The Invention of Katsu

Written by on September 24th, 2015 // Filed under Blog

Tonkatsu is a Japanese term describing a pork cutlet that has been breaded and deep fried. The original Japanese tonkatsu was served back in 1899 in Rengatei, a restaurant in Tokyo, where it was known as “katsuretsu”. This term was eventually shortened to “katsu”, which became a general term for deep fried and breaded dishes in Japan. The term “tonkatsu” wouldn’t be coined until the 1930’s.

Though today we recognize katsu as a distinctly Japanese dish, it did not start out as such. Rengatei was known as a restaurant that served yoshoku, or European-style food re-imagined for Japanese diners. This was a time when foreign merchants were visiting Japan for the first time, so the process of deep-frying food was still a new concept for the people of Tokyo. Many diners enjoyed this culinary novelty with a fork. It gradually caught on throughout the country and, over time, katsu turned into a dish that was distinctly Japanese.

At K-Ton, you can enjoy this old favorite in the form of our pork loin katsu, our shrimp katsu, our potato katsu, our various katsu curries, and much more. Try it today at our Japanese restaurant in Federal Way!