Uncle’s Tonkatsu: Old-Fashioned Korean Style Pork Cutlet

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Only a week left until my sister goes back to Toronto and she is craving so many Korean foods at once that I do not believe we will be able to check off everything on her list.  However, we did manage to clear off one thing on her wish list and that was Korean-style pork cutlet.  My sister favors this old-fashioned fried pork dish from the 80s over Japanese-style tonkatsu.   The difference is that panko breadcrumb is used to bread Japanese tonkatsu which makes it more crispy while Korean ones use more moist breadcrumbs.  The sauce is also different where the Korean version uses more of a sweet and sour sauce (although it differs from restaurants).

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A mere 5,500 won for a generous plate of handmade tonkatsu

We had our lunch at an old place called Ajeossi Donkatsu (아저씨 돈까스: Uncle’s Tonkatsu) at Street of Culture in downtown Daejeon.  I am not quite sure how old this place is but the blog reviews say that the restaurant has been standing on the same spot selling the same exact menu for past decade.  The price is still very low as well making it a popular destination for students.

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An appetizer soup is included
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cheese-filled tonkatsu!

My sister explained that back in the 80s such tonkatsu places were called gyeong-yang-sik restaurants (경양식 식당) and generally referred to restaurants selling westernized meals.  They were the places where young people hang out or meet for a date night.  Nowadays, so many “western” restaurants fill the streets of Korea and gyeong-yang-sik restaurants are now more known as old-fashioned eateries where you get to reminisce the good old past.

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