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Acknowledgments vii

10 SOBA 159

Introduction 1

11 UDON 173



2 GYOZA 27

13 YOSHOKU 205

3 CURRY 43

Japanese Ingredients 234


Tokyo Comfort Food

Restaurants 237


Measurement Conversion
Charts 239


About the Authors 241


Index 242


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pound cabbage, cored

4 fillets boneless pork shoulder or pork loin

(about 1 pound), about 34 inch thick
Salt and ground black pepper
2 eggs

cup flour

2 cups panko crumbs

Vegetable oil for deep-frying
4 teaspoons Japanese karashi mustard (see
page 234)

cup tonkatsu sauce, store-bought or

homemade (page 62)
Steamed rice, for serving

Slice the cabbage as thinly as possible

(you can use a mandoline or other slicer).
Follow instructions in Ultra-Crunchy
Cabbage (see page 67) and set aside.

frying. (Fat shrinks faster than the meat

when deep-frying.) Season the fillets on
both sides with salt and pepper. Transfer
the prepared pork fillets to a plate.

To prepare the pork fillets, lay the fillets

flat on a cutting board. Tap the fillets with
the back edge of a kitchen knife (the edge
opposite the blade) to dig notches into
the meat. Turn the knife so the flat side
is facing the fillets. Pound the meat with
the knifes flat side about 6 to 8 times on
each side of the pork to flatten the meat to
about 1/2 inch thick. Cut 1/2-inch notches
into the white fat of the fillets, which
will prevent the fillet from curling when

Beat the eggs in a bowl and set aside.

Prepare 4 plates. Pour the flour onto the
first plate. Pour the beaten egg onto the
second plate. Pour the panko onto the
third plate. Leave the fourth plate empty
for now (this plate will hold the breaded
Place a cast-iron skillet on a burner. Fill
the skillet with vegetable oil to a height
of at least 1 inch. Attach a deep-fry (or


Ladies and gentlemen, may we have your attention,

please: for your gustatory pleasure and delight, we
now present the star of this chapter, tonkatsu. Here
it is, the classic method, which is so incredibly satisfying, and also so easy to whip up. In this recipe,
Tadashi shares a family secretcoat the pork with
flour and egg twice, which makes the tonkatsu even
crunchier. (Old-school tonkatsu joints in Japan,
by the way, often use lard instead of oil for frying,
which makes the tonkatsu even crunchier, but were
sticking to oil and saving on the heart bypass surgery bills, thank you very much.) Be sure to use a
deep-fry (or candy) thermometer to gauge temperature while you deep-fry; the easiest way to screw
up this dish is to fry the pork too hot or too cold. In
Japan, they say you deep-fry the tonkatsu until its
the color of kitsune, that is, the golden brown hue of
a fox. Serve the pork this way: sliced into strips, resting against a mound of shredded cabbage, slathered
in tonkatsu sauce, and with a dab of sinus-clearing
karashi mustard on the side. A bowl of steaming
white rice on the side is also mandatory. Now, thats
what we call a meal, about as elemental and comforting as it gets.

continued >


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candy) thermometer to the side of the

skillet. On a work surface near the skillet, set up a tray lined with newspaper or
paper towels to drain the cooked tonkatsu.
Turn the heat on to high. Heat the oil to
While the oil is heating, bread the fillets.
First, dredge a fillet in flour on both sides
and shake off excess flour. Second, dip
the fillet into the egg, coating both sides.
Third, repeat the process, dredging the
pork in the flour again on both sides, then
coating it again with egg on both sides.
Finally, lay the fillet on the panko crumbs.
Pile panko on top of the pork with your
fingers, then gently press the panko onto
the fillet with the palms of your hand so a
generous layer of panko sticks to the fillet
on both sides. Repeat with the other fillets,
then place them on the empty plate you
prepared earlier.

Transfer the tonkatsu to a cutting board

and slice into strips. For each serving,
place the pork on a plate, along with a
heap of sliced cabbage and a dab of mustard. Serve topped with about 2 tablespoons of tonkatsu sauce or serve the
sauce on the side, as you prefer. Serve
piping hot with steamed white rice on
the side.
Other ways to eat tonkatsu Another deli-

cious way to enjoy tonkatsu is to eat it

as a sandwich (tonkatsu-sando, as they
say). Lay a tonkatsu fillet on a slice of
bread (in Japan they typically use spongy
white bread, but use any bread or roll that
strikes your fancy), pour tonkatsu sauce
over the fillet, cover with another slice of
bread, and youre set. Perfect for the lunch
pail at school or work. Tonkatsu is also
amazing cooked with eggs over a bowl of
rice (see katsudon, page 147) or slathered
with Japanese curry (page 43) instead of
tonkatsu sauce. And finally, try substituting chicken for the pork to make torikatsu,
the poultry version.


When the oil has heated to 340F, carefully slide the fillets into the skillet.
Depending on the size of the skillet, cook
the tonkatsu in batches. Be careful not to
overfill the skillet, which will lower the
cooking temperature; use, at most, half of
the surface area of the oil to cook. While
the tonkatsu is cooking, check the oil
temperature with a candy thermometer.
Regulate the heat to maintain a constant
340F oil temperature. If the oil is too hot,
the tonkatsu will burn; if it is too low, the
tonkatsu will come out soggy and greasy.

Cook the tonkatsu for about 4 minutes,

turning once, until the fillets turn golden
brown. When theyre ready, transfer the
fillets to the paper-lined plate to drain. If
possible, stand the fillets on their edges, so
they drain better (you can use a metal rack
to accomplish this, if you have one).


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A sampling of Japanese salads (clockwise from top left): traditional wakame and cucumbers,
lettuce with ginger-carrot dressing (page 213), potato salada (page 210), and tomato salada (opposite)

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Tartar Sauce
This is the go-to sauce for furai dishes. It is similar to
classic American tartar sauce, but the big difference is
the mayo. Here we use Japanese Kewpie mayonnaise
(page 132), an umami-rich version that has less oil and
is looser and smoother than typical pasty, store-bought
mayo, which gives the sauce more punch. You can also add
classic Japanese accents to the tartar sauce, if youd like.
For example, you can substitute 2 tablespoons of chopped
shiso leaves for the parsley. Or add 2 teaspoons of wasabi
or 1 teaspoon of red yuzu kosho.

Thoroughly mix together all the ingredients in a bowl. Place in the refrigerator for
at least 1 hour (overnight is even better)

Tomato Salada
Wait until summer and early autumn when you can find
really beautiful, vine-ripened tomatoes to prepare this
lovely salad. (Pictured opposite, at the lower left.) The
dressing is fantastic with leafy greens, too.


6 tablespoons finely chopped onion
1 cup Kewpie mayonnaise (page 132)
2 eggs, hard-boiled, peeled, cooled, and finely

teaspoon salt

Pinch pepper
8 ounces cornichon pickles, finely chopped
1 tablespoon capers (in vinegar), finely
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
1 tablespoon lemon juice

for the flavors to mingle before serving.

This tartar sauce will keep in the refrigerator for about 2 weeks.


cup finely chopped onion

1 teaspoon grated ginger

1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar

teaspoon salt

Pinch ground black pepper

1 pound beefsteak tomatoes, sliced


To make the dressing, whisk together the

onion, ginger, sesame oil, soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper in a bowl, until

the dressing is well combined. Arrange the

tomatoes on 4 plates. Spoon the dressing
over the tomatoes and serve.


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Copyright 2013 by Tadashi Ono and Harris Salat

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Photographs copyright 2013 by Todd Coleman

Ono, Tadashi, 1962- author.

Japanese soul cooking : ramen, tonkatsu, tempura, and

All rights reserved.

more from the streets and kitchens of tokyo and beyond /

Published in the United States by Ten Speed Press,

Tadashi Ono and Harris Salat.

an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group,

a division of Random House, Inc., New York.

pages cm

Includes index.

1. Cooking, Japanese. I. Salat, Harris, author. II. Title.

TX724.5.J3O564 2013

Ten Speed Press and the Ten Speed Press colophon are
registered trademarks of Random House, Inc.


Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-60774-352-1

eBook ISBN: 978-1-60774-353-8
Printed in China
Design by Toni Tajima
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First Edition

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