Do you wonder why? There are not tonkatsu in French and Italian cuisines. Tonkatsu is indeed an authentic Japanese dish, eaten with chopsticks. But if you thought tonkatsu was Western, you were partly correct. Let’s look deeper into the story.
About 100 years ago, at a restaurant which served Western dishes in Tokyo, called Edo in older times, there was a dish on the menu called “Cotelette,” the grandfather of today’s tonkatsu. Cotelette was a slice of veal coated with crumbs of dried, hardened French bread, fried in a pan with oil. It was served with a demi-glace sauce.
It seems, however, that Cotelette was not very appealing to Japanese people in those days. When the restaurant changed the meat from veal to pork, the new “Pork Cotelette” (“pork cutlet” in English) became the father of tonkatsu.