Yes, we’ve all grown a soft spot for so-called ‘real bread’ over the past few years, but it seems that we can’t quite shift our affection for the cheap, white and sliced stuff. Especially when it comes sandwiching something crisp and deep-fried.

The katsu sando – the Japanese sarnie – traditionally features crustless white bread, breaded pork, tonkatsu sauce (think sweet brown sauce) and shredded white cabbage. But nowadays we are seeing different interpretations popping up across the capital, and beyond. Eagle-eyed readers might have spotted the recipe for sardine katsu sandwich here by Two Lights in Shoreditch (read our restaurant review here), and elsewhere we’ve seen a celeriac schnitzel sandwich in Brick House bakery in Dulwich, and olive favourite Tim Anderson’s Brixton katsu hatch, Nanban Express, serves up sliced white and brown bread stuffed with pork and cabbage, chicken thigh with curry mayo and pickled ginger, and aubergine with honey miso mayo.

Here, we’ve gone veggie – using every inch of the seasonal celeriac (check out our best celeriac recipes here) for the fried steak and crunchy fresh slaw.


  • 1 large celeriac, peeled and cut into 4 x 1cm-thick slices, the same size as the bread
  • a drizzle olive oil
  • 50g plain flour, well seasoned
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 100g panko breadcrumbs
  • for frying vegetable oil


  • 2-3 tbsp buttermilk
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • celeriac off-cuts, shredded
  • 8 slices white bread, crusts removed
  • 4 tbsp tonkatsu sauce, (see notes below)


  • STEP 1

    Heat the oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5 and line a roasting tray with baking paper. Put the celeriac slices onto the tray, drizzle with a little olive oil, season and cover with foil. Cook in the oven for 25 minutes or until tender to the point of a knife. Cool completely.

  • STEP 2

    Put the seasoned flour, beaten egg and panko breadcrumbs into 3 separate, shallow bowls. Toss the celeriac slices first in the flour, shaking off any excess, then in the beaten egg and finally coating well in the breadcrumbs.

  • STEP 3

    Mix the buttermilk, vinegar and shredded celeriac in a bowl with some seasoning to make a quick remoulade.

  • STEP 4

    Heat 1cm of vegetable oil in a large, deep frying pan until hot, then carefully add the breaded celeriac slices, in batches, and fry for 1-2 minutes on each side or until crisp and golden, then drain on kitchen paper.

  • STEP 5

    Put the bread slices onto a large chopping board, spread ½ with the tonkatsu sauce and top with a celeriac steak and remoulade before topping with the remaining bread slices.

Tonkatsu sauce is a tangy Japanese condiment traditionally served with deep-fried, breaded pork cutlets. It’s widely available in large supermarkets, or, if you want to make your own click the link here for our easy recipe.

Try the trend yourself with one of our other epic recipes...

Katsu sando recipe

Katsu Sando Recipe with Celeriac

Sardine katsu sandwich

Katsu Sandwich Recipe with Sardines

Chicken katsu scotch egg

Japanese Scotch Egg Recipe

Comments, questions and tips

Rate this recipe

What is your star rating out of 5?

Choose the type of message you'd like to post

Choose the type of message you'd like to post

Overall rating