Menchi Katsu (Japanese Breaded Burger)

I had this in the restaurant last night.  It is a Japanese Deep Fried Burger. It comes from Eastern Japan.  Menchi Katsu means minced meat cutlet. I have tried a different version in a different restaurant and the taste is completely different.  Menchi Katsu usually uses either ground pork or ground beef or a combination of both.  I made a combination of tastes from the two different restaurants I tasted it from plus my own twist.  I want to make mine a bit healthier so I am using ground lean turkey.

Ground lean turkey is “wetter” than ground pork or beef so I had to adjust my recipe.  I had to put panko breadcrumbs to give the burger an extra crunch inside and out and to make the patties less wet.  I also added minced carrots to add vegetables to the dish.

The patties could be eaten as a main dish with a side of potato salad and shredded cabbage or could be eaten as a hamburger sandwich with a side of fries.

Here is my version of Menchi Katsu.

Ingredients

1                     medium onion, minced

1                     medium carrot, minced

2 tsps              oil for sauteing

1 ½ lbs            ground pork or ground beef (substitute – ground lean turkey)

1                     egg, beaten

1/3 c               Panko bread crumbs

2 tsps              sesame oil (optional)

flour for dredging

1                     egg for coating

Panko breadcrumbs for coating

oil for frying

Directions

In a pan, sauté onion in 2 tsps. Oil.  Cook until translucent.  Add the minced carrots and cook for 2 minutes.  Turn off the heat and set aside.  Let cool.

In a bowl, mix together ground meat, onion and carrots, salt and pepper, sesame oil and beaten egg. Add panko bread crumbs.

Do a test run of the mixture before forming everything into patties.  Take a spoonful of the mixture and fry it.  Adjust flavor if needed.

If the flavor is ok with you, divide the rest of the mixture into 8 big patties or 12 medium patties.

Put flour, beaten egg and panko in 3 separate shallow bowls.  Dredge each patty with flour, then dip in beaten egg then cover with panko breadcrumbs.  Shake off excess breadcrumbs.

There are three ways of cooking this dish.  You can deep fry it, pan fry it or bake it in the oven.  If you are baking it, spray it with a little oil.  I have not tried baking it though.      

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