Are you Team “Katsu Curry”? Or Team “Katsu or Curry”?

Katsu curry–not to be confused with plain Japanese curry–is one of Japan’s most quintessential comfort foods. I mean, who doesn’t love fragrant, thick Japanese curry served over hot, steamy rice and topped with a deep-fried cutlet of pork? It combines the best of two worlds that just about everybody likes: curry and tonkatsu.

Or does it? One popular talk show host took to the air to rail against katsu curry–and his comments are dividing the Internet.

Lecturer and celebrity Osamu Hayashi brought it up on his weekly educational culture talk show, Nichiyobi no Hatsumimi Gaku. One day, while flipping through a book in the waiting area of a hair salon, he spotted a single line stating one simple opinion: “I hate katsu curry.” He immediately bought the book for himself, thinking “I need to ask this person about this.” That book turned out to be Oishii Mono de Dekiteiru by genius restaurant producer Shunsuke Inada, and Hayashi was excited to invite him to be interviewed on his show.

▼ Japanese curry

Inada began his interview by talking about how Japanese people love to put toppings on curry. “And if you think of curry toppings, the king is definitely katsu. You’d think adding katsu to curry is like adding 1+1 and getting at least 2, or maybe even 3 or 4. But it never seems to add up to more than 1.5.” In the end, he said, the curry we love and the katsu we love don’t actually match up to make a strong pair.

To this, Hayashi was quick to agree. “I’ve come to just about the same conclusion,” he said to Inada on Nichiyobi no Hatsumimi Gaku. “Restaurants that make the best katsu don’t make good curry. And not many places that make good curry have the skill to make good katsu.” He confided that he’d felt this way about this great Japanese comfort food for a long time.

Both agreed that if one wants to eat katsu and curry, they’re best enjoyed separately. “I feel like I’ve finally found a kindred spirit,” said Hayashi.

▼ Pork katsu

But while Hayashi and Inada found agreement with each other on the air, their discussion caused a riff on the Internet, which quickly separated into two camps: pro-katsu curry, and anti-katsu curry.

“I can only agree. I love curry and I love tonkatsu, and I want to enjoy each separately.”
“Katsu curry adds up to 1.5. A tonkatsu set meal is about twice as satisfying.”
“They have no idea what they’re talking about. It’s really rare for a dish to add up to an equation like 1+1=2. That why you have to aim for the best by single-mindedly adjusting your recipe.”
“Katsu curry is like 1+1=5.”
“A restaurant in my neighborhood offers special katsu just for curry, so in their case 1+1=10!.”
“I prefer to eat first-rate katsu and first rate curry separately, but I think there’s merit in putting less quality ingredients together.”
“They’re saying the likelihood that a restaurant can serve both good katsu and good curry is low, but because of their prejudice against katsu curry they won’t even try it, so the likelihood they’ll encounter a good restaurant is low.”

Personally, I’m inclined to believe that 1.5 is still better than 1, which means the combination of katsu and curry can be better than eating them separately. And really, who needs super high quality, crunchy-fried katsu when you’re just going to dunk it in curry anyway? But perhaps our opinions here at SoraNews24 aren’t worth much; after all, my fellow reporters have been willing to spend 10,000 yen on a mountain of katsu for their katsu curry in the past. That’s why, if I had to guess, we’d probably all fall on the pro-katsu curry side, easily.

Source: Sirabee Entame via Hachima Kiko
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Insert image: Pakutaso, Photo-ac
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