Catch the Katsu Sando Wave

This Japanese-style sandwich is trending thanks to craveable menu twists.
A Berkshire pork katsu sando cut into three sections on a white plate

The katsu sando is a Japanese sandwich primed for success. On our most recent research tour, we spotted a number of fantastic renditions. It’s clear validation of the opportunity to create menu differentiation with a signature sando.

Classically, the katsu sando is a thin, breaded and deep-fried meat cutlet placed between milk bread (similar to a Pullman loaf). The crusts are removed and the sandwich is cut into equal-size squares or rectangles. 

Driving interest in this Japanese import are some delicious examples:

Fra’mani Mortadella Katsu Sando: Mortadella breaded in panko and deep-fried, tonkatsu sauce, Dijon mustard, on daiichi bread—Katana Kitten, New York City

Sioux City Sandwich: Boneless crispy pork chop, sauce gribiche, Bulldog sauce, pickled tomato paste, shaved red onions, pickled corn—Existing Conditions, New York City

Beef Katsu: Thick panko-crusted and fried beef brisket, on a French baguette, drizzled with a tonkatsu demi-glace—Bar Ramone, Chicago

Nashville Hot Tonkatsu Pork with hot seasoning, house ranch, bread and butter pickles—Merchant, Chicago

Katsu Sando is part of a larger category known as conbini, which in Japanese translates to “convenience store” and can be any type of hot or cold sandwich built on milk bread and trimmed of crust and cut into pieces.

Katsu sando falls within the conbini category, and we think the larger category holds potential. A tiny storefront restaurant in Los Angeles called Konbi has people lined up to get these sandwiches. They serve four varieties, each cut into three oblong pieces that fit perfectly into a custom design to-go box: 

  • Pork Katsu with cabbage and Bulldog sauce 
  • Eggplant Katsu with burnt onion dashi, cabbage and Bulldog sauce 
  • Layered Omelette with dashi, mayo and Dijon
  • Egg Salad with scallion, mayo and Dijon

Log in to Gordon Experience and search the Kitchen-Tested recipes developed by Gordon Food Service. Follow these links to recipes for Black and White Sando, Berkshire Pork Katsu Sando and Wagyu Beef Katsu Sando.

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