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Sauce Katsudon and Echizen oroshi soba, one of the top two gourmet foods in Fukui, is a must-try when you come to Fukui!

Update date and time: 2022/03/06(Sun)

When you hear the word Katsudon, most people imagine a bowl of rice topped with pork and egg. However, it is more common to see bowls of rice topped with sauce in Fukui (city), both at home and at a restaurant. It is such a popular dish in Fukui that you can find it anywhere.

“Sauce Katsudon” is a dish with sliced pork fried crispy in fine bread crumbs tossed in sauce while still hot, and then placed on top of hot rice. The ingredients, method of preparation and looks are simple, but the taste is so profound that once you try it, you will be a fan forever. It is now one of the top two gourmet dishes in Fukui, along with Echizen oroshi soba.

 


It all started at a western-style restaurant making German Worcestershire sauce

The history of Sauce Katsudon began in the Taisho era (1912-1926). It was invented by Mr. Masutaro Takahata, the first owner of Europe-ken, which is still in business today as a long-established western-style restaurant.

It was 1872 when Mr. Takahata returned to Japan after several years of culinary training in Germany. The next year, in 1913, he made his first appearance at a cooking exhibition in Tokyo, where he made a sauce cutlet bowl. After that, Mr. Takahata returned to Fukui, and the recipe has been passed down for generations ever since. 

The key to its flavor is the German Worcestershire sauce. It has a perfect balance of sweetness and sourness that soaks into the thinly sliced pork cutlets and goes well with the slightly sweet pork. Of course, it goes without saying that the sauce goes well with rice.

Tonkatsu (Japanese pork cutlet) is also unique. Tonkatsu is generally praised for their thickness, but Fukui’s sauce cutlets are so thin and soft that they can even be cut using only chopsticks. Because the cutlets are so thin, the sweet sauce soaks into the meat. The sauce cutlet bowls served at Europe-ken are so large that the lid cannot cover the entire bowl . The citizens of Fukui eat several pieces of pork cutlets with rice while keeping one or two pieces waiting on the lid.

Many restaurants in Fukui, other than Erope-ken, started serving sauce katsudon as well. 

Europe-ken main shop

 

If you order katsudon in Fukui you will always be served sauce katsudon!

Sauce katsudon is on almost every restaurant’s menu. However, katsudon in Fukui is always sauce katsudon, so if you prefer to have eggs on your pork cutlet instead of sauce, please order a dish called tamago katsudon (egg cutlet bowl).

Sauce katsudon is served not only at a restaurant, but also sold in supermarkets and bento shops. You can even buy frozen pork cutlets and sauce to make your own katsudon at home. 

In addition to the above, there is another type of katsudon in Fukui Prefecture that uses soy sauce instead of sauce. A long-established shop selling soy sauce located in Ono City started to develop soy sauce for katsudon. From 2010, they began serving soy sauce katsudon at restaurants located in the same city. The number of restaurants serving soy sauce katsudon is now increasing throughout the prefecture. The soy sauce katsudon has grated daikon on top, which makes it have a more refreshing taste compared to the sauce katsudon. It may be interesting to compare the differences between the two katsudon. 

Europe-ken main shop “sauce katsudon”

“Soy Sauce Katsudon,” a local gourmet invented by a long-established soy sauce shop in Ono City