Tonkatsu and Gyukatsu – Fried Pork and Beef in Tokyo

Tonkatsu and Gyukatsu – Fried Pork and Beef in Tokyo

All about tonkatsu, a Japanese pork filet, and gyukatsu, a beef dish

Tonkatsu is a Japanese dish of pork filet which is breaded with panko breadcrumbs, deep fried then served with a dark, savory tonkatsu sauce with shredded green cabbage. Ton refers to pig/pork, and katsu is an abbreviation for katsuretsu meaning chop, so literally, the name means pork chop.

Tonkatsu is prepared by tenderizing slices of pork in a mallet which is then dipped into egg then mixed with water to lighten the mixture. The pork and egg mixture is then covered with panko breadcrumbs, plunged into hot oil then fried until cooked crisp. Pieces of Tonkatsu are then cut into strips of about 2cm thick and served with the tonkatsu sauce (made from a mixture of fruits and vegetables) alongside a good amount of finely shredded green cabbage.

The tonkatsu sauce is an important seasoning for the dish and although good by itself, the sauce completes the tonkatsu delicacy. The sauce can be found online or in local Japanese markets, but if you don’t find it, you can make it by mixing 1 part of Worcester sauce with two parts of ketchup (or some other syrup).

Sometimes, tonkatsu is served with a small slice of lemon and often, eaten with a bowl of rice. It can also be served with a bowl of rice covered with cooked eggs and green onions making it a katsudon which translates to a “bowl of katsu.” Served with curry, it becomes katsukare and in sandwich form, katsusando.

Although from Japan, the exact origin of the tonkatsu dish is not known especially since deep-frying is not a local method of cooking in Japan. Many believe tonkatsu draws inspiration from Western cuisines and in fact, the German cuisine schnitzel or Milanese escalope resembles gyukatsu which is beef fried. This is getting very popular in Tokyo. Another variation of tonkatsu made with chicken filets instead of pork is available too and is referred to as chicken katsu.


豚組 is one of the legendary places in Tokyo, known for its light breaded Tonkatsu. In the first bite itself, you taste tender, juicy pork, light breading, subtle spices and sauce if you are dipping it in any. All the tastes are peculiar, and they hit the right spots in your mouth, offering a delightful experience.

You can find Tonkatsu anytime, as it is cooked all day.  They get the pork from a variety of places in Japan.  In fact, it is like looking at a steak menu of beef from all the different regions of the world. I didn’t realize pig meat could be so different.

The best part of 豚組 was the ambiance.  The outside appearance had a moon over the restaurant and was like a cabin in the woods. Walking inside, the same feeling remained. The furniture was all wooden, there were candles and even a stove. They also had fun American 1970’s music playing.

Visit 豚組 for the best pork in Tokyo. Find your way here by following the link below:

#2: Maisen

My next favorite Tonkatsu joint is Maisen.  Maisen is a scenic restaurant. You can enjoy food and choose this place as a to hang out den. Or you can bring in a date here for a casual outing or for a quick bite.  It is a calm place, aesthetically decorated and yes delicious food on a platter. Maisen is in Jingumae.

#3: Gyuukatsu Motomura

Apart from Tonkatsu, there are also other versions, and I have mentioned them above. One of the fast-rising versions is Gyukatsu or Beef Fried Katsu. Gyu means Beef.

Well, have you tried Gyukatsu before or are you planning to try? Then visit Gyuukatsumotomura, it is near Shimbashi. Gyukatsu is a fried beef and has notably found a place in Japanese cuisine.

The taste of Gyukatsu is similar to Sashimi or Tsunami?? The time of cooking Gyukatsu is always between 30 seconds to 45 seconds, which is fantastic as it doesn’t let the juices run dry. I would say it is a different version of a traditional steak. I highly recommend Gyukatsu.

Follow this link to find the address to this place.



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