Japan – Khushikatsu


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by Zayna Khan

This dish has huge elements to go through the name but it is simply said that this dish is deep-fried, skewered, cutlets of meat and vegetables. This dish is very easy to make by adding favorite flavors and spices according to the taste and you can also change the shape of meat and vegetables from which Khushikatsu is made. This dish is simply your dish in which you can add whatever you want to add but it is specified by the cooking technique, Deep frying. This dish has two specificities on which we can distinguish Khushikatsu which is the use of Skewers. When this dish is cooked the meat or vegetables are skewed into wooden sticks. And then deep-fried.

The name ”Khushi” means ”Skewers”. And ”Katsu” means ”Cutlets” which is definitely deep-fried. So this dish is firstly skewed and then deep-fried. You can make these cutlets of any shape and any texture. You can make it from vegetables, meat like chicken, seafood, beef, mutton, pork, etc. The use of spices is also according to the preference. You can add fillings to the cutlets like vegetables in meat filling, cheese filling, some beans filling, etc. You have an open ground to play.

We have two specificities of this dish which is deep frying and skewers.

Skewers

Skewers are thin sticks made up of wooden or metal. You can reuse them if they are made from metal. In barbeques and open charcoal burning cooking, we can use metal skewers to arrange the meat or vegetable on it while cooking. Wooden skewers are used especially in deep frying and roasting. There are many dishes which are served on skewers on the plate, they are also known to be Chicken Skewers.

Many dishes are made up on skewers like :

  • Kebabs
  • Khushikatsu
  • Joek
  • KKochi
  • Chao tom
  • Chuan
  • Shish, etc

Deep Frying

Deep frying also known as ”deep fat frying”. It is a cooking technique in which deep wok is used to fry food into oil. Vegetable oil is a choice to fry food item into it. There are two types of frying : Shallow and Deep.

  • In shallow frying, the flat pan is taken and minimal oil is used in frying. We need to turn the food to cook from both sides because the food item is shallow dipped into the oil.
  • While deep frying, the deep utensil is used to cook food, and a half or 3/4 part of the utensil is filled with the oil in which the food is cooked. This type of frying is classified as Hot-Fat Cooking Method.

MAIN ELEMENTS OF KHUSHIKATSU

There are many main elements like the following below :

MEAT

We can use all kinds of meat we like to add to the dish. But we have to focus on the cooking timing of the meat. Every meat is cooked at different times like seafood is very easy to cook within 10 minutes and beef took a while to cook. We shouldn’t overcook or under the cutlets while frying.

Meat Varieties like :

  • Beef
  • Chicken
  • Fish
  • Pork
  • Nonkatsu cartilage
  • Sausages
  • Mince of meat
  • Sunagimo
  • Baniko
  • Eggs like chicken eggs, etc.

VEGETABLES

This dish has also a vegetarian version where you can only use vegetables to make this beautiful dish. We can add anything but the problem is the same as cooking timing. There are two methods to cook vegetarian cutlets, You can first boil the vegetable mix spices and then shape them to fry. Or you can shred the vegetables and then shape them to fry. If you are using crunchy vegetables you need more time to fry until the cutlets are tender from inside.

Vegetables to be used are :

  • Potatoes
  • Yam
  • Onions
  • Bamboo shoots
  • Mushrooms
  • Asparagus
  • Pumpkin
  • Lotus
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Peas, etc

DAIRY PRODUCTS

There are some dairy products that can be used in making this dish like the following :

  • Hard cheese
  • Cream
  • Tofu
  • Hanpen
  • Chikuwa, etc

FOR COATING BEFORE FRYING

When any cutlet is shaped and ready to fry, we need to make a crispy and thick coat of that cutlet before frying. This step is a very important step of khushikatsu. Any cutlet needs to be coat properly before frying. This makes to hold the shape and presented as crispy cutlets of meat or vegetable.

There are three ingredients for coating :

WHITE PLAIN FLOUR

Flour is the first coat of the cutlet, it is necessary to absorb the moisture form the khushikatsu. First of all we need to coat your khushikatsu into the plain white flour to make it smooth and crispy.

EGGS

Now eggs are important because we have to coat your cutlets with bread crumbs. Eggs is necessary to stick crumbs with cutlets. And eggs make the coat very juicy and soft from the inside after crispy layer of bread crumbs.

BREAD CRUMBS

Bread crumbs is the final coat of the cutlets. This makes to be thick layer and covered the cutlets properly. Then deep fry them until golden in color to enjoy.

REGIONAL VARIETIES

  • TOKYO AREA: In Tokyo, this dish is famous for pork meat. They use a skewer to arrange the marinated pork meat then secure it with an onion slice then coat them with the coating of egg and bread crumbs to fry. This version of khushukatsu is very popular in the Tokyo area. The only khushikatsu known in Tokyo is made up of pork.
  • OSAKA AREA: Food on skewers is originated from Osaka. In Osaka, they usually make a batter of white flour, egg, and water. The shaped cutlets then dipped into this batter and then fried.

INGREDIENTS OF KHUSHIKATSU

  • Pork mince : 1 cup
  • Soya sauce : 4 tablespoons
  • Kosher salt : 1 teaspoon
  • Cayenne powder : 1 teaspoon
  • Onion chopped : 1
  • Gari chopped : 4 tablespoons

FOR COATING

  • Eggs : 2
  • Kosher salt : 1/4 teaspoon
  • Panko Japanese bread crumbs : 1 cup

FOR BATTER

  • Plain flour : 1/2 cup
  • Water : 1/2 cup
  • Egg : 1

COOKING METHOD

  • To make this khushikatsu, take a mixing bowl and add pork mince with all the spices and chopped onions, gari. Add spices like cayenne, salt, and soya sauce.
  • Mix all these things together in a bowl and let it set for 10 minutes. This time make this meat more juicy because all the spices and meat juices infuses together.
  • Now until then, make the batter of white flour with egg and water. Make it not too thick or thin.
  • Now its time to skewed the mince pork into the wooden sticks.
  • You can make any shapes and then dipped it into the batter.
  • Then cover it with the bread crumbs and fry them.
  • Fry until they turn into golden brown color.
  • Enjoy 🙂
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