23 In Main Dish/ Pork/ Rice/ Video

Katsudon Recipe

Katsudon is Tonkatsu (deep-fried pork) and eggs cooked in a sweet and salty broth and placed over rice. Don (donburi) means a bowl, and Donburi dishes are a popular kind of casual rice dish in Japan. Because you have to prepare Tonkatsu first, it is a little bit of work involved since you cannot cook everything in one pan.  Katsudon is a hearty dish compared to other Japanese food because Tonkatsu is breaded and deep-fried, but the taste is so good that you will not mind the extra calories from the oil.  Besides, since deep-fried Tonkatsu is cooked in tasty broth and is crunchy yet juicy, you may not notice the grease at all (well, maybe, just maybe, calories might stay in, or near, your tummy).

Katsudon was once portrayed as a hearty, soul food in Japanese culture.  A typical scene for it was in TV detective dramas: a criminal gets interrogated by a tough detective intensely first, and then the detective asks if the criminal wants to have Kastudon.  While they eat, the detective asks how the criminal’s mother is doing in his home town in the country, and as you may guess, the criminal confesses with tears.  That’s a pretty old fashioned drama, and we don’t see it much today (fortunately?), but Katsudon was the symbol of tasty and warm food that can melt even the coldest part of a criminal’s heart 🙂

Just like Oyakodon, Katsudon is a very typical lunch dish you can get at casual restaurants. Udon noodle shops, small corner restaurants, and bento shops all have this tasty dish.  If you don’t want to deal with a lot of cooking oil at home, it is much easier to eat out or buy Katsudon from stores.  However, a lot of us here are outside Japan and may not have good Japanese restaurants nearby who serve tasty Katsudon. So once again, we can make it at home!  And it really is not as difficult to make as you might think.

We didn’t here, but you can add sliced brown onion and cook in the sauce before adding Katsu and eggs if you like.  Also the recipe below is for one person because it is easier to make individually, but you can multiply and make a bunch at once in a bigger pan when you  serve for your entire family.

Katsudon Recipe

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 1 serving



  1. Cut Tonkatsu into strips, set aside.
  2. In a small frying pan, add Dashi, soy sauce, sugar, Sake, and Mirin, and cook at medium heat until it boils. Reduce heat to low-medium.
  3. Add cut Tonkatsu to the sauce in the pan. Beat egg(s) in a small bowl and pour over the Tonkatsu. Cover and cook for 1 minute. Sprinkle chopped green onions if you like.
  4. Slide Tonkatsu and egg(s) with sauce over rice in a bowl.
  5. Sprinkle sliced Nori on top.

Katsudon Recipe

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  • Dale
    October 25, 2014 at 10:18 pm

    This is the best instruction I have seen for authentic tasting Katsudon in 40 years. When I was in Kamiseya my friends and I practically lived on ramen noodles (not the dried grocery store stuff) and katsudon. It has been a favorite of mine and I search out Japanese restaurants everywhere I go to try their versions. I’ve made it at home for decades but I see in this recipe the parts I have been missing. I can’t wait to make it.

    • Noriko
      October 26, 2014 at 9:24 pm

      I hope you like our Katsudon!

    • Chris Topping
      September 2, 2016 at 3:41 pm

      Finally a recipe for Katsudon I too was introduced to this out side the front gate of KaniSeya. I hope I can do justice to this outstanding dish. Thank you for the trip down memory lane.

  • Vg12th
    January 12, 2016 at 9:03 am

    Just wondering, how is this different from teriyaki sauce?

    • Yuko
      January 17, 2016 at 7:23 pm

      Teriyaki is thicker. We use Dashi broth with seasoning for this recipe.

  • Ivy To Chip
    February 3, 2016 at 7:08 am

    I love japanese food and most of all my kids too.. I’m trying the recipe tomorrow 😄

  • Harken
    February 12, 2016 at 4:44 pm

    Made this last night for my girlfriend, after just recently coming back from a trip to Japan. Tasted exactly like the Katsudon we had out there. Thanks so much! Perfect 🙂

  • lance
    February 17, 2016 at 5:16 am

    Can i omit the dashi? I cant find any place that sells kombu or bonito flakes

  • James Mark
    February 27, 2016 at 3:07 am

    Hi! I like all your recipe and I just eant to ask if cooking sake is the same thing you use in all of your recipes?

    • Noriko
      March 2, 2016 at 7:22 pm

      you could use cooking Sake, or regular Sake for drinking too.

  • roy rickets
    March 27, 2016 at 6:22 pm

    What! No onions???

  • Grace Pagtanac
    March 30, 2016 at 8:43 am

    What is Dashi? Where can I buy it? Thanks!

    • Andy Gray
      October 21, 2016 at 1:45 am

      It’s a fish broth. This site has instructions to make it, or if you’d like you could buy a stock powder of it on Amazon.

    • MUERTO
      December 16, 2016 at 12:52 am

      Is kombu and bonito flakes…. boil a pice of kombu, and when is boiled turn off the fire and put a hand full of bonito flakes, live it for a couple of minutes and drain… the juice is dashi…

      8 cups of water.
      Pice of kombu as big as a sheet of paper or little bit less.
      Hand full of bonito flakes.
      (Make it less)

  • Frankie
    August 17, 2016 at 9:03 pm

    Love! Love! Love! Made this tonight and the whole game family loved it! Hubby, 3 young boys and al even the baby girl loved it!! Hubby asked me to make this again soon. Definitely going into my recipe notebook. Hubby said it taste just like what he gets at authentic Japanese restaurants. Thanks for sharing!!

    • Noriko
      August 19, 2016 at 11:54 am

      glad you liked our Katsudon recipe. We have other Donburi (rice bowl) recipes, try them too!

    • Andy Gray
      October 21, 2016 at 1:44 am

      It’s a fish broth. This site has instructions to make it, or if you’d like you could buy a stock powder of it on Amazon.

  • SAM
    November 1, 2016 at 6:14 am

    Made this last night — taste was spot on! The dashi was so easy to make, and with the extra dashi we made miso soup from your recipe to serve with the katsudon; it made the perfect amount of soup for the four of us. Thank you so much!

  • Pato Conner
    December 13, 2016 at 4:36 am

    Like your recipe although I did not have sake so I doubled mirin to 1 Tbsp.
    My Mom used to make this for us when I was a kid over 40 years ago. She used sliced yellow onion cooked in the dashi broth until semi translucent. I have ordered this at restaurants in CA and they use onion too. Why no onion? Is it optional? Resting cutlet on top of cooked onions seems to keep cutlet from getting too soggy.

    December 16, 2016 at 12:41 am

    Oooo god! Thank you, im decently trying this !

  • Lauren
    December 22, 2016 at 11:23 am

    Thank you so much for your site! It’s so hard to find real Japanese food where we are (I was spoiled by friends and an excellent, small restaurant back home), and you all have helped bring these wonderful flavors back into my life! Thank you again for all you’ve shared. I love your website!

  • Sherry
    January 17, 2017 at 12:38 pm

    I tried it and it’s perfect, highly recommended! 2 thumbs up!

  • Destinee Vadnais
    January 31, 2017 at 8:10 pm

    Could I omit the Sake and Mirin? I’m making this for my sister and she’s underage.