If you’ve ever been on a bullet train in Japan, you’ve probably fallen in love with these little finger-sized sandwiches that you can buy at the train station before you get on board.

Katsusando is short for “cutlet sandwich” and it’s a pork cutlet covered with tonkatsu sauce between two slices of thick, Japanese-style white bread. It sounds simple (and it is), but that’s the beauty of it.


2 tbsp salted butter, softened

12 thick slices soft, white bread (preferably Japanese-style shokupan)

¼ tsp karashi (Japanese mustard), or hot English mustard

¼ cup Japanese mayonnaise (Kewpie or similar)

2 cups finely shredded cabbage

4 cooked loin tonkatsu

¼ cup tonkatsu sauce, or express tonkatsu sauce (or you can use a bottled sauce like otafuku)


Butter the bread. Place three slices of bread side by side on a tea towel or piece of plastic wrap. Mix together the mustard and mayonnaise and spread that mixture over the butter. Place two tonkatsu along the length of the bread on the tea towel and cover the tonktasu generally with the tonkatsu sauce, top with a little shredded cabbage and place three further slices of bread on top (butter-down). Fold the tea towel over the sandwiches and place a heavy chopping board on top to press them for 10 minutes. Cut the crusts off each sandwich and then cut each into thirds. Repeat for the remaining bread and tonkatsu and serve.

Top Tips for Katsusando

  • Choose thick-sliced soft white bread. If the bread is sliced too thin, after it is pressed it will be too firm.
  • You can make this with fillet katsu (hirekatsu) as well, but you will need roughly 1.5 fillet katsu per sandwich as they are a different size.
  • There are lots of offcuts here (crusts, end pieces of the katsu) as a result of creating the perfectly aligned presentation. Don’t let them go to waste. EAT THEM!