Menchi-katsu – deep-fried patties made with ground meat (beef usually) rolled in panko and deep-fried till crispy on the outside, are a something of a working-class staple in Japan. An example of yoshoku – Western dishes given a Japanese twist – these have long been a tasty yet economical way of stretching meat to feed a household or, more commonly, a way to breathe new life into leftovers, so to speak.
This particular recipe is another of my off-the-wall attempts to clean out the fridge of any leftovers. In this case, I ended up mincing the beef from my sister’s spin on sauteed beef with mushrooms (which was, truth be told, what she did to repair her first attempt at cooking salpicao on her own), finely chopping leftover mushrooms and asparagus (from the last time I made my ‘sparagus potato salad), and shredding the leftover humba [braised pork leg with black beans]. The whole lot was folded into a creamy mash made with potatoes and carrots, well-flavored with red onion, garlic, black pepper, and a touch of soy.
The resulting dumplings were dredged in flour, dunked in egg wash, and rolled in panko before being flattened slightly and deep-fried to crunchy goodness. I can’t exactly post the recipe here at this point; it still needs a lot of tweaking after all. But I will tell you that it went down a treat with dollops of BullDog tonkatsu sauce, heaps of freshly steamed rice, and coleslaw. Itadakimasu, minna-sama! 😉