Katsu Sando

published Apr 13, 2023
Katsu Sando Recipe

Crispy pork cutlet, kewpie mayonnaise, and thinly shredded cabbage sandwiched between slices of plush milk bread.

Serves4

Prep20 minutes

Cook20 minutes

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stack of cast sandwiches
Credit: Photo: Andrew Bui; Food Styling: Nicole Rufus

As an island nation colonized by Japan for 50 years, many Taiwanese have learned the Japanese language and their style of cooking. Katsu — Japanese-style breaded and fried cutlets — are one of most popular foods in Taiwan’s modern food scene, which means you can find them everywhere — from convenience stores to high-end restaurants. 

When I lived in Taiwan, I loved my after-school convenience-store katsu sando — a comforting Japanese sandwich featuring a crispy pork cutlet, tonkatsu sauce, and shredded cabbage. 

Now, in my New York City kitchen, I make my own version of a katsu sando. This recipe is a love letter to those convenience-store sandwiches I enjoyed so much. 

Ingredients in a Katsu Sando

Credit: Photo: Andrew Bui; Food Styling: Jessie YuChen

How to Make a Katsu Sando

Just like the classic sandwich, I start by pounding the pork cutlets to achieve tenderness, then cover them in panko breadcrumbs, and fry them to perfection. I quickly make a fresh cabbage slaw with garlic, scallions, Kewpie mayonnaise, and yuzu kosho, whose addition punches it up. (You can skip the yuzu kosho, but I highly recommend it — it’s life-changing). 

To assemble, sandwich a fried cutlet and a heaping amount of the cabbage slaw between slices of milk bread that are slathered with tonkatsu sauce and more mayonnaise. Trim the sandwich into neat squares and cut in half, forming two rectangles.

Katsu Sando Recipe

Crispy pork cutlet, kewpie mayonnaise, and thinly shredded cabbage sandwiched between slices of plush milk bread.

Prep time 20 minutes

Cook time 20 minutes

Serves 4

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 4 cloves

    garlic

  • 3/4 cup

    Kewpie mayonnaise, divided

  • 2 teaspoons

    yuzu kosho

  • 1/4

    medium green cabbage (about 12 ounces)

  • 2

    medium scallions

  • 4

    (1-inch thick) boneless pork chops (5 to 6 ounces each)

  • 1 teaspoon

    kosher salt, plus more as needed

  • 2

    large eggs

  • 1 cup

    all-purpose flour

  • 1 cup

    panko bread crumbs

  • 2 to 4 cups

    vegetable oil

  • 8

    (1/2-inch thick) slices milk sandwich bread

  • 1/2 cup

    tonkatsu sauce, such as Bull-Dog, divided

Instructions

  1. Finely grate 4 garlic cloves into a large bowl. Add 1/2 cup of the Kewpie mayonnaise and 2 teaspoons yuzu kosho, and stir until combined. Core and very thinly slice 1/4 medium green cabbage with a mandolin or sharp knife (about 3 cups), thinly slice 2 medium scallions crosswise, and add both to the bowl. Toss until combined.

  2. Pound 4 boneless pork chops one at a time: Place on a cutting board and pound with the flat side of a meat mallet or bottom of a small pan until 1/2-inch thick. Season the pork chops all over with 1 teaspoon kosher salt.

  3. Place 2 large eggs in a wide, shallow bowl and whisk until combined. Place 1 cup all-purpose flour in a second wide, shallow bowl. Place 1 cup panko bread crumbs in a third wide, shallow bowl.

  4. Bread the pork chops one at a time: Dip into the flour until completely coated, then shake off the excess flour. Dip into the eggs until completely coated. Dip into the panko until completely coated, then place on a baking sheet.

  5. Add enough vegetable oil to a Dutch oven or 10-inch high-sided skillet to come 1-inch up the sides (2 to 4 cups). Heat over medium-high heat until 350ºF. Meanwhile, fit a wire rack over a second baking sheet.

  6. Fry the pork chops one at a time: Gently place in the pan and fry until golden-brown all over and just cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes total. Transfer to the rack and lightly season with kosher salt.

  7. Place 8 (1/2-inch thick) slices milk bread on a clean cutting board. Spread 1 tablespoon Kewpie mayonnaise on each of 4 slices. Spread 2 tablespoons tonkatsu sauce on each of the remaining 4 slices. Top each tonkatsu slice with a pork chop. Divide the cabbage slaw over the pork chops, then close the sandwiches with the mayonnaise slices mayonnaise-side down.

  8. Trim the sandwiches into squares (snack on the trimmings), wiping the knife between each cut to get the cleanest cuts. Cut each sandwich in half to form two rectangles.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: The cabbage can be sliced and the pork chops pounded out up to 1 day ahead. Refrigerate in separate airtight containers.