let’s talk about katsu.jpeg

let’s talk about katsu

Say hello to lucky katsu!

Can’t get to an itsu for lunch? Well, we’ve got some exciting news… say hello to our new lucky katsu hotsu potsu, available now in Tesco!

The pot contains our popular vegetable fusion gyoza, rice noodles, veg and hand-crafted katsu inspired broth – simply add hot water and microwave for lunch ready in minutes! Direct from Tokyo, the katsu broth is made by Yoshihiro, Japan’s highly respected food entrepreneur, who blends traditional miso with herbs, spices & Japanese curry powder.

We’ll let you into a secret – the hotsu’potsu is also available in the Tesco meal deal, where you can add our best-selling seaweed thins or prawn crackers with a drink to make a full itsu meal for just £3! Don’t say we don’t treat you…

What inspired us?

Our mission is to make ‘eat beautiful’ possible for all, whether it’s your office lunch, an afternoon snack or dinner at home. This past year has seen a huge shift in not only our daily lives but even our eating habits. With fewer people now going into the office full time, we wanted to create a range that means the new hybrid worker can still get their itsu lunch fix when working from home. Because let’s be honest, popping out for lunch is one of our favourite parts about the office… so why should we have to compromise on that? We’re bringing your favourite itsu lunch to supermarkets nationwide – restaurant quality and ready in minutes.

What is katsu curry?

Katsu has always been a firm favourite of ours – from our best-selling katsu rice’noodles to our more recently launched klean katsu rice bowl, it’s always been a big hit with our customers. With lockdown propelling our love of katsu curry even more (Deliveroo called it out as one of their top 20 trending dishes of 2020) it was a no brainer to bring its delicious flavour to this range. But what is katsu curry we hear you ask?

Katsu curry is the pinnacle of Japanese comfort food. It’s a simple, yet powerfully flavoursome dish consisting of rice, katsu (a meat cutlet fried in Panko bread crumbs), and a curry sauce. The dish has been compared to the traditional European schnitzel and Indian curry’s – the resulting combination of the two has likely come from travellers in the late 1800’s who visited Japan, Europe and India (though this is much debated!).

The core flavour in Katsu Curry comes from the rich curry sauce, a spice-infused Japanese sauce consisting of blitzed onions, ginger, coconut milk, turmeric and other asian spices. The Katsu curry bears little resemblance to Indian curry’s in terms of flavour. It’s a sweeter, richer flavour thanks to the variety of spices used and the soft onion and garlic flavours. The sweet flavours are enhanced by using soy sauce, bringing a delicious more-ish flavour to the dish.

One of the great allures of katsu curry is the crispy texture. The smooth sauce and rice is paired with the primary meat – often chicken or pork – which is breaded and fried in a frying pan. The crispy outside and soft inside of the Katsu (meat) is typically sliced into strips for ease of dipping into the sauce.

Katsu curries have a reputation for being hearty, calorific meals, historically consumed by Japanese sportspeople before games. This is not only down to needing energy, but also superstition, believing in the auspicious homophony between the words, ‘katsu’ (to win) and ‘katsu’ (cutlet) which might bring them.

The katsu flavoured miso broth in our hotsu potsu has been carefully perfected by Yoshihiro, whose family have been making miso since 1936. By blending the miso with the core katsu flavours (curry, garlic, ginger and onion powder) he has created a light, flavourful broth that pairs perfectly with the rice noodles and gyoza. All the satisfying flavours of a katsu curry without the calories – low in saturated fat and a source of protein to keep you going for an afternoon of Zoom calls. Oh the joys of WFH…