A few years ago I was on a business trip to New York City, while I cannot remember exactly where... I saw a sandwich on the menu that had Japanese A5 Beef and the cost was roughly $230. I thought it was outrageous but it stuck with me... what kind of sandwich can be so good that its worth that much money?
Back home the research started, I wanted to find out if I could make this amazing sandwich on the cheap... and I also had to understand what was amazing about it. Turned out the cost of the sandwich is not really a result of the sandwich, but of course the ingredients... and the key ingredient of that sandwich was none other than Japanese A5 Wagyu beef, the most expensive in the world. Preparing the sandwich is fairly straightforward.
Anyway... what the heck is a Katsu Sando?
A Katsu Sando (カツサンド) is a sandwich where a panko-breaded and fried cutlet of Japanese A5 beef is nestled between two buttery slices of toasted white bread, and topped with a tangy sauce.
Traditionally, the Katsu Sando doesn't necessarily HAVE to be made with A5 Wagyu beef, you can make it with Pork, Chicken or Beef... but to me... a PROPER Katsu Sando has to be made with Japanese A5 beef.
There is just something about biting into a sandwich where the beef is as tender as the bread. The rich umami flavor of A5 beef, mixed with the panko breading and the tonkatsu sauce is just... out of this world.
I'm sold. How do I katsu sando?
Well you can always go to Japan and try as many different versions of the Katsu Sando as you can. I'm sure that would be an AMAZING experience. You can also go to our sister restaurant "The Wagyu Bar" which is located in Miami, Florida... but for most of you, that is probably unrealistic or just too much work.
Here is how you make a Katsu Sando at home:
STEP #01: PROCURE THE INGREDIENTS
PROTEIN: As I mentioned, you can make a Katsu Sando with any protein. We highly recommend using A5 Japanese Wagyu. You can use almost ANY cut of A5 Beef. If you want to keep it relatively inexpensive, you can use A5 Miyazaki-Gyu Sirloin.. if you want to go all out, we recommend the A5 Miyazaki-Gyu Filet Mignon. If A5 Japanese Wagyu is out of your budget... go with any Wagyu Filet Mignon, even if its non-Japanese Wagyu... even a very good USDA Prime Filet Mignon will work. You can get that here, at Meat N' Bone!
BREAD: Traditionally the Katsu Sando is made with Japanese milk bread. To be frank, you will be hard pressed to find a bakery in the US to make it for you. The next big thing is any white bread that is soft, thick and crust-less (you can remove the crust).
THE REST: The rest is easy... Panko (breading), eggs and Arugula. We do nto sell those items, so you may need to head to the supermarket.
STEP #02: GET THE BEEF READY
You are looking for a steak that is roughly one inch thick, your typical 8oz center cut filet mignon will be enough for 2 katsu sandos. Filet Mignon will be the most tender and easier to bite... however I tend to prefer Sirloin or Striploin because I feel it is much more flavorful. That said, the easiest to use is an A5 Filet Mignon...
Just cut it in half. You do not want the steak to be too thick because it will be hard to chew. While A5 Japanese beef is extremely soft, it is still beef.
Leave the meat outside, let it come to room temperature!
STEP #03: BREAD THE BEEF (PANKO)
Grab about 4 eggs and scramble them in a container. You will drop your steaks in, the idea is for the egg to help the panko breading stick to the food.
You do want to use Panko breading as this breading is made from a crust less white bread that is processed into flakes and then dried. These breadcrumbs have a dryer and flakier consistency than regular breadcrumbs, and as a result they absorb less oil. Panko produces lighter and crunchier tasting fried food. You can buy Panko breading at your local grocery store.
STEP #04: FRY THE BEEF
The next step is to fry the panko covered A5 steaks. You are shooting for a medium-rare or medium steak. If you overcook this, it is not the same. That said... do what makes you happy.
If you do not have a fryer, just go old school. I have not tried frying these on an Air Fryer but it may work. I will update this blog post if I do test it.
STEP #05: MAKE THE SAUCE
Any tonkatsu sauce will probably work... you are looking for a tangy flavor. Please DO NOT skip the sauce, its important. We keep it simple by mixing two sauces sold at Meat N' Bone: Bachan's Japanese BBQ sauce and Grillmaster's Aioli sauce.
STEP #06: REMOVE THE CRUST / TOAST THE BREAD
If you cannot get your hands on authentic Japanese Milk Bread, use the next best thing. I used artisan white bread found at my local supermarket.
Believe it or not.. I do not own a toaster so I went old school.
STEP #07: BUILD THE KATSU SANDO
Add the sauce to the bread and place the beef on top.
now put some fresh Arugula. It adds flavor.
now cut it into more manageable pieces
presentation is key!
We serve the Katsu Sando at The Wagyu Bar in Miami, FL. One of our favorite influencers, @TheNaughtyFork visited us to review how to make this sandwich and she made her own video as well! Check it out: