Today I spent an hour wandering around Shinjuku looking for some warmer clothes. All I came home with is a wine hued puffy vest that I’m not entirely in love with and the realization that I have complicated tastes in clothes.
Thankfully, food is one area where I’m pretty simple. For me, food needs to nourish my body, titillate my tastebuds, and be easy to make. Perhaps that’s why I’m such a sucker for donburi. What’s a donburi you ask? Literally it means “bowl” in Japanese, but it also refers to a type of dish. Imagine a meat dish, a veggie dish, an egg dish and rice dish colliding into a kaleidoscopic delicious mess in a bowl and you’ll have a pretty good picture of what I’m talking about.
While donburi can be made with any chopped up meat such as chicken or beef, one of my favorites is katsudon. The “katsu” is short for tonkatsu and “don” is an abbreviation of donburi. It’s a popular lunchtime meal in Japan and the best part is that it can be made with leftover tonkatsu from the night before.
The panko coating on the pork cutlets absorb the sweet and savory sauce while sautéed onions add big flavor to the dish. The egg not only binds the katsudon together, it also absorbs the flavors in the sauce before redistributing them into the rice below. Eaten together it’s at once meaty, luscious, savory and sweet and has the remarkable ability to satisfy about ten different cravings all at once.
Katsudon (pork cutlet rice bowl)
1/3 cup dashi stock(you can use water in a pinch)
2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
3 large eggs
1 green onion, sliced thin
cooked white rice
In a small bowl, combine the dash, sugar and soy sauce. In a separate bowl, add the 3 eggs, then lightly beat.
Add the oil to a hot frying pan, then add the onions. Sauté until they are fragrant and start to turn translucent. Pour the dashi mixture over the onions, then nestle the tonkatsu into the onions. Drizzle the egg over everything and then sprinkle with green onions. Cover with a lid and cook until the egg is mostly set (about 1 minute).
Split the rice between two large bowls, then top each bowl with the tonkatsu and egg. Serve the katsudon immediately.