Ham Cutlet With Cheese [Not Only For Obento]

Ham Cutlet

Cutlet is called "katsu" in Japanese, food with the word of katsu attached is referred to something fried with breadcrumbs coating. For example, ton-katsu (pork cutlet), minchi-katsu (minced cutlet), and kushi-katsu (cutlet on skewer). This kind of ham cutlet can be found in the supermarket's fried food area, together with other fried items like tempura and fried chicken. Katsu is often served with the Tonkatsu sauce but I prefer it plain without any sauce. I am just not a sauce person. My old and young boys love cutlet very much but only the old boy (true Japanese) eat it with Tonkatsu sauce. Hence, it is okay if you cannot find the sauce at your end.

This ham cutlet goes well with steamed rice, you can also have it as the filling for your sandwich. Katsu-sando (Cutlet sandwich) is one of the popular sandwiches in Japan, for the quick lunch and obento. I made this cutlet with homemade chicken ham but any ham will do.

  • 1 roll Homemade Chicken Ham or store-bought
  • 3 - 4 sliced cheese
  • 2 large eggs, whisk lightly together with milk or water
  • 3-4 tbsp milk/water
  • All-purpose flour for coating
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Oil for deep-frying
For serving (if prefer):
  • Shredded cabbage
  • Lettuce
  • Tomato
  • Tonkatsu Sauce (Japanese Pork Cutlet Sauce)

  1. Cut ham into 0.5cm thick slices. Sandwich slice cheese in between slices of ham, you may need to cut the cheese to fit the size of ham.
  2. For coating, prepare flour, breadcrumbs, and egg mixture in 3 separate shallow containers. Coat each ham-cheese-ham sandwich with flour, egg mixture, and breadcrumbs. Again, with egg mixture and breadcrumbs IF you prefer thick crust.
  3. Set aside for few minutes for the breadcrumbs to absorb all the moist.
  4. Preheat oil, fry cutlets with medium-high heat till they turned golden brown.
  5. Serve warm with salad and tonkatsu sauce.


Winter Melon Chicken Soup [冬瓜鸡丝羹]

I realised my two boys love to eat soup, perhaps they are influenced by school's lunch? Soup is one of the popular menu in their school's lunch, such as miso soup, vegetable clear soup, Chinese style thick soup, and western style cream soup. Both my boys love to eat soup with the rice mixed in, this kind of rice is call "neko-meshi" in Japan. Neko-meshi means cat's rice literally, the food served to cat before the commercial cat food is available.  


This is one of my boys' favourite soups to turn into a delicious neko-meshi, they usually asked for "okawari", top-up/second serving. As for hubby and I, we like it hot with a lot of ground white pepper. 


Winter Melon Chicken Soup / 冬瓜鸡肉羹

  • 100 g chicken breast meat 
  • 200 g winter melon, peel and cut into thin strips 
  • 1 tsp wolfberries (枸杞子) 
  • 1 no. egg, whisk lightly 
  • 1 tbsp corn starch (mix with 2-3 tbsp water) 
  • 500 ml water 
  • 1 tsp chicken stock powder 
  • Salt and pepper to taste 

  1. Bring water to the boil, add in chicken and cook until chicken is well cooked. Remove chicken and submerge it in a bowl of iced water. Set aside. 
  2. Add winter melon strips and wolfberries into the pot, cook for about 10 minutes with low-medium heat. 
  3. Meanwhile, remove chicken from iced water, pat dry with paper towel and break into strips. 
  4. Add chicken strips into the pot, season with salt and pepper to taste. 
  5. Add in starch mixture and mix well. Add in egg in a stream and swirl the soup gently with the ladle. Transfer to serving bowls and serve warm.


Miso Soboro [Miso Minced Meat]


It is now summer in Japan, the hot weather in Kyoto is killing me. However, summer is a great season to enjoy outdoor activities such as rooftop beer garden and hanabi matsuri (fireworks festival). Hanabi matsuri in our area (Kizugawa City) will be held on 30th July this year. If you planned to visit Nara or Southern part of Kyoto around that time, perhaps you can include it in your itinerary.  There will be music, show, food stalls, and firework at the riverbank.

Well, let's talk about this recipe. It is something really easy to prepare and it can be served as topping for rice or noodles, or as filling for sandwich. You can also add some herbs to create a different variation, such as curry powder. This recipe is featured in Y3K Recipes issue no. 71 together with Village-Style Miso Soup, and two other miso recipes published in year 2013.

Miso Minced Meat / 味增肉碎

  • 200 g Minced Meat (mixture of beef and pork)
  • 1 tbsp Awase Miso 
  • Some Mixed Vegetable (optional)
  • 1 tsp Cooking Oil
  • *1 tsp Sake
  • *1 tsp Mirin
  • *1 tsp Soy sauce
  • *1 tsp Sugar

  1. Marinate minced meat with * ingredients for about 10 minutes.
  2. Heat a non-stick pan, add in the oil and minced meat. Stir-fry until the colour turned brown slightly.
  3. Add in the miso paste and mix well. Then add in the mixed vegetable and continue to cook until the meat is well done.
  4. Serve warm with steamed rice or use as sauce for noodles/pasta.

Y3K Recipes issue no. 71 was published in 2013, perhaps you already have a copy on your bookshelves.



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