Katsu curry is a creamy, crunchy delight. This Japanese gem consists of a breadcrumb fillet of meat laid alongside rice, covered in a mild but tangy curry sauce.
We love a good katsu curry here in Ireland, with all sorts of places serving it up. From Banyi Japanese Dining's classic take, Eatokyo's tofu-packed vegetarian-friendly wonder and to wagamama's version subbing in a vegetable medley, you're sure to find your new katsu favourite.
What's in a katsu?
The Japanese term 'katsu' actually comes from closer to home, originating from the English for 'cutlet'. Although we're most used to seeing the dish in here the UK packing in chicken – torikatsu – in Japan it's traditionally pork that is the star of the show, as tonkatsu.
While katsu can be eaten on its own, it comes to life with the addition of that aromatic yet sweet sauce. For all its flavour punch, it's a relatively simple formula of ingredients, with garlic, onion and carrots at its core. But when thickened and flavoured with flour and garam masala, things take on a spicier, richer tone.
Not quite Japanese origins
Katsu first popped up in a Tokyo restaurant in 1899 – but it was the Japanese Emperor Meiji who helped bring the dish to wider recognition. He wanted to modernise the country through the influence of the West. It was this western influence that introduced the use of deep frying, evolving from the use of beef to pork and chicken.
Japanese curry itself never existed until the British turned up on their shores. The British Navy used to make stews flavoured with curry powder, which the Japanese Navy then adopted. Soon the saucy mix spread – and eventually some genius paired it with a katsu cutlet. And the rest is history.
Variations on a curried theme
Banyi's Chicken Katsu Curry celebrates this delight in all its original glory – so if you like to keep things traditional this is the place for you. Wagamama keep it classy too – their chicken version is a testament to all things katsu. But vegetarians can get in on the fun too, with a yasai option packing in sweet potato, aubergine and butternut squash.
They have your classic chicken version at Eatokyo too, but we love their tofu take. It's served up with steamed rice, salad and zingy Japanese pickles – and even carnivores will be tempted by the contrast of crunchy breadcrumbs and tender, soft tofu.
Treat your taste buds to a crispy curry classic tonight. Let Deliveroo bring you Japanese dishes straight from the kitchen to your door.