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with sesame sauteed spinach / rice

Active: 45 min Total: 45 min
Katsudon (pork cutlet rice bowls) is a popular Japanese comfort food that is a little ambitious but a lot of fun to recreate at home. Panko-crusted pork is the center of the dish, but we think the unique sauce that forms when eggs and flavorful cooking liquid come together is the real star.
Smarts: In Japan this dish is often made using leftover pork cutlets (they reheat in the pan before serving), so feel free to make the cutlets ahead of time if you can.


  • Rice, uncooked white or brown - 3/4 cup
  • Onions, medium - 1/2 , thinly sliced
  • Stock, any type - 1/2 cup
  • Tamari - 2 1/2 Tbsp
  • Sugar - 1 Tbsp
  • Mirin - 2 tsp (sub rice vinegar)
  • Pork, boneless chops - 1 lb , sliced in half if very thick
  • Green onions - 2 stalks , chopped
  • Eggs - 2 + 2 , beaten
  • Oil, cooking - 3 Tbsp + 1 Tbsp
  • Flour, any gluten-free - 1/2 cup
  • Panko breadcrumbs, gluten-free - 3/4 cup
Sesame Sauteed Spinach:
  • Spinach, baby - 10 oz
  • Salt - 1/2 tsp
  • Vinegar, rice - 1 tsp
  • Lemon juice - 1 tsp
  • Sesame seeds, white - 2 tsp


  1. Rice - (Skip if rice was made ahead on Monday.) For white rice, rinse until clear. Fill a saucepan or Dutch oven (or rice cooker) with rice, water (use 2:1 ratio for water to rice), and some salt. Cover with lid and bring to a boil. Once water boils, stir, lower heat to a low-medium, and cover. Check white rice after ~20 min; brown at ~45 min. Rice is done when it's absorbed all the water. If it's not done, leave the cover on until all water has been absorbed. Take cover off to release steam and fluff with a wooden spoon after 5 minutes. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  2. Onions - Thinly slice onions. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  3. Prep cooking liquid - Combine stock, Tamari, sugar and mirin. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  4. Pork - Trim fat off chops. If chops are very thick, slice in half to thin out. Tenderize with a fork and season with some salt and pepper. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
  5. Green onions - Chop green onions. (Can be done 1 day ahead)

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  1. Prep breading stations by placing flour in one bowl. In a second bowl, whisk first portion of eggs with some salt and pepper. In a third bowl place panko breadcrumbs. Coat pork chops first in flour, then in eggs and then in panko, pressing panko into all sides of the chops. Set aside.
  2. Heat a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Add spinach, salt and vinegar and cover with a lid just until spinach starts to wilt, 1 to 2 minutes. Drain off excess liquid and transfer spinach to a serving dish. Top with lemon juice and sesame seeds and cover to keep warm. Return pan to heat.
  3. Reduce heat to medium. Add first part of cooking oil and then breaded pork chops. Sear pork on both sides until deep golden brown and cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes total (reduce heat if breading starts to turn dark brown before pork is cooked through). Set pork aside and return pan to heat.
  4. Add second part of cooking oil and then onions to heated oil. Saute until onions are soft, 4 to 5 minutes. Pour cooking liquid over onions and bring to a simmer.
  5. While onions simmer, transfer pork chops to a cutting board and slice.
  6. Whisk remaining eggs.
  7. Pour whisked eggs over onions and give it a stir. Place pork slices on top. Cover the pan with a lid or foil and cook, covered, until eggs are nearly set (traditionally the eggs are served while still slightly soft so that they have a sort of creamy texture), 1 to 3 minutes.
  8. If rice was made ahead, reheat in the microwave.
  9. Divide rice between serving bowls and top with onions, sauce and pork slices. Finish bowls at the table by adding sesame spinach, green onions and Tamari for seasoning.



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