom pot halfway with canola or vegetable oil and fry, turning a few times until golden brown.  Drain well and serve with Tonkatsu sauce and Karashi (Japanese hot mustard) on the side.  The most common way to enjoy Menchi Katsu is with Japanese white rice and shredded cabbage but they go great with any type of potato, bread or a green salad.

Menchi Katsu preparation

Menchi Katsu
Serves: 3-4
 
Ingredients
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 small yellow onion finely chopped
  • ½ cup Panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
  • ⅓ cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. For the Menchi Katsu coating fill three separate dishes with: Flour, Beaten eggs and Panko
  2. In a small bowl combine ½ cup panko and the milk and toss to combine and until the panko is softened. In a medium sized mixing bowl combine the pork, onions, panko mixture, egg, salt and pepper and mix well with your hands. Divide the mixture into five or six patties depending on your size preference. The smaller patties will cook faster and are easier to handle.
  3. Carefully dip each patty in flour (shake off excess), then in the beaten egg, finishing with panko. Fill a large, heavy bottom pot halfway with canola or vegetable oil and fry, turning a few times until golden brown.
  4. Drain well and serve with Tonkatsu sauce and Karashi (Japanese hot mustard) on the side. The most common way to enjoy Menchi Katsu is with Japanese white rice and shredded cabbage but they go great with any type of potato, bread or a green salad.

 

Comments

  1. Awesomeness Bff!

  2. Love this recipe, it sounds so full of flavor! I really enjoyed learning about it, I have never heard of it:-) My first time here, and definitely not my last, love your blog:-) Hugs, Terra

    • Thank you so much for the nice comment and for visiting my blog! I’m so happy you found me and hope you enjoy my recipes.

  3. Nicely done Shirley! Looks very good.

    angie_seattle

  4. I know I would love this! We make a “Southern food” dish that is very similar but we cover it with warm brown gravy made with the leftover oil and drippings from the pan. I think I’m due for a plate of menchi katsu! I can’t wait to try your recipe!

  5. This is a great recipe! I’ve never heard of menchi katsu and will definitely add this to our weekday supper roster. I always learn from you Shirley. I’m so glad. : )

    • Thank you Chantale! I love it when I’m able to teach people a new Japanese dish. This is a kid favorite so I’m sure Keira will enjoy it too!

  6. Cindy Stone says:

    Just found your blog, and will bookmark it. I live in far west Tokyo, and will be going to Mid Town this week to check out the pork at Hirata Bokujo.

    Looking forward to it.

    Cindy

    • Thank you for your comment Cindy! I lived right in Midtown a few years ago and just started living in Tokyo part time again (in Azabujuban this time) so will be returning to Tokyo next month. I hope you enjoy Hirata Bokujo :)

  7. Thanks very much for the instructions and photos! Going to try this out soon with a friend!

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