Eating Tonkatsu at Katsukura Shinjuku Restaurant

Tonkatsu Pork Filet and Prawn at Katsukura Shinjuku

Tonkatsu Pork Filet and Prawn at Katsukura Shinjuku

Katsukura Restaurant is located on the 14th floor of the Takashimaya Mall in Shinjuku, a short walk from Shinjuku Gyoen National Gardens.  Katsukura specializes in tonkatsu—a Japanese dish consisting of pork that has been coated in flour, egg, and panko breadcrumbs, and then deep fried. This preparation produces delicately airy pork with a crispy exterior. If you visit Japan, you must try tonkatsu at least once!

Katsukura is a tourist-friendly restaurant. Upon arrival, they brought us cold barley tea (commonly served in the summertime in Japan) and offered us English menus. Fans of Japanese whiskey will be happy to see that you can order a high-ball of Yamazaki or Hakushu for around ¥650 (~$5-$6 USD). This is not bad at all given the price of Japanese whiskey in the States!

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How to Make Chashu (Marinated Braised Pork Belly)

Thinly Sliced Chashu (Marinated Braised Pork Belly)

Thinly Sliced Chashu (Marinated Braised Pork Belly)

Chashu—slow-braised marinated pork belly—is a much-loved ramen topping. The glistening pork is used in many styles of ramen and is often served thinly sliced, floating near the top of bowl. Today I’m going to show you how to make chashu.

Ramen is a slow art. Making a bowl of ramen can be a multi-day affair—the stock alone can take days. It takes time to develop the flavors from each of the ingredients. If you’re in Japan, you can let the experts do the work and grab a quick meal at a ramen shop; however, if you’re in America and aren’t lucky enough to have a quality ramen restaurant near you, then you might want to invest the time and energy to make it yourself. Plus, it’s fun learning how dishes are made and cooking them at home (at least, I think so)!

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Japanese Pork and Potatoes (Nikujaga)

Japanese Pork and Potatoes (Nikujaga)

Japanese Pork and Potatoes (Nikujaga)

Nikujaga is a traditional Japanese dish of meat and potatoes simmered in a soy, mirin, and sugar broth. In eastern Japan pork is commonly used, while in western Japan beef is preferred. As the meat and potatoes cook, the broth is reduced and the ingredients absorb its flavor. The finished dish–a hearty stew–is sweet, savory, and utterly comforting.

Japanese pork and potatoes is easy to prepare, and doesn’t even require a trip to an Asian market. Soy sauce and mirin—the only speciality ingredients—can be found in the Asian section of most grocery stores. This dish is great for beginners experimenting with Japanese cuisine. It’s a one-pot meal that requires minimal attention after the initial prep.

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Spicy Pork and Mustard Green Soup

Spicy Pork and Mustard Green Soup

Spicy Pork and Mustard Green Soup

With the recent arctic blast and below-zero temperatures here in Chicago, I wanted a comforting, nutritious soup. Bon Appétit’s most recent cover recipe fit the bill: Rice Noodle Soup with Spicy Pork and Mustard Greens.

When I’m trying out a new recipe I tend to follow it almost exactly, so that I can properly decide what, if anything, needs to change. The first time around, I did reduce the amount of crushed red pepper flakes from 3/4 teaspoon to 1/2 teaspoon, as I had a friend over who doesn’t care for spicy foods.

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