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Katsu Sando Recipe

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This katsu sando recipe is a delicious and convenient meal option. Breaded pork cutlet that’s crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, perfectly complemented by thinly sliced cabbage and katsu sauce on soft Japanese white bread. It’s the perfect combination of sweet and salty, crunchy and soft!

close up of katsu sando

There’s nothing better than sinking your teeth into a katsu sando after a long day at work or school. It just makes everything better.

But what if we told you that this Japanese sandwich is not only delicious, but also super easy to make?

That’s right: you can make this sandwich at home in no time at all—all you need is bread, eggs, flour, and some pork cutlets!

I’ve got a katsu sando recipe right here (and don’t worry—I’ll walk you through every step).

stack of katsu sando

But first,

What is a katsu sando?

Katsu sando is a popular dish in Japan and Hawai’i, and it can be found in most convenience stores and even in a Japanese restaurant.

It’s a delicious combination of breaded fried pork cutlet, cabbage, and tonkatsu sauce. Basically the perfect sandwich for any occasion—especially if you’re looking for something that’s a little more filling than your average sandwich.

Variations

Traditionally a katsu sando is made with pork, but you can also use chicken katsu, ‘ahi katsu, spam katsu, or even tofu for my vegetarian and vegan friends.

Ingredients to make this katsu sando recipe

  • Cooking oil of choice. Vegetable, canola, avocado are all good options.
  • Boneless pork chop. You can use pork loin or fillet to make the cutlet as well.               
  • Eggs. This will be used as a binder to hold the breading on the pork.            
  • Panko breadcrumbs. Japanese breadcrumbs. You can find this in the Asian aisle at the grocery store or online here          
  • All purpose flour. This is the base of the breading and what helps keep the moisture in the pork. You can swap this out for the flour of your choice.               
  • Garlic salt. Add an extra depth of flavor.               
  • Pepper. Freshly ground or store bought works just fine.               
  • Japanese milk bread. Shokupan. A soft pillowy white bread perfect for this sandwich. You can use any other soft, white bread if you can’t find this one at the convenience store.
  • Tonkatsu sauce. A delicious tangy sauce. Make your own tonkatsu sauce or order online
  • Cabbage. Red cabbage or green cabbage will do.
katsu sando ingredients

How to make a Japanese katsu sando

I love grab and go meals and this one is perfect.

Heat the oil in a pan over medium-high heat to 350F. Add enough oil to cover the bottom of a heavy pot, large skillet, or frying pan.

Start with the tonkatsu. I like to use boneless pork chops, but you can use another cut or pork if you’d like.

The key to the crunchy outside and juicy inside is the breading. I like to season my flour with garlic salt and pepper. Pat dry a piece of pork. Dip in the flour mixture, then beaten egg, and lastly panko that has been placed in separate shallow dishes. Be sure to cover all of the meat and shake off the excess flour.

pork tonkatsu frying in a pan for a katsu sando

And then comes the frying. Gently place the pork chops in the oil and fry for 4-5 minutes on each side or until golden brown and an internal temperature of 145F.

Remove the pieces of pork from the oil and drain on a paper towels or a wire rack over a cookie sheet.

pork cutlet on a plate for a katsu sando

Now the fun part, assembling the sandwich.

Start with a slice of bread. Add sliced cabbage and drizzle over the tonkatsu sauce. Add the pork katsu and top with more cabbage and tonkatsu sauce.

open katsu sando

Traditionally, Japanese sandwiches trim off the crust which just might make the kids happy.

Healthier alternative to fried katsu

Not a fan of deep frying? Don’t you worry, fried cutlet can be baked or air fried instead.

  • To bake: Preheat oven to 400F. Bread the pork as usual. Bake for 20-22 minutes depending on thickness or until golden brown and an internal temperature of 145F.
  • To air fry: Preheat air fryer to 360F. Bread the pork as usual. Air fry for 15-20 minutes depending on thickness or until golden brown and an internal temperature of 145F.
hand holding a katsu sandwich

Tips for the best katsu sando

Here are three tips for making the best katsu sando:

  • Make sure you get your hands on the right kind of pork. You’re going to want to use a cutlet with an even texture and a healthy amount of fat. The fatty part of the cutlet will help keep it moist when you fry it up!
  • Don’t forget to season! You’ll want to season your flour or meat with some salt and pepper before frying it up.
  • When it comes time to assemble your sandwiches, don’t skimp on the sauce! Tonkatsu sauce adds a little tang—so don’t hold back!

Frequently asked questions

What is a sando?

Sando is short for sandwich and commonly used when describing Japanese sandwiches.

How to eat a katsu sando?

Once the sandwich is assembled, slice down the middle. Be sure to use a sharp knife. Serve with cut side up and enjoy as a hand held meal.

Why do you use panko crumbs instead of regular bread crumbs?

Panko crumbs give a crunchier texture than regular bread crumbs, which makes it better for katsu sandwiches.

Other great sandwiches to try

close up of katsu sando

Katsu Sando Recipe

Relle
A katsu sando is a delicious and convenient meal option. Breaded pork cutlet that's crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, perfectly complemented by thinly sliced cabbage and katsu sauce on soft Japanese white bread. It's the perfect combination of sweet and salty, crunchy and soft!
No ratings yet
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Course Lunch
Cuisine Japanese
Servings 4 sandwiches
Calories 536 kcal

Ingredients
  

Instructions
 

  • Heat oil in a large pan over medium high heat. While oil is heating up, start dredging the pork.
  • Place the eggs, panko, and flour in three separate shallow dishes.
  • Add garlic salt and pepper to the flour and mix to combine.
  • Next coat the pork in flour. Be sure to shake off any excess flour. Then dip in the eggs,  being sure to cover the entire surface of the pork. And lastly, dip in the panko. You can press the panko on the pork to ensure even coverage.
  • Once the oil has reached about 350F, place the pork in the pan and fry until golden brown, about 4-5 minutes. Flip and repeat on the other side. Cook to an internal temperature of 145F.
  • Remove pork and place on a paper towel or a cooling rack set over a cookie sheet to catch excess oil.
  • To assemble the sandwich: Add cabbage to a slice of bread. Next, drizzle katsu sauce over the cabbage. Place tonkatsu pork on the cabbage. Optionally, top with more katsu sauce and cabbage. Finish with another slice of bread. Trim off the crust and ENJOY!

Notes

Tips for the best katsu sando
  • Make sure you get your hands on the right kind of pork. You’re going to want to use a cutlet with an even texture and a healthy amount of fat. The fatty part of the cutlet will help keep it moist when you fry it up!
  • Don’t forget to season! You’ll want to season your flour or meat with some salt and pepper before frying it up.
  • When it comes time to assemble your sandwiches, don’t skimp on the sauce! Tonkatsu sauce adds a little tang—so don’t hold back!

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 536kcalCarbohydrates: 55gProtein: 42gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 172mgSodium: 1312mgPotassium: 688mgFiber: 4gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 144IUVitamin C: 7mgCalcium: 130mgIron: 5mg
Keyword katsu, katsu sando, keeping it relle, sando, sandwiches
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By on November 12th, 2022

About Relle

Aloha, my name is Relle and welcome to my little home on the internet where I like to share all my favorite Hawaiian recipes (and local ones too).

I am a wife, mom of two, and nurse practitioner here in the beautiful state of Hawai’i. I was born and raised in Hawai’i and I am of native Hawaiian descent. In my spare time I love to cook and bake and I have compiled many of my favorite recipes here for you to enjoy.

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