Donkkas or Donkkaseu (돈까스) is the Korean take on the Japanese Tonkatsu. Similarly, the Japanese tonkatsu is a localised dish based on western schnitzel.
Don in the donkkas is based on the Japanese character for pig (豚), while kkaseu is similar to the Japanese word katsu and the word originates from the French côtelette, which meant cutlet. Hence, donkkaseu means pork cutlet.
From Rare to Everyday
Donkkaseu is not a traditional cuisine but an adaptation of western dishes. Before Western restaurants became a common sight in Asian countries, Western cuisines were rare and were only for special occasions and celebrations.
However, in the 21st century, Western foods is common. Unlike its Japanese counterpart, the Korean version of pork cutlets is much thinner. The slices of pork are tenderised with the back of a knife or a tenderiser till about a quarter-inch thick.
Marinated with salt and freshly ground pepper, the pork cutlets are left to marinate overnight in the fridge. Before cooking, coat the pork cutlets with a thin layer of flour, eggs and bread it with panko. The cutlets are then deep-fried on both sides till golden brown.
These thin pork cutlets are usually paired with a plum sauce or a zesty gravy of pineapple juice, vinegar and soy sauce along with rice, cabbage salad and even kimchi as a side dish. The cabbage salad is similar to coleslaw.
Donkkaseu is somewhat similar to the French version of lean veals. Nevertheless, what makes it Korean is the side dishes that are paired with it. The pork cutlets can be only battered or added with kimchi seasonings to make it a kimchi donkkaseu.
Turn it into donkkaseu bleu when the cheese is added in the middle of the pork slice, but these versions of the donkkaseu are considerably thicker than the normal donkkaseu. It generally depends on what is added to the pork cutlet to make the dish unique.
Unlike beef steaks or chicken chops, the donkkaseu gives a different vibe and taste to the diner. Pork is not as tender as medium-well steaks, but it does give you a chewy, meaty goodness.
Accompanied with a slightly sour and zesty sauce, the donkkaseu provides a refreshing taste to the dish. With kimchi on the side, it transforms from an adaptation of the Japanese tonkatsu to an authentic Korean cuisine.
Where to find Donkkas?
Instead of the ordinary chicken chops and fish and chips, excite your tastebuds for some breaded pork cutlet at Chan Jang and Good Box. Good Box even offers different donkkas of various flavours. Give the donkkas a try and have a great meal! Find more Korean food on foodpanda!