How To Transform Tonkatsu Into A Classic Japanese Pork Sandwich

Tonkatsu, the beloved crispy, fried pork cutlet dish from Japan that has captured the hearts of many people globally, is more than just a standalone dish. It is versatile and can be a game-changer for those looking to get creative in the kitchen. So, let's imagine this: You've just enjoyed a delightful tonkatsu dinner paired with Japanese curry, and now there are some leftovers. Instead of reheating the same meal later in the week, you can transform it into a new dish and experience the classic Japanese pork sandwich or tonkatsu sando, usually referred to as a katsu sando.

For the uninitiated, this Japanese fried pork cutlet sandwich encompasses a piece of tonkatsu between two slices of soft, pillowy bread, usually milk bread or shokupan. With each bite, you get a harmonious blend of crunch thanks to panko breading, and tenderness and juiciness, as well as contrasting flavors and textures, making it a perfect lunchtime treat or even a meal on the go. 

To begin your transformation, you'll need your leftover tonkatsu, some milk bread, tonkatsu sauce (a sweet, thick Japanese condiment), and perhaps some mayo or mustard for added zing. For those who love veggies, add shredded cabbage to the sandwich. 

Quick and easy tonkatsu sando from leftovers

Once you've got your ingredients ready, the assembly process is straightforward. Start by trimming the crusts off the bread, ensuring you've got a clean, square foundation. Lay a piece of tonkatsu on one slice of bread, fitting the cutlet snugly. You can then generously drizzle the tonkatsu sauce over the meat. If you're in the mood for some extra flavor, spread a thin layer of mustard and mayo on the other bread slice. Wasabi and margarine also work here. 

For added texture and fiber, top the cutlet with shredded cabbage. A sprinkling of sesame seeds is also lovely. Once you're done with adding your garnishes and toppings of choice, press the two slices of bread together gently, neatly sandwiching the cutlet within. And there you have it, a tonkatsu sando, ready for your enjoyment. Slice it diagonally for that classic sandwich look, or in neat rectangles, and you're set.

This easy-to-make sandwich harmoniously fuses different flavors and textures. So, the next time you find yourself with some leftover tonkatsu, remember the magic it can become with just a little imagination and two slices of milk bread.