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 it's 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. It turned out, the cost of the sandwich is not really a result of the sandwich, but of course the ingredients. The key ingredient of that sandwich was none other than Japanese A5 Wagyu beef, the most expensive in the world.
Other than sourcing the meat (which luckily, you can get easily get here at Meat N' Bone), preparing the sandwich is fairly straightforward.
What 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 any cut of beef. But for the purests out there, 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 Make Katsu Sando?
Well, you can always go to Japan and try as many different versions of the Katsu Sando as your tastebuds desire. 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, and try out our premium version. But for most of you, that is probably unrealistic as you're probably reading this from far away.
Here is how you make a Katsu Sando at home:
Step #1: Procure The Ingredients
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 it's non-Japanese Wagyu. A very good USDA Prime Filet Mignon will work.
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 best thing is any white bread that is soft, thick and crust-less (you can remove the crust yourself).
For the tangy sauce, you can try your own thing. We made our own tonkatsu sauce variant by mixing Bachan's Japanese BBQ sauce with Meat N' Bone Aioli sauce.
The rest is easy; panko (breading), eggs and arugula. We do not sell those items, so you may need to head to the supermarket.
Step #2: 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 to make 2 katsu sandos. Filet Mignon will be the most tender and easiest 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 t o come to room temperature.
Step #3: Bread The Beef With Panko
Grab about 4 eggs and scramble them in a container. Gently drop your steaks in the egg wash. 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 crustless 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 #4: 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 #5: Make The Sauce
Any tonkatsu sauce will probably work. You are looking for a tangy flavor. Please DO NOT skip the sauce; it's 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 #6: Remove The Crust And 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 #7: Build The Katsu Sando
Add the sauce to the bread and place the beef on top.
Now add some fresh Arugula. It adds flavor.
Cu your assembled Katsu Sando 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:
Sirloin Saku | A5 Miyazakigyu Japanese Wagyu
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