The Difference : Katsu, Tonkatsu, Hire-katsu, and Rosu-katsu
When it comes to the restaurant unique to Japan, you probably can’t find the same type of restaurants as “Tonkatsu-ya (とんかつ屋)” in your country.
Tonkatsu-ya is the Japanese restaurant that serves “Tonkatsu (豚カツ)” made by coating a slice of pork with batter, and then deep-frying it.
Tonkatsu-ya usually offers “Hire-katsu (ヒレカツ)” and “Rosu-katsu (ロースカツ)” as signature dishes. Apart from these 3 “Katsu” dishes, actually there is also a Japanese dish just called “Katsu (カツ)”.
The Difference between Katsu, Tonkatsu, Hire-katsu, and Rosu-katsu
Then, what is the difference between the 4 Japanese “Katsu” dishes, that is, Katsu, Tonkatsu, Hire-katsu, and Rosu-katsu? Today, I want to explain it.
Gyu-katsu (牛カツ : The Katsu made with a slice of beef)
“Katsu (カツ)” generally refers to the Japanese dish made by coating sliced meat, such as pork, beef and chicken, with batter, and then deep-frying it in oil. The batter is usually made from flour, beaten egg, and breadcrumbs.
Katsu is the Japanese abbreviation for cutlet and characterized by its crispy texture that comes from a deep-fried breadcrumb coating.
We Japanese usually eat Katsu dishes, including Tonkatsu, Hire-katsu and Rosu-katsu, with Worcestershire sauce.
“Tonkatsu (豚カツ)” is the quintessential Katsu dish. In other words, Katsu includes Tonkatsu, and the Katsu whose meat is pork is called Tonkatsu.
By the way, the word included in the food name, “Ton (豚)” means “hog”, and when we Japanese just say “Katsu”, in many cases, that means Tonkatsu, or pork cutlet.
Image : Zennoh Fukushima
Hire-katsu is included in Tonkatsu. “Hire (ヒレ)” refers to the portion “fillet”, so Hire-katsu is the Tonkatsu made with a slice of pork fillet.
Hire-katsu is a smooth, tender meat with a little fat. It is light in taste, low on calories and known as the highest grade Tonkatsu.
As with Hire-katsu, Rosu-katsu is also included in Tonkatsu. “Rosu (ロース)” refers to the portion “loin”, so Rosu-katsu is the Tonkatsu made with a slice of pork loin.
Rosu-katsu is a Tonkatsu with some fat that is characterized by its umami taste.