Big Katsu: Famous, Tonkatsu Cutlet-like Dagashi Snack

Have you ever heard of “Dagashi (駄菓子)”?

For the unfamiliar, Dagashi is the word for cheap, relatively small, unique Japanese snacks and candies, and is especially popular among children because of their cheap prices (ranging from 10 to about 100 yen) and wide varieties.

In the Japanese snack genre, there are many variations of treats made from minced fish paste called “Surimi (すり身)”, which include “Cut Yocchan (カットよっちゃん)”, a popular vinegary Surimi snack with decades of history about which I wrote the other day.

In addition to Cut Yocchan, if I give another representative example of such Dagashi snacks, what comes to my mind right away is “Big Katsu (ビッグカツ)”, because when I was a kid, it was one of my favorite Dagashi treats, together with Cut Yocchan.

Big Katsu (ビッグカツ)

Yaokin Big Katsu Tonkatsu Sauce Flavor

Actually today for this blog article, I picked up the Dagashi snack Big Katsu for the first time in a while at a drugstore near my house. I used to buy it at a small snack shop dedicated to Dagashi called “Dagashiya (駄菓子屋)” in my neighborhood that doesn’t exist now.

Considering that, a few decades have passed since this Dagashi treat went on the market. Nonetheless even now, the Dagashi Big Katsu is still popular among children and available at many supermarkets and convenience stores around the country.

Big Katsu Tonkatsu Cutlet-like Snack

By the way, according to Wikipedia Japan, the Dagashi, Big Katsu is also popular in France where the Japanese food took the first place in the popularity contest of Dagashi snacks held by a Japanese TV program.


The Japanese word included in the snack name, “Katsu (カツ)” stands for cutlet, so the Dagashi Big Katsu is especially characterized by its deep-fried, crispy breadcrumb covering like Tonkatsu cutlet.

However, instead of pork, fish paste consisting mainly of walleye pollack is used as the main ingredient.

Despite that, the Dagashi snack Big Katsu tastes kind of similar to a real Tonkatsu cutlet and doesn’t have any fishy smell. I think this is primarily because the Dagashi is flavored with chicken extract, curry powder, and Tonkatsu sauce.


Yaokin Big Katsu Tonkatsu Sauce Flavor Ingredients

Then next, let’s see the ingredients. According to the list, this Yaokin’s Big Katsu is made from Surimi fish paste, wheat flour, Panko breadcrumbs, vegetable oil, sauce, chicken extract, hen’s egg, shrimp powder, spices, seasoning (including amino acids), sorbitol, glycerin, acidifier, caramel pigment, baking powder, lecithin, and sweeteners (stevia, licorice).

Big Katsu Topped Katsudon

Katsudon (カツ丼) with the Dagashi Snack Big KatsuImage:

Big Katsu is loved by both children and adults in Japan, because many Japanese grew up with Dagashi and the cutlet-like Surimi snack is a standard Dagashi snack. You might be amazed to hear it, but some of them like eating this junk food with a bowl of white rice like they enjoy “Katsudon (カツ丼: Japanese pork cutlet rice bowl)”.

Where to Buy

Are you curious about the taste of this Japanese snack? Luckily, I found the Dagashi snack Big Katsu included in a box of assorted Dagashi treats available on, and some others may also include it.

(Reference Page: Wikipedia ビッグカツ )


Hi, I'm Tomo, a Japanese blogger living in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. For the purpose of enriching your life, I would like to introduce things about Japan on this blog, especially unique Japanese products, cooking recipes, cultures, and facts and trivia.

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