Katsu is always served with shredded cabbage and there is a reason for that. Cabbage contains methionine S-methyl sulfonium (MMS) or commonly referred to as Vitamin U. Vitamin U does not meet the classic definition of a vitamin but the term was coined in 1950 by a Garnett Cheney for uncaharcterized anti-ulcerogenics in raw cabbage. Or simply put, Vitamin U is found in cabbage and it helps with normalizing gastric and intestinal functions. When eaten with katsu, the cabbage aids in digesting the deep fried goodness and helps prevents ulcers, heart burn, etc.
But all the scientific stuff was by chance.
Katsu has been around in Japan since the late 1800’s (the Meiji era) when Western influenced foods were beginning to be incorporated in Japan as yōshoku 洋食 to feed explorers and foreign military personnel. Julienned raw cabbage was pioneered by Ginza’s Rengatei. They were the first to replace misc. cooked vegetables with cabbage.
Rengatei has been around since 1895 and is still open. Not sure how the food tastes as I’ve never been, but it may be fun to taste classic recipes of Western style foods that are still popular to this day.
Ginza Rengatei 煉瓦亭
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M – F: 11:15 am – 9 pm
Sat and Sunday: 11:15 am – 9 pm
Sundays have a break from 3 pm – 4:40 pm where they do not serve food