Katsudon vs. Tonkatsu: Japanese Pork Cutlet Dishes

Tonkatsu (豚カツ) is one of the quintessential Japanese pork dishes that have gained popularity in many countries.

Other than Tonkatsu, there are several dishes in Japan whose name includes the word Katsu (カツ), such as Hire Katsu (ヒレカツ) and Rosu Katsu (ロースカツ).

Katsu (カツ) is the Japanese word for cutlet, and for people unfamiliar with Japanese food, I detailed how these dishes differ from one another before.

Katsudon (カツ丼) vs. Tonkatsu (豚カツ)

In addition to those varieties, there is one more popular Katsu dish called Katsudon (カツ丼).

However, some people seem to not know how Katsudon differs from Tonkatsu. So today, let me give an overview of each.

Tonkatsu (豚カツ)


First of all, Tonkatsu is a Japanese-style pork cutlet made from a slice of meat from the portion fillet or loin battered, breaded with panko, and deep-fried in lard or vegetable oil.

Unlike Tempura, Tonkatsu features its brown, crispy covering, and the dish is typically served with shredded cabbage, separately from a bowl of white rice.

Before eating, we usually dress the cutlet with the thick, sweet Worcestershire sauce called Tonkatsu sauce and enjoy the slices with Karashi yellow mustard.

Katsudon (カツ丼)


On the other hand, Katsudon is a type of Donburi (丼) or a Japanese rice bowl dish consisting of a bed of steamed plain rice topped with Tonkatsu slices and covered with lightly cooked eggs.

The preparation is; Tonkatsu slices are first simmered in a soy sauce-based sauce, then covered with lightly beaten eggs, cooked, and last, placed on a warm bowl of white rice.

Katsudon comes in several variants, and the representative is Sauce Katsudon (ソースカツ丼), whose Tonkatsu slices are drizzled with a Worcester sauce without being covered by eggs.

Sauce KatsudonSauce Katsudon

(Reference Pages: Wikipedia カツ丼, 豚カツ )


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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