Japanese meat patties rolled in Panko breadcrumbs then deep-fried into golden perfection! Every delicious crunch of this Menchi Katsu is filled with juicy and tender meat. Best served with rice, shredded cabbage, and homemade sauce for a yummy lunch or dinner.
Much like any other Asian cuisine, Japanese cuisine has found its way to the heart of the Philippines. We have embraced their culture, technology, as well as taste. We definitely love Japanese Ramen, Gyoza, Omurice, Teppanyaki, and Menchi Katsu.
Menchi Katsu is one of the Japanese foods that was influenced by Western-style cooking, which is called yōshoku. It may be one of the least-known Japanese foods, but it doesn’t mean it is not as delicious as the popular ones.
What is Menchi Katsu?
Menchi Katsu, or "Ground Meat Cutlet," is a deliciously deep-fried meat patty served with a katsu sauce. It is made with a combination of ground beef and pork mixed in with chopped onion, spices, and seasonings. The meat mixture is formed into a patty and then coated with Panko bread crumbs for a golden and crunchy finish.
It is somewhat similar to Tonkatsu (pork cutlet) and Korokke (croquette). A Tonkatsu is a breaded and deep-fried pork fillet or loin, while a Korokke is a deep-fried patty made with mashed potato mixed with sautéed ground beef and onion.
Pork and Beef Combination
I prefer to use an equal portion of ground pork and beef when creating this dish. It’s because ground pork has more fat content than ground beef, which is what we need so the Menchi Katsu doesn’t dry up while being deep-fried. You can go full ground pork if you’re on a budget, but note that the taste will be a bit different. The combination of beef and pork provides the ideal balance of juiciness and meaty flavors.
- Ground Meat - beef and pork were used. But you may also use chicken to replace one of the other, if preferred.
- Egg - binder for the meat mixture.
- Yellow Onion - if unavailable, you may use red or white onion as alternatives.
- Panko Bread Crumbs - gives the Menchi Katsu that delicious crunch! In a pinch, you may use regular bread crumbs, but take note that it might not give out the same crunchy exterior.
- Milk - makes the patty juicy and tender when cooked.
- Worcestershire Sauce - gives a strong umami flavor to the meat mixture.
- Seasonings - salt, pepper, and nutmeg powder were used to season the Menchi Katsu patty.
- Katsu Sauce - a mixture of Worcestershire sauce, tomato ketchup, and soy sauce. If you do not have Worcestershire sauce available, you may use liquid seasoning or soy sauce to replace it.
- Oil - use cooking oil with a high smoke point for the best results. Some easy-to-find samples of these are canola and sunflower oil.
- Lightly oil your hands before shaping the meat patties to make the handling easier.
- It’s important to toss the patty around during the shaping process. This will stop the heat of your hand from warming up the mixture. This will also allow air pockets or air gaps inside your patties to be released.
- If you have the time, chill the meat before the breading process. This will make it easier to shape and coat with flour, egg, and Panko breadcrumbs. Chilled meat means that the fat in the mixture will be firmer. Once deep fried, this will also ensure that your Menchi Katsu will be juicy.
- If you have a regular-sized deep fryer or pan, make sure to deep fry in batches (about two meat patties at a time). Too much at once will cause the oil temperature to drop and will cause your Menchi Katsu to be tough and dry.
- Here’s a tip on how to check if the oil is hot enough when you don’t have a kitchen thermometer. If you drop a bit of the panko into the pot and it floats and sizzles, then you’re good to go. If it sinks, let it heat up some more.
Serving Your Menchi Katsu
Menchi Katsu can be served and enjoyed in a variety of ways. Here are a few ideas:
- Serve with rice, shredded cabbage, and sliced tomatoes. To preserve the crispy texture of the Menchi Katsu, serve the sauce on the side.
- Another option is to drizzle your homemade sauce over the Katsu. This way, you can eat your Menchi Katsu right away. This is also useful when serving children because it reduces the amount of mess they can make.
- If you don’t prefer rice, Menchi Katsu can also be served as a 'Katsu Sando,' which is the Japanese equivalent of a sandwich. Place the katsu in between two slices of bread or a bun, smear some of the homemade sauce, and add shredded cabbage or lettuce and sliced tomatoes.
Allow leftovers to cool down completely before storing them in an airtight container. You can keep them in the refrigerator for about 3 days or freeze them for up to a month.
To reheat, place in a 350F/ 180C oven until heated through.
You can also freeze leftover patties but only if they are not yet covered in crumbs. It’s not recommended to freeze breaded patties as they take longer to cook and will lower the temperature of your oil. Cook your Menchi Katsu and freeze it to store.
Menchi Katsu Recipe
FOR THE PATTIES:
- ½ pound ground pork
- ½ pound ground beef
- 1 large egg
- 1 medium yellow onion chopped finely
- ⅓ cup Panko bread crumbs
- ¼ cup milk
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon ground pepper
- pinch of ground nutmeg
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce optional
FOR COATING & FRYING:
- ¼ cup flour
- 1 egg beaten
- 1 cup Panko bread crumbs
- Oil for deep frying
FOR THE SAUCE:
- ¼ cup Worcestershire Sauce
- ¼ cup tomato ketchup
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1 small cabbage shredded
- Fresh Tomatoes sliced
- ¼ cup Worcestershire Sauce, ¼ cup tomato ketchup, 1 teaspoon soy sauceIn a small bowl, combine all the ingredients for the sauce and mix. Set aside.
- ½ pound ground pork, ½ pound ground beef, 1 large egg, 1 medium yellow onion, ⅓ cup Panko bread crumbs, ¼ cup milk, ½ teaspoon salt, ⅛ teaspoon ground pepper, pinch of ground nutmeg, 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauceIn a large mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients for the patty. Mix using hand until well blended. Then knead and squeeze the mixture with your hand until it becomes sticky and almost homogenous. If too soft, then add some flour or more panko, if too dry then add more milk.
- Divide the patty mixture equally into 8, like a pie. Clean your hand and lightly grease it with oil for easier handling. Take one part of the mixture in one hand and shape it into an oval disk. Then toss/throw it to the other hand, and repeat several times. This is to get rid of the trapped air so it will not break when frying. Reshape if needed. Do the same with the rest of the patty mixture.
- ¼ cup flour, 1 cup Panko bread crumbs, 1 eggPlace flour, panko, and beaten egg in separate plates or containers.
- Dredge a patty in flour, completely covering it. Then dip both sides quickly in the beaten egg. Lastly, transfer it to the plate with panko breadcrumbs, cover the top with more panko and gently press to make them stick, Turn sideways and roll to cover the sides as well.
- Oil for deep fryingHeat oil in a deep pan or shallow pot to 340ºF (170ºC). Use just enough oil to cover the top patty, about 3cm.
- Fry the patties in 2-3 batches (3-4 pieces per batch). Fry for 3-4 minutes or until the bottom is golden brown then flip them over to cook the other side until the color evens out.
- Transfer fried patties to a plate or rack lined with paper towels to remove excess oil.
- 1 small cabbage, Fresh TomatoesServe with the shredded cabbage, sliced tomatoes, and the sauce while still hot.