The Kats’ Meow (Couldn’t Resist)

You may remember a few weeks ago, Miss A held her giveaway in which the winner got to pick our next international destination. Well, now that we’re back home and in the swing of things (until school starting next week throws us out of swing again), we began our Japanese cooking adventure.

I have to admit, outside of sushi, none of us knew much about Japanese cuisine. The only thing Mike remembered was tonkatsu which he used to order when he ate at sushi restaurants with his parents. Fortunately our prize winner, A_Boleyn,  sent us several suggestions. Thanks A_Boleyn! So for tonight’s menu we have Tonkatsu, EggplantKatsu and Katsudon.

But first, a few weeks ago we featured our go-to weeknight sandwich. When we did, the Food Doctor from Chef in Disguise aptly quipped about my super hero cape. Well, Mike’s mom didn’t miss a beat and when we returned home from vacation I was presented with this awesome cape! 

I’m not sure, but I think it made this dinner even better. First we started with the tonkatsu and eggplant katsu – or fried pork and fried eggplant. We opted to try a bit healthier version and used only egg whites and panko for the coating. Mr. N took care of separating the egg whites for us.

We started with the eggplant to prevent any potential contamination from the pork. First we sliced about half of a large eggplant.

Then Miss A and I dipped the slices in the egg whites and panko. (Note her lovely choice in eye-wear and my awesome cape.)

Once the slices were coated, we set the eggplant aside to begin the pork.

We used boneless pork chops and this time dad got in on the action, dipping them in egg whites and panko.

We also let dad handle the frying where we again opted to tone down the calories. We fried the eggplant and pork (separately) in a bit of oil, rather than a deep fry immersion. The eggplant fried for about 15 minutes, flipping once.

The pork took about 5 minutes per side.

We sliced about half of the eggplant and pork into strips and set it aside. We then sliced the remaining tonkatsu and eggplant katsu to add to our donburi, or Japanese rice bowl dish.

First we prepared the sauce which includes chicken stock (dashi if it’s available), soy sauce, mirin, cooking sake, wasabi paste and brown sugar. (My cape also doubles as an apron!)

Next we added the donburi sauce to a skillet and tossed in some sliced onions.

After cooking for a few minutes we added the sliced eggplant katsu and tonkatsu to the skillet and cooked for another three minutes or so. Lastly we whisked together three eggs and poured them over the contents of the skillet, covered and cooked for a final two minutes. We then divided the skillet into fourths and served it over Japanese rice topped with green onions. And there you have the katsudon.

Dad and the kids ate the tonkatsu version, while I ate the eggplant version; but after sampling a bit of each, both dad and I preferred the eggplant katsudon to the pork. I’m even thinking next time I could just roast the eggplant, skip the breading and get an equally tasty meal with even fewer calories.

Both dad and I gave this a solid 3 spoons. I was even teetering between a 3 and 4 spoon rating. The kids weren’t quite as happy with it; although they gave it an honest shot. They only ran in with 1 spoon. I think mostly because they’re not big on onions or rice.

As for the rest of the tonkatsu and eggplant katsu, we served it with a tonkatsu dipping sauce which was much more up the kids’ alley.

Both Miss A and Mr. N gave this version a 3 spoon rating. Dad and I only about a 2 spoon. We liked the katsudon much better. So it actually all worked out quite well, there was something for everyone. Our first foray into Japanese cuisine was a fun and successful little adventure – which of course wouldn’t have been complete without a little dessert.

We all enjoyed our Mango Mochi from Trader Joe’s. 🙂

Print this recipe: Tonkatsu

Print this recipe: Katsudon

39 thoughts on “The Kats’ Meow (Couldn’t Resist)

  1. INTLMARE says:

    Kristy, I just love tonkatsu, never touch sushi. Eggplant terryacki might be tasty. Although I have never quite gotten the breading as light and crisp as the restaurants. Your mother-in-law must be very special to make that “caperon” for you. I bet she thinks you walk on water.


    • Kristy says:

      I definitely lucked out and got a good one. 🙂 And the eggplant was very good! The breading was nice and light – the trick is to have Miss A do the breading. 😉


  2. smartfoodandfit says:

    This looks like a recipe my family would enjoy. We love breaded eggplant. I made some the other day from our garden. I love your cape and Ms. A’s modeling pose! She is such a ham!
    I think the cap should be your future giveaway! lol Speaking of Trader Joe’s I need to make a visit there!


  3. thefooddoctor says:

    Oh a cape that doubles as an apron..I am so jealous…mine only doubles as table cloth lol…
    Thanks for the mention are too kind
    and you did an amazing job on your Japanese trip..
    P.S. I love Miss A’s cute


  4. Caroline says:

    Great job on the Japanese cuisine challenge, Kristy! Everything looks fantastic…and that cape is hilarious. I might need to invest in one. Oh, and Trader Joe’s mochi is the BEST!


    • Kristy says:

      Thanks Caroline! We had a lot of fun with these recipes. The kids were really into it too which always makes it that much more fun. And mochi is the perfect little dessert isn’t it?! When I don’t have anything that we’ve made on hand, I usually eat one of these little guys before I go to bed. 🙂


  5. castleinspain2 says:

    I LOVE panko breadcrumbs among all the delicious photographs of the stuffs you posted there …Its yummy too & good photography too ..KEEP GOING 🙂


    • Kristy says:

      She is a ham isn’t she?! It’s funny, usually if I tell her to smile at the camera she smiles in a different direction. (always the rebel) Somehow we caught her this time.


  6. spicegirlfla says:

    You know I’m a huge fan of eggplant and never thought it would be included in a Japanese dish….probably because sushi is the closest I have gotten to eating Asian! This combo sounds so delicious! And whatever that mago machi is, it looks amazing!!


    • Kristy says:

      Before this meal, sushi was the only Japanese food I ever had. I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised. It was very tasty. And I’m with you on the eggplant – making your sandwiches again this week in fact. 🙂


    • Kristy says:

      It was pretty easy. It always takes extra long when you’re photographing and with the kids helping, but if you take those elements away it’s not too bad at all. Like I said, next time I’m going to just roast the eggplant and make the donburi to go with it. Yummmy!!


  7. sallybr says:

    I must echo Kelly and her comments – exactly how I feel!

    now, if you don’t mind me sharing a link with you and your readers, if you are into Japanese cooking, you should take a look at this blog of a wonderful woman called Tess

    I’ve known her virtually through a cooking forum for more than 10 years, she is a fantastic cook, and her website is a wealth of info

    Anyway, great post as usual!


  8. Kelly says:

    Kristy, this was such a fun post to read. I love the warmth of your family and the fact that your mother-in-law made you a super hero cape just adds to that wonderment – I just love it… and, I must say, you look fantastic in it!! 🙂 Kats meow indeed – everything looks so delicious and fun to make. Those sliced onions – yum – and the fresh green onions topping the dish, beautiful. (Pretty dishes too!). Another fabulous post super mom.


  9. Charles says:

    Yummy, great job! Looks like quite the success. The donburi with sliced onions picture looks amazing! By the way, I love your stove – so jealous 😦

    Also, if you ever see it anywhere, you should buy and try some “Golden Curry” at least once. It’s this curry mix which comes in blocks which melt down, like chocolate (seriously). You just add some water and meat and stuff!


    • A_Boleyn says:

      Charles, I have a box of the curry mix in my cupboard but just haven’t gotten around to using it yet. There are some boneless, skinless chicken breasts in my chest freezer that would be perfect and I just bought a big bag of sushi rice (do you use Cal-Rose, Nishiki, Kokuho Rose or some other brand) at the Japanese grocery store so I’m pretty set for a few Japanese meals. 🙂

      The instructions are pretty basic on the box … are there any modifications you could suggest?


      • Charles says:

        Suggestions on Golden Curry? Hmm – not really to be honest. I remember adding “more” of the basic stuff they suggest. Carrots, potatoes, onion I think are the basics they suggest… I upped the quantities a bit and added extra stuff – maybe some turnip or celery, just to make it more chunky (even if it’s not necessarily “curry-like”. It’s already quite rich so you don’t need too much extra. If you have a hot one, it actually ends up being spicier than you’d think too, so you don’t need maybe quite so much curry chunks as they say.


        • A_Boleyn says:

          I was hoping to reduce the spiciness so I wondered about adding more stuff. 🙂 As to using less of the paste, I was reminded that it’s a combination of spices and a roux, so if you use less of the paste but with the same amount of water, you get a less spicy but also a thinner sauce. Well, I’ll have to give it a shot and if it’s really hot, my mom may end up getting a jamaican beef pie or one of my home ground chicken burgers instead. 🙂

          I’ve got to pick up a few other Japanese pantry items on my next shopping expedition … furikake and Shichimi-togarashi. No umeboshi for me as I’m not a fan of pickled/sour stuff. Compared to the lists on a few of the web sites I’ve visited it seems I’m woefully understocked. 🙂


    • Kristy says:

      I love this stove too – but it’s not comparable to the stove we had in the cabin. Now that stove rocked!!! (It was a Viking professional range with griddle. Sigh. I miss it already.) I haven’t seen golden curry, but I’ll keep my eyes open. It sounds great! We’ve got your okonomiyaki coming up soon. 🙂


    • Kristy says:

      Yep – it’s mango ice cream on the inside and a rice dough on the outside. It’s wonderful! They have other flavors too. YUM! Have a great day Yvette! 🙂


  10. A_Boleyn says:

    I think you did a wonderful job with both the eggplant and pork cutlet versions of the rice bowls. I’m a spice fiend so I usually douse my bowls liberally with Sriracha sauce but I like the addition of wasabi paste to your simmering sauce which is an innovation that I’d love to try on my next attempt at this dish.

    I’ve never tried mochi … is it like a sweet dough bun?


    • Kristy says:

      The mochi is wonderful! It’s a rice dough around ice cream. The rice dough has kind of a chewy texture, but it goes really well with the ice cream. It comes in several flavors but mango is my favorite by far. 🙂 Thanks for all of the recipes. We had a great time making this dish. And don’t worry – we’ll be using the sriracha with the sushi. 🙂


  11. Kay aka Babygirl says:

    I have to make my way to Trader Joe’s seriously. I’m just lazy about it lol. But I think I would love both the pork and the eggplant versions. And I LOVE panko breadcrumbs.. they are delish. And may I say, capes are in this season so you look incredible 😉


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