Katsudon Recipe – Japanese Cooking 101 (2024)

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Katsudon Recipe – Japanese Cooking 101 (1)

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Katsudon is Tonkatsu (deep-fried pork) and eggs cooked in a sweet and salty broth and placed over rice. Don (donburi) means a bowl, and Donburi dishes are a popular kind of casual rice dish in Japan. Because you have to prepare Tonkatsu first, it is a little bit of work involved since you cannot cook everything in one pan. Katsudon is a hearty dish compared to other Japanese food because Tonkatsu is breaded and deep-fried, but the taste is so good that you will not mind the extra calories from the oil. Besides,since deep-fried Tonkatsu is cooked in tasty broth and is crunchy yet juicy, you may not notice the grease at all (well, maybe, just maybe, calories might stay in, or near, your tummy).

Katsudon was once portrayed as a hearty, soul food in Japanese culture. A typical scene for it was in TV detective dramas: a criminal gets interrogated by a tough detective intensely first, and then the detective asks if the criminal wants to have Kastudon. While they eat, the detective asks how the criminal’s mother is doing in his home town in the country, and as you may guess, the criminal confesses with tears. That’s a pretty old fashioned drama, and we don’t see it much today (fortunately?), but Katsudon was the symbol of tasty and warm food that can melt even the coldest part of a criminal’s heart 🙂

Just like Oyakodon, Katsudon is a very typical lunch dish you can get at casual restaurants. Udon noodle shops, small corner restaurants, and bento shops all have this tasty dish. If you don’t want to deal with a lot of cooking oil at home, it is much easier to eat out or buy Katsudon from stores. However, a lot of us here are outside Japan and may not have good Japanese restaurants nearby who serve tasty Katsudon. So once again, we can make it at home! And it really is not as difficult to make as you might think.

We didn’t here, but you can add sliced brown onion and cook in the sauce before adding Katsu and eggs if you like. Also the recipe below is for one person because it is easier to make individually, but you can multiply and make a bunch at once in a bigger pan when youservefor your entire family.

Katsudon Recipe – Japanese Cooking 101 (2)

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5 from 1 vote

Katsudon Recipe

Prep Time30 minutes mins

Cook Time10 minutes mins

Total Time40 minutes mins

Course: Main Course

Cuisine: Japanese

Keyword: donburi, katsu, rice bowl

Servings: 1 serving

*Links may contain ad. #CommissionsEarned


  • 1 Tonkatsu
  • 1/4 cup Dashi
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 Tbsp Sake
  • 1/2 Tbsp Mirin
  • 2 eggs
  • green onions chopped (optional)
  • Steamed Rice
  • roasted seaweed Nori, thinly sliced


  • Cut Tonkatsu into strips, set aside.

  • In a small frying pan, add Dashi, soy sauce, sugar, Sake, and Mirin, and cook at medium heat until it boils. Reduce heat to low-medium.

  • Add cut Tonkatsu to the sauce in the pan. Beat egg(s) in a small bowl and pour over the Tonkatsu. Cover and cook for 1 minute. Sprinkle chopped green onions if you like.

  • Slide Tonkatsu and egg(s) with sauce over rice in a bowl.

  • Sprinkle sliced Nori on top.



Katsudon Recipe – Japanese Cooking 101 (4)

About JapaneseCooking101

Noriko and Yuko, the authors of this site, are both from Japan but now live in California. They love cooking and eating great food, and share a similar passion for home cooking using fresh ingredients.Noriko and Yuko plan and develop recipes together for Japanese Cooking 101. They cook and shoot photos/videos at their home kitchen(s.)

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  • Katsudon Recipe – Japanese Cooking 101 (8)


    October 25, 2014 at 10:18 pm

    This is the best instruction I have seen for authentic tasting Katsudon in 40 years. When I was in Kamiseya my friends and I practically lived on ramen noodles (not the dried grocery store stuff) and katsudon. It has been a favorite of mine and I search out Japanese restaurants everywhere I go to try their versions. I’ve made it at home for decades but I see in this recipe the parts I have been missing. I can’t wait to make it.

    • Katsudon Recipe – Japanese Cooking 101 (9)


      October 26, 2014 at 9:24 pm

      I hope you like our Katsudon!

    • Katsudon Recipe – Japanese Cooking 101 (10)

      Chris Topping

      September 2, 2016 at 3:41 pm

      Finally a recipe for Katsudon I too was introduced to this out side the front gate of KaniSeya. I hope I can do justice to this outstanding dish. Thank you for the trip down memory lane.

  • Katsudon Recipe – Japanese Cooking 101 (11)


    January 12, 2016 at 9:03 am

    Just wondering, how is this different from teriyaki sauce?

    • Katsudon Recipe – Japanese Cooking 101 (12)


      January 17, 2016 at 7:23 pm

      Teriyaki is thicker. We use Dashi broth with seasoning for this recipe.

  • Katsudon Recipe – Japanese Cooking 101 (13)

    Ivy To Chip

    February 3, 2016 at 7:08 am

    I love japanese food and most of all my kids too.. I’m trying the recipe tomorrow 😄

  • Katsudon Recipe – Japanese Cooking 101 (14)


    February 12, 2016 at 4:44 pm

    Made this last night for my girlfriend, after just recently coming back from a trip to Japan. Tasted exactly like the Katsudon we had out there. Thanks so much! Perfect 🙂

  • Katsudon Recipe – Japanese Cooking 101 (15)


    February 17, 2016 at 5:16 am

    Can i omit the dashi? I cant find any place that sells kombu or bonito flakes

  • Katsudon Recipe – Japanese Cooking 101 (16)

    James Mark

    February 27, 2016 at 3:07 am

    Hi! I like all your recipe and I just eant to ask if cooking sake is the same thing you use in all of your recipes?

    • Katsudon Recipe – Japanese Cooking 101 (17)


      March 2, 2016 at 7:22 pm

      you could use cooking Sake, or regular Sake for drinking too.

  • Katsudon Recipe – Japanese Cooking 101 (18)

    roy rickets

    March 27, 2016 at 6:22 pm

    What! No onions???

  • Katsudon Recipe – Japanese Cooking 101 (19)

    Grace Pagtanac

    March 30, 2016 at 8:43 am

    What is Dashi? Where can I buy it? Thanks!

    • Katsudon Recipe – Japanese Cooking 101 (20)

      Andy Gray

      October 21, 2016 at 1:45 am

      It’s a fish broth. This site has instructions to make it, or if you’d like you could buy a stock powder of it on Amazon.

    • Katsudon Recipe – Japanese Cooking 101 (21)


      December 16, 2016 at 12:52 am

      Is kombu and bonito flakes…. boil a pice of kombu, and when is boiled turn off the fire and put a hand full of bonito flakes, live it for a couple of minutes and drain… the juice is dashi…

      8 cups of water.
      Pice of kombu as big as a sheet of paper or little bit less.
      Hand full of bonito flakes.
      (Make it less)

  • Katsudon Recipe – Japanese Cooking 101 (22)


    August 17, 2016 at 9:03 pm

    Love! Love! Love! Made this tonight and the whole game family loved it! Hubby, 3 young boys and al even the baby girl loved it!! Hubby asked me to make this again soon. Definitely going into my recipe notebook. Hubby said it taste just like what he gets at authentic Japanese restaurants. Thanks for sharing!!

    • Katsudon Recipe – Japanese Cooking 101 (23)


      August 19, 2016 at 11:54 am

      glad you liked our Katsudon recipe. We have other Donburi (rice bowl) recipes, try them too!

    • Katsudon Recipe – Japanese Cooking 101 (24)

      Andy Gray

      October 21, 2016 at 1:44 am

      It’s a fish broth. This site has instructions to make it, or if you’d like you could buy a stock powder of it on Amazon.

  • Katsudon Recipe – Japanese Cooking 101 (25)


    November 1, 2016 at 6:14 am

    Made this last night — taste was spot on! The dashi was so easy to make, and with the extra dashi we made miso soup from your recipe to serve with the katsudon; it made the perfect amount of soup for the four of us. Thank you so much!

  • Katsudon Recipe – Japanese Cooking 101 (26)

    Pato Conner

    December 13, 2016 at 4:36 am

    Like your recipe although I did not have sake so I doubled mirin to 1 Tbsp.
    My Mom used to make this for us when I was a kid over 40 years ago. She used sliced yellow onion cooked in the dashi broth until semi translucent. I have ordered this at restaurants in CA and they use onion too. Why no onion? Is it optional? Resting cutlet on top of cooked onions seems to keep cutlet from getting too soggy.

  • Katsudon Recipe – Japanese Cooking 101 (27)


    December 16, 2016 at 12:41 am

    Oooo god! Thank you, im decently trying this !

  • Katsudon Recipe – Japanese Cooking 101 (28)


    December 22, 2016 at 11:23 am

    Thank you so much for your site! It’s so hard to find real Japanese food where we are (I was spoiled by friends and an excellent, small restaurant back home), and you all have helped bring these wonderful flavors back into my life! Thank you again for all you’ve shared. I love your website!

  • Katsudon Recipe – Japanese Cooking 101 (29)


    January 17, 2017 at 12:38 pm

    I tried it and it’s perfect, highly recommended! 2 thumbs up!

  • Katsudon Recipe – Japanese Cooking 101 (30)

    Destinee Vadnais

    January 31, 2017 at 8:10 pm

    Could I omit the Sake and Mirin? I’m making this for my sister and she’s underage.

  • Katsudon Recipe – Japanese Cooking 101 (2024)


    What's the difference between katsudon and katsu? ›

    Tonkatsu is a traditional Japanese dish of a breaded, and deep fried pork cutlet. All are breaded pork Cutlets ,But however Katsudon is shallow cooked with lightly seasoned onion and shallots chicken broth topped with egg, while tonkatsu is not..

    What is the English name for katsudon? ›

    Katsudon is a Japanese pork cutlet rice bowl made with tonkatsu, eggs, and sautéed onions simmered in a sweet and savory sauce. It's a one-bowl wonder and true comfort food! Donburi (or rice bowls) are one of the giants of Japanese cuisine.

    What oil to fry tonkatsu in? ›

    Several kinds of oils are used to make the frying oil, such as vegetable oil, lard, sesame oil, and olive oil. The amount of oil must be sufficient to completely submerge the meat. This is one of the secrets of frying, as it is this amount of oil which makes the tonkatsu so crispy, yet juicy inside.

    What is tonkatsu made of? ›

    For those of you who are new to this Japanese dish, tonkatsu consists of tender pork loin (or fillet) that has been breaded and deep-fried to crunchy perfection.

    Is chicken or pork better for katsu? ›

    Katsu is most often made using pork, with chicken coming in a close second, though beef or even ham or hamburger is not uncommon in parts of Japan. I typically stick with pork or chicken, or firm tofu or tempeh if I'm in the mood for a non-meaty version.

    What cut is used for katsu? ›

    They are typically made from two cuts of pork: the lean and tender hire (ヒレ, tenderloin or filet) and the fattier rosu (ロース, loin). While tonkatsu is by far the most popular katsu dish, there are other variations made of chicken (chikinkatsu), beef (gyukatsu), ham (hamukatsu) and ground meat (menchikatsu).

    What is katsudon sauce made of? ›

    Combine dashi, soy sauce, sake, sugar, and mirin in a small saucepan or donburi pan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. If using onion, add to broth and simmer until tender, about 5 minutes.

    What do you eat with katsudon? ›

    It came served over rice with a side of miso soup and pickles. I've written before about how Japan excels at the one-dish restaurant, and this was one of the best examples.

    What does Don mean in katsudon? ›

    Katsudon (Japanese: カツ丼) is a popular Japanese food, a bowl of rice topped with a deep-fried breaded pork cutlet, egg, vegetables, and condiments. Katsudon. The dish takes its name from the Japanese words tonkatsu (for pork cutlet) and donburi (for rice bowl dish).

    Is cornstarch or flour better for tonkatsu? ›

    Cornstarch Vs Flour

    If you don't have cornstarch, use flour. Both will work! I have made tonkatsu with both, and I prefer cornstarch because I feel that it clings to the pork better and yields a crispier crunch.

    Why is my tonkatsu soggy? ›

    Cooking this too hot will char your delicate breadcrumbs, and cooking it too cold will give you soggy, oily katsu.

    What is the best meat for tonkatsu? ›

    executing a great tonkatsu at home is very simple. or sometimes known as a pork butt. from the pork loin or tenderloin. because it is a lot tastier piece of meat.

    What is a good side dish for pork katsu? ›

    Crispy crunchy pork tonkatsu served with rice and cabbage salad is one of my favourite comfort food dishes.

    What is tonkatsu sauce called? ›

    Tonkatsu sauce or katsu sauce is a Japanese sauce served with tonkatsu (pork cutlet). It is a thick (viscosity over 2.0 pascal-second, per JAS Standard) Japanese Worcestershire-type sauce.

    Is chicken katsu the same as katsudon? ›

    Well, an easy way to dip your feet into the world of fried-then-soaked foods is katsudon, a dish made with leftover chicken katsu or pork tonkatsu simmered with eggs in a soy-dashi broth, then served over a bowl of rice.

    Is katsu short for katsudon? ›

    Katsudon is a popular Japanese dish consisting of tonkatsu (breaded deep-fried pork) and eggs cooked in a sweet and salty broth served over rice. Katsu, or "cutlet" in Japanese, refers to meat that's been pounded thin before being cooked. Don, or donburi, identifies this as a bowl dish.

    Is it katsudon or katsu Don? ›

    Katsudon (Japanese: カツ丼) is a popular Japanese food, a bowl of rice topped with a deep-fried breaded pork cutlet, egg, vegetables, and condiments. The dish takes its name from the Japanese words tonkatsu (for pork cutlet) and donburi (for rice bowl dish).

    What is the difference between katsu and tonkatsu? ›

    Tonkatsu comes from the same pig character ton (豚) and katsu is short for katsuretsu, which is how “cutlets” is pronounced in Japanese. Tonkatsu, or pork cutlets, is made by seasoning and breading pork chops and then deep frying them. They are usually placed on a bed of shredded green cabbage.


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