The difference between Tempura, Katsu, and Furai (Fried)

Agemono (揚げ物) is the generic name for Japanese deep-fried foods, such as Tempura (天ぷら), Karaage (唐揚げ), Kakiage (かき揚げ), Katsu (カツ), and Furai (フライ: fried). Many overseas people may have heard about these popular Japanese dishes, but it doesn’t seem that many know the difference between them.

Since I explained the difference between Tempura, Karaage, and Kakiage that many people especially want to know before, today I want to talk about the difference between Tempura, Katsu, and Furai (fried) that sometimes becomes a topic of conversation.

The Difference between Tempura and Katsu 

Tempura (天ぷら)

As you know, Tempura is the Agemono made by deep-frying one piece of the ingredient covered in the batter made from egg and flour. The typical ingredients are seafood and vegetables, such as prawn, squid, conger-eel, eggplant, asparagus, sweet potato, pumpkin, maitake and shiitake mushrooms.

Tonkatsu (豚カツ)

On the other hand, Katsu is the Japanese abbreviation of “cutlet”, so generally the main ingredient is meat. The basic cooking method of this Agemono is to coat sliced meat (such as pork, beef, and chicken) with flour, dip the meat in beaten egg, dredge it with breadcrumbs, then deep-fry in oil. When Japanese people just say “Katsu”, in many cases it means “Tonkatsu (豚カツ : pork cutlet)”.

The Difference between Katsu and Furai (fried)

Ebi Furai (海老フライ)

There is no big difference in the cooking method between Katsu and Furai, but Katsu is made from sliced meat coated with batter, while Furai usually refers to the deep-fried seafood or vegetable covered in the batter. Typical Furai dishes include “Ebi Furai (海老フライ : deep-fried prawns)” and “Kaki Furai (カキフライ : deep-fried oysters)”.

(Reference pages of this article : Wikipedia “天ぷら“, “カツ“, “フライ (料理)“)


I'm Japanese living in Niigata Prefecture,Japan.I want to introduce things about Japan,especially unique Japanese products,sightseeing places,my daily life and Japanese culture.

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