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Menchi Katsu is a Japanese-style ground beef and pork meat mixture cutlet that is deep-fried in panko bread crumbs.
This dish is easy to make and perfect for a quick weeknight meal. You’ll need some basic ingredients and a little bit of time to prepare this tasty dish.
Making menchi katsu is really easy. You just need to mix the minced pork and beef with some seasonings, shape it into patties, coat it in panko breadcrumbs, and then fry it until it’s golden brown and crispy.
In this post we'll cover:
- 1 Make you own menchi katsu (recipe)
- 2 Japanese Menchi Katsu (crispy ground meat cutlet)
- 3 Menchi katsu cooking tips
- 4 FAQs
- 5 Takeaway
Make you own menchi katsu (recipe)
I like to serve menchi katsu with a dipping sauce on the side.
My favorite sauce is a tonkatsu sauce, which is a thick and savory sauce made with Worcestershire sauce, fruit juices, and other seasonings.
You can also use a BBQ sauce, ketchup, or any other sauce that you like (like delicious yakiniku sauce).
If you want to make menchi katsu, here is a simple recipe that you can follow.
Japanese Menchi Katsu (crispy ground meat cutlet)
- 1/2 lbs ground beef
- 1/2 lbs ground pork
- 1 small white onion
- 1 tbsp olive oil to fry onion
- 3 cups vegetable oil to deep fry meat
- 2 tbsp panko Japanese breadcrumbs
- 1 tbsp milk
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tsp ketchup or tomato sauce
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
For patty coating
- 2 large eggs
- 1.5 cups panko
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
For tonkatsu sauce
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 2 tsp soy sauce
- 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp sugar
- Prepare the sauce by mixing the ketchup, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and sugar until fully combined and set aside. You should have about 1/2 cup of tonkatsu sauce.
- Mince the onion.
- Heat a frying pan on medium heat with olive oil. Saute the chopped onions until they become translucent. Set aside once it’s cooked.
- In a large bowl, mix together ground beef, pork, sauteed chopped onions, milk, panko breadcrumbs, 1 egg, ketchup, salt, nutmeg, and black pepper.
- You have to knead this meat mixture until it gets sticky and has the texture of hamburger patties.
- Now divide the meat mixture into 6 equal-sized balls.
- After that, shape each ball into a meat patty. You must toss the patty between your hands about 5 or 6 times to remove air bubbles. Each ground meat patty should have the shape of a minced cutlet.
- Set up three bowls for the egg wash, flour, and panko breadcrumbs.
- In the first bowl, whisk together 2 eggs. In the second bowl, add 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour. In the third bowl, add 1.5 cups of panko breadcrumbs.
- First, coat each patty in flour, then dip it in the beaten egg wash, and finally coat it in panko breadcrumbs.
- Make sure each patty is evenly coated with the breadcrumbs.
- Place the panko-coated patties on a plate or cutting board, and let them rest.
- Heat up the vegetable oil to about 340 degrees F in a deep fryer or a large saucepan.
- Carefully place the meat patties in the hot oil, and deep fry for 3 minutes on each side.
- Remove the patties and let the excess oil drain on paper towels and a cooling rack.
Menchi katsu cooking tips
If you have this dish at a Western-style Japanese restaurant they combine two types of minced meat: pork and beef.
The ratio of beef to pork is usually about 70/30 but 50/50 works well if you don’t prefer more beef flavor.
You can actually customize the ratio or just use one type of ground meat.
When you are shaping the meat patties, make sure to smooth out any bumps or cracks on the surface.
Dip your hands into a bit of cooking oil so that it’s easier to shape the patties.
This will help the panko breadcrumbs adhere better and create an evenly fried exterior.
To make the patties juicy, don’t overcook them. The internal temperature of the patty should be around 160 degrees F when you remove it from the oil.
You should also avoid turning or touching the meat for the first 2 minutes of the frying process. This will help to create a crispy and delicious crust without breaking the patty.
Substitutes and alternatives
If you want to make a vegetarian version of this dish, you can use ground tofu or mushrooms in place of the meat. The cooking time will be the same.
Usually, menchi katsu is made with minced beef and pork, but you can also use ground chicken or turkey.
You can also add cheese inside the cutlet, making for a nice and gooey interior!
If you want a gluten-free version, you can use gluten-free bread crumbs instead of golden panko breadcrumbs.
Some people also like to serve menchi katsu with tartar sauce as it adds a nice creaminess and acidity to the dish.
The tonkatsu sauce ingredients are easy to get and all you really need to do is mix Worcestershire sauce with a bit of soy sauce, ketchup, and sugar.
This sauce is very popular in Japanese cooking and has a slightly sweet and sour flavor.
When it comes to oil for deep frying, you can use vegetable oils, such as canola or sunflower oil.
If you want a more authentic flavor, use rice bran oil or sesame oil.
How to serve menchi katsu
Serve menchi katsu with tonkatsu sauce on the side for dipping. You can also add some shredded cabbage or a small salad for a light and refreshing side dish.
If you want a more filling meal, serve menchi katsu with steamed rice and miso soup.
If you’re craving something fresh, enjoy the menchi katsu with a daikon radish salad or a refreshing Sunomono cucumber salad.
Menchi katsu is one of those Japanese recipes that’s easy to make and delicious. It’s a great weeknight meal that the whole family will enjoy.
Therefore, you can play around with side dishes and even serve the ground meat cutlet with mashed potatoes.
How to store menchi katsu
Store Menchi Katsu in an airtight container after it has cooled completely for about 2-3 days in the fridge.
You are probably wondering “Can you freeze menchi katsu?” Luckily, the answer is yes!
You have a month of freezing time because, after that, it can fall apart and crumble.
Reheat in the oven at 350F when you are ready to eat. Frozen raw patties are more difficult to cook thoroughly in a deep fryer than fresh ones.
That’s why chefs recommend deep frying the patties first and then freezing them.
What does menchi katsu taste like?
The taste of menchi katsu will depend on how it’s cooked and what kind of sauce is used.
But in general, it is savory and slightly sweet with a bit of acidity. The panko breadcrumbs give it a crunchy texture.
How to remove air inside the patty?
If there are air pockets inside the patty, it will cause the menchi katsu to float when you fry it.
To avoid this, you can use a skewer or a chopstick to poke holes in the patty before frying it.
Is menchi katsu healthy?
This dish is not considered to be healthy because it is deep-fried. Therefore it has saturated fat and cholesterol.
But, you can make a healthier version by baking it instead of frying it.
One problem with deep-fried meat is that it can be tough to digest. So, if you have problems with digestion, you might want to avoid this dish.
Can you use other bread crumbs for menchi katsu?
Yes, you don’t have to use panko, and you can use other kinds of bread crumbs. But, panko will give it a flakier and crunchier texture.
If you’re looking for an absolutely delicious way to cook minced meat, the Japanese ground meat cutlet is the way to go.
Panko breadcrumbs give the dish a flaky and crunchy texture, while the Worcestershire-based sauce adds a savory flavor.
This dish is perfect for a quick weeknight meal, filling main course cuisine, or even as a party appetizer.
Making menchi katsu is quite easy and all you need to do is deep-fry the ground meat after putting it through panko bread crumbs.
Serve with fresh ingredients like shredded cabbage for a yummy meal!
While it may not be the healthiest of Japanese recipes, menchi katsu is the comfort food people around the world really seem to love!
Here’s another yummy comfort food that’ll leave you fulfilled: Zosui Japanese rice soup
Ever had trouble finding Japanese recipes that were easy to make?
Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.