Last night, a bowl of katsudon won me over.
Well, to be honest, a handsome Russian skater eating a bowl of katsudon stole my heart.
I mean, just look at this blessed thing.
Don’t you just want to eat that?
This season, I’m hooked on Yuri on Ice, an anime about a couple of figure skaters finding new inspiration in their sport. One of my favourite manga artists, Kubo Mitsurou, wrote the screenplay for this show with the help of professional figure skater Miyamoto Kenji. So far, the story’s hilarious, the scenery of Hasetsu (Karatsu in real life) is beautiful, and the skating scenes are magical. Then last night, with the newest episode, this bowl of katsudon was the best yet. As a lover of delicious fictional food, I knew I had to make it!
So today, I decided to celebrate a personal victory by making this Victorious Katsudon from Yuri on Ice!
This katsudon set meal has three components: 1) the hakusai asazuke (Pickled Napa/Chinese Cabbage), 2) soup — possibly miso, and 3) the extra large katsudon. Making this dish is a bit tricky but with enough organisation, you can easily make this at home and possibly within an hour!
Preparing the Hakusai asazuke / Napa Cabbage pickles
Asazuke’s one of the staples in a Japanese home. It’s usually a vegetable, like cucumbers or Napa cabbage, lightly pickled in salt and some flavouring. The best ones are pickled for hours and with the finest ingredients. These are luxuries we certainly do not have so here’s a little cheat I learned from my Japanese mums in making asazuke on the fly.
For your reference, you can also check out this diagram I drew to give you an idea on how to prepare this asazuke!!
You can take the easy route and just make whatever soup you like. You can even use instant miso soup and add hot water. But if you can make your own soup, it’ll make your katsudon worthy of Viktor’s Victorious smile!
[yumprint-recipe id=’10’]This soup was made with shirodashi, a kind of soup stock that’s blended with white soy sauce. If you can find this, it’s perfect for clear dashi stocks! If not, a regular one will do. Heck, if you have instant mushroom soup, that should be fine too!
A Katsudon too good for words!
Finally, the last step! You can make this the easy way by buying cooked rice or microwaveable rice. It doesn’t matter! What does matter is the pork and the yummy eggy katsudon sauce!
Recreating this dish is a bit hard, but the reward is this lovely delicious meal that makes you feel like you won something in life. After all, katsudon has that special cultural meaning in Japan. The “katsu” in katsudon could be read as “victory” hence people eat it as their reward for having won something! Katsudon is also special for criminals but we’ll stick to the victory meal for now.
You can watch Yuri on Ice in Australia via Crunchyroll!