The Secret to Our Flavor
The Secret to Our Flavor
Our founder, TERASHIMA Genjiro, opened his first restaurant in Hokkaido’s Sapporo city in 1952. Sapporo had very few tonkatsu restaurants at the time, and his soon became a local favorite. Now, there are ten Tamafuji branches in all, most of them in Sapporo. Tonkatsu, just like sushi, is a dish that requires the skill and mind of a true master cook. Our Kapahulu branch carries on that tradition, putting just such a cook in charge of the kitchen to make sure customers everywhere get to enjoy true Tamafuji tonkatsu.
We fry our tonkatsu in large copper pots, 23.5 inches across, in ten gallons of high quality oil. A 180 gram loin katsu is 2 cm thick, that’s almost one inch, and to make sure it fries up tender and juicy requires lots of oil and the efficient heat transfer of copper. And that’s why Tamafuji insists on large, high quality copper pots instead of the usual automatic fryers.
Jyukusei (Aged) Pork
Storing meat at low temperatures for a fixed time encourages enzymatic action that helps it retain moisture, and gives it a tender, fine texture. It also increases the amino acid and peptide content, bringing out even richer flavor and aroma. Tamafuji cold-ages our meat for 18 days to ensure the very best possible condition for tonkatsu.
We get fresh bread directly from La Tour, Hawai’i’s original baked goods maker. After it arrives, we dry it for three days in the shop, and make our own panko once it hits the ideal moisture content. Tamafuji runs the bread through special blenders, and then sifts it through specially made sieves to create our uniquely angular panko. This is what gives our tonkatsu that special Tamafuji crunch!
We use a blend of two vegetable based oils: canola, and corn. Canola offers a crisp, golden finish and adds richness to the flavor, while corn oil contains lots of linoleic acid, which helps reduce cholesterol. We change it every day so our tonkatsu is always fried in fresh oil!
We purchase rice from the rice factory HONOLULU, another Hokkaido business, which brings wholegrain rice from our home of Hokkaido to Hawai’i and polishes it here. Rice beings to deteriorate the instant it is polished, and the reason Tamafuji’s rice is so good is we only use freshly polished rice. Just like our tonkatsu, we want to make sure our customers get the very best quality in rice, no matter the trouble, no matter the cost.
Tamafuji uses golden, aromatic stock made with plentiful shaved katsuo in all our miso soup. The red miso is rich and flavorful, making it the perfect match to tonkatsu, while the white lets the aroma of katsuo come through ever so slightly. You can choose from clams, tofu, or seaweed in your soup to match your tastes, or just your mood!
Japanese pickles, or tsukemono, have long been considered the perfect accompaniment to rice. Tamafuji offers three different varieties. Typically, pickles play second-fiddle to the main dish, but at Tamafuji we still strive to make them something worth savoring. We are particularly proud of our asazuke, or lightly pickled cabbage, which is made fresh in our kitchen every morning, and makes a perfect companion to either tonkatsu, or a cold beer!
We offer two different sauces, both our own recipe. The sweet sauce is tomato based and mixed with spices, then finished with honey and orange sauce. It’s got a lovely sweet and sour character. Our spicy sauce features Worcestershire blended with a mix of spices. We add a touch of A1 so that the spiciness is offset by a touch of refreshing sour.
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