“Khatsu-doom… the very name rings with power…”

Katsu-don - Hataraku Maou Sama 01 - 01

Spending a busy weekday night being questioned by the police after just getting transported from your magic-filled world to modern day Japan? Scared of cars? Dressed in capes? Can’t speak the language? Disdainful of humans? Sounds like you need a bowl of katsu-don….

This scenario is exactly what happens in episode 1 of Hataraku Maou-sama, when the Demon King Maou and his general, Ashiya are suddenly transported from their world of Ente Isla, full of swords, magic, and demons, to the technologically advanced, human-populated, and non-magical land of Japan. Taken in by the concerned police, who mistakenly believe them to be foreigners that were in some sort of trouble, Maou and Ashiya are separated and kindly served bowls of katsu-don.

Katsu-don - Hataraku Maou Sama 01 - 02Maou uses magic to extract information from the police officer before opening a door and finding Ashiya chowing down on his katsu-don. Maou explains what katsu-don is, but since Japanese isn’t his native language, pronounces it “khatsu-doom” (emphasis on the doom)….

The following (hilarious) conversation about katsu-don ensues:

Ashiya: I see… then that thing on the table…
Maou:   Khatsu-doom… it is a common food in this country.
Ashiya: Khatsu-doom… I see… the very name rings with power… Fascinating…

Needless to say, Ashiya is suitably impressed with katsu-don khatsu-doom….

About the recipe:

The main ingredient in katsu-don (katsu refering to tonkatsu, and don refering to donburi, meaning bowl) is tonkatsu, which is pork cutlets that have been breaded and deep fried. Crunchy on the outside, tender on the inside, and served with tangy katsu sauce, tonkatsu is pretty tasty on Katsu-don - Hataraku Maou Sama 01 - 04its own, but like any other fried food, it makes for poor leftovers, with the crispy breading becoming soft after spending a night in the fridge.

This is an easy dish to make, especially if your tonkatsu is already made ahead of time, which is why I find katsu-don is a great way to use up any leftover tonkatsu! For this dish, it doesn’t matter if the breading is soft, since even freshly made tonkatsu will lose some of its crispiness after being made into katsu-don.

This meal is usually served with miso soup, and is a common dish available in fastfood and convenience stores in Japan. Katsu-don is also popularly seen as a “lucky” food to eat before an exam, since katsu is a homonym for the Japanese word “to win”. It’s also often depicted in anime and Japanese dramas as the food served to those being questioned by the police – which is why it’s served to Maou and Ashiya when they’re brought in by the police!

About the ingredients:

Katsu-don - Hataraku Maou Sama 01 - 06Tonkatsu is pork cutlets that have been breaded and deep fried. Find the recipe here!

Dashi is Japanese fish stock that commonly comes in the form of powder or granules, dissolving once wet. Available in many grocery stores.

Mirin is a kind of rice wine mixed with sugar, to create a very sweet condiment. It adds a mild sweetness to the katsu-don.

Sake, or Japanese rice wine, is a nice addition to this dish as it adds another layer of flavour and depth, similar to the way mirin does. However, while mirin mostly contributes a mild sweetness, sake lends a fragrant and dry taste.

Katsudon

The recipe:

Katsu-don

Makes 2 servings

Ingredients:

  • Tonkatsu, cut into 1 inch strips
  • 1 tsp dry granulated dashi
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp sake
  • 2 tbsp mirin
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 an onion, sliced into 1/2 inch wedges
  • 2 green onions, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 3 eggs, whipped
  • 1/4 cup frozen peas

Optional ingredients:

  • 1 carrot, cut into matchsticks
  • 1 red pepper, sliced into 1/2 inch wedges
  • Mushrooms – 4 dried shitake or 6 white button mushrooms, sliced thin

Toppings:

  • Cilantro
  • Sesame seeds
  • Shichimi togarashi
  • Beni shouga

Directions:

1. Place dashi, soy sauce, sake, mirin, sugar, salt, and water in a skillet on medium heat. When it begins to bubble, add in the sliced onion. Cover, and cook until soft, stirring occasionally, about 6-8 minutes.

If adding the optional ingredients of red pepper, carrots, or mushrooms, add them to the pan about half way through the cooking of the onions. Ensure all the vegetables are cooked through before proceeding with the recipe.

2. Sprinkle in the green onion to the pan, and add the tonkatsu in one layer on top of the onions. Pour the whipped eggs evenly into the pan and over the tonkatsu. Scatter the frozen peas on top. Cover and turn the heat to medium low. Cook until the eggs have reached a satisfactory consistency, about 6-8 minutes for soft eggs, and 10-12 for firmer eggs.

3. Fill a large bowl with rice. Spoon the egg and tonkatsu onto the rice, and garnish with cilantro, sesame seeds, shichimi togarashi, and/or beni shouga, if desired.

Serve with miso soup.

Katsu-don - Hataraku Maou Sama 01 - 03

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