Light and crispy tonkatsu fried only with vegetable oil
Owner: Toshihiko Akaishi
Tonkatsu is a uniquely Japanese dish that tempts and delights many foreign visitors. In this installment, we headed for the Shinbashi district of Tokyo, where the streets are lined with office buildings, to check out the restaurant “Tonkatsu Akaishi”. The tonkatsu here is fried until crispy and gives off a delicious aroma, for a light taste as popular with hungry office workers on their lunch hours as it is with more casual diners seeking a bite and a pleasant ambience. We investigated the owner’s signature techniques behind this beloved flavor.
Key elements in the delicious taste are the specially prepared panko and high-quality pork inspected by the owner himself.
With 40 consecutive years as a master of tonkatsu under his belt, the owner’s pursuit of perfection starts with the ingredients. He selects ingredients with the utmost care, procuring high-quality pork by judging its freshness with eyes seasoned by years of experience. To coat the pork, he uses custom-made panko. The bread is simple, flavored only with salt and sugar so as not to overpower the flavor of the meat, and torn apart into coarse chunks. This is a trick that makes the oil drain away more cleanly, resulting in tonkatsu that is light and crispy, never greasy.
Instead of lard, use 2 kinds of vegetable oil for frying.
The owner uses only vegetable oil, implementing two different kinds during frying. One is a blend of new oil and oil that has already been used once for frying, while the other is brand new oil. First, he browns the batter with the oil blend, and then he uses the new oil to carefully fry the meat right through to the center. This brings out the sweetness and umami of the pork, for tonkatsu with a light finish and a clean aftertaste.
Store's favorite sauce
Everything tastes better with lovingly crafted homemade sauces.
The restaurant provides two different original sauce blends. In the mild version, ketchup and other ingredients are added to a combination of Bull-Dog’s tonkatsu and Worcestershire sauces for a delicate balance of sweet and sour. In the hot version, flavorful ingredients like chili pepper, cayenne pepper powder, shichimi (seven-spice mix), black pepper, ginger, and vegetables are cooked in with Worcestershire sauce, which is strained many times until it reaches a smooth consistency, and then further diluted with Worcestershire sauce for a sophisticated blend. These mouthwatering sauces go well with not just the tonkatsu, but the cabbage as well.
Ready to eat
Here, the owner has prepared his own recommendation, the “Special Loin Katsu Set Meal (220 g)” for 2,000 yen. Although the taste is light, you can still enjoy the rich fat characteristic of pork loin. The tender and refined flavor of the “Special Fillet Katsu Set Meal (200 g)”for 2,000 yen is also a hit with customers.
This restaurant opened 10 years ago in the New Shinbashi Building, a mecca for office workers located directly across from Shinbashi Station. It has gained a stellar reputation as an establishment where the skills of a master chef are on display in tonkatsu that can be enjoyed in generous portions at reasonable prices. Because the restaurant only seats 20 customers, lines can get long during the lunchtime rush. In the evening, many patrons come to fill up on tonkatsu as they sip Japanese sake.
|New Shinbashi Bldg. 4F, 2-16-1 Shinbashi, Minato-ku, Tokyo
|(+81) 3 - 3593-0017
|Weekdays 11:00 - 15:00, 17:30 - 21:30 (last order); second/fourth Saturday of the month 11:00 - 15:00
|Sundays, holidays, and first/third Saturday of every month