Karaage vs. Katsu: What’s the Difference?

Karaage (から揚げ) and Katsu (カツ) are representative types of Agemono (揚げ物: meaning deep-fried thing), which is the generic name for deep-fried foods in Japanese cuisine.

These Agemono dishes have long been staples in households and restaurants in Japan, and in recent years, they are pretty well-recognized by people overseas. 

Karaage vs. Katsu

However, some seem to be wondering how exactly Karaage and Katsu differ. So here, I will explain what they are and spot the difference between the two dishes.

Karaage (から揚げ)

Chicken Karaage

First, Karaage is an Agemono dish, where we thinly coat the food material in wheat flour/Katakuriko potato starch and deep-fry it in oil at a high temperature (about 170 to 180 degrees Celsius).

Karaage is almost synonymous with Tori no Karaage (鶏の唐揚げ) using chicken thigh, but in addition, we prepare various ingredients for the dish, including chicken breast, fish, shrimp, and vegetables.

Although the ingredients of Karaage are not pre-seasoned, in modern times, we often marinate them in a liquid of soy sauce and sake rice wine, like Tatsuta Age (竜田揚げ).

Chicken Karaage is tender and juicy, and the condiments for it include lemon and mayonnaise.

Katsu (カツ)

Tonkatsu Pork Katsu

Next, Katsu is the Japanese word for cutlet, and it is almost synonymous with Tonkatsu (豚カツ: Pork Katsu). But Tori-Katsu (鶏カツ) using chicken and Gyu-Katsu (牛カツ) using beef are also popular.

Unlike Karaage, the food material for Katsu is battered, breaded with panko breadcrumbs, and then deep-fried in lard or vegetable oil at a temperature between 180 and 190 degrees Celsius.

During the frying process, excess moisture evaporates from the ingredient, making its taste umami-rich. And Katsu features its crispy brown panko covering.

We usually eat Katsu with Tonkatsu sauce, a sweet and thick Japanese-style Worcester sauce, and the typical condiment for this Agemono is the Karashi yellow mustard.

(Reference Pages: Wikipedia から揚げ, 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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