トンコツ and トンカツ

They sound very similar and they both have something to do with pork but they are very different!


You are most likely to see the word トンコツ(tonkotsu) in a ramen shop. トンコツ literally means pig bones, so ramen shops whose broth is made of pork bones has a sign saying “豚骨ラーメン(トンコツラーメン/tonkotsu ramen)”.


On the other hand, トンカツ(tonkatsu) is a crumb fried “pork cutlet.” “カツ(katsu)” apparently comes from the English word “cutlet” but Japanese usage of “カツ(katsu)” is “crumb fried meat”, so you can have ビフカツ(bifu_katsu, crumb fried beef), チキンカツ(chikin_katsu, crumb fried chicken) and メンチカツ(menchi_katsu, crumb fried rissoles).


If inside the crumb fry is not meat, then they are called フライ(hurai). エビフライ (ebi_hurai, crumb fried prawns), カキフライ (kaki_hurai, crumb fried oysters), 魚のフライ (sakana_no_hurai, crumb fried fish), etc.


As not many places serve both トンコツ and トンカツ at the same time, you will not have a catastrophe even if you mix them up!



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