Jul 27, 2018

What’s the best kind of katsu?

So my wife and I were having a debate today, and we would settle it with the city-cost community: what is the best kind of katsu?

For anyone who’s lived here for a while, you know that katsu is way more than just breaded pork. Sure, tonkatsu was the original, but it’s been several hundred years since the first katsu cutlet was fried up in Japan. Over the years, different variations have become popular, with restaurants and cooks branching out to fusion cuisines and using the same breading and frying methods on a wide variety of proteins.

Still, we did limit the scope of the debate to determine the best type of katsu.

The only stipulation is that the term “katsu” has to be in the name. So from our estimation, that includes tonkatsu, hirekatsu, chicken katsu, ham katsu, menchi (mince)-katsu, and gyu-katsu (did we forget any?)

My wife is partial to chicken katsu. I can understand that—it’s a great way to enjoy white meat chicken, and it’s a versatile protein.  Chicken katsu is great for sandwiches, over rice, even on a salad.  You can use it for katsudon katsu curry—the list goes on. I can’t argue that it’s a decent choice.

Me, though? I have to go with gyu-katsu. I mean, look at this:

What’s the best kind of katsu? photo

Tell me that doesn’t look incredible.  

I do have to admit that the counter arguments are pretty strong. First is the cost. Gyu-katsu is typically made with high quality wagyu beef, meaning that it is REALLY pricey. Second, it’s not necessarily a versatile option. It’s not something that gets used in a variety of dishes like chicken katsu or tonkatsu. Still, I go back to the fact that gyu-katsu is just so dang delicious.

So what about you, expat community? What do you reckon is the best? Were there any types of katsu that I forgot to mention? Feel free to use the comments section below!



Hitting the books once again as a Ph.D. student in Niigata Prefecture. Although I've lived in Japan many years, life as a student in this country is a first.

Blessed Dad. Lucky Husband. Happy Gaijin (most of the time).