Tonteki is one of the most popular meat dishes in the Kansai region. Simply translated as “pork steak” this favorite of Yokkaichi, in Mie Prefecture is way more than just your basic grilled pork chop.
Tonteki originated in Yokkaichi just after the end of WWII. While it’s not the most historic food, it quickly became popular across Japan.
As we said, this dish is quite popular in Kansai, but may not be so in the Kanto region. One of our friends from Tokyo had no idea what tonteki was!
If you want to sink your teeth into one of these pork steaks then you should head to Yokkaichi where plenty of local restaurants serve it.
One such famous restaurant is Rairaiken– the birthplace of tonteki.
Though it is a bit far from the center of Yokkaichi, you can’t miss the long line of customers standing in front of the restaurant.
The first thing you will immediately notice about this dish is the sheer size. It is huge. No matter which restaurants you go to, you won’t leave hungry if you order one.
In particular, the portion at Rairaiken’s is especially large. It weighs in at 250g (almost half a pound!) This chop is so big it is sometimes called “glove” as the way it is cut somewhat resembles a baseball glove.
Another characteristic of tonteki is its sauce; a tangy rich brown sauce that is topped with a generous amount of garlic. Though this is a big piece of meat, people do not use a fork and knife to eat it. Instead, they use their chopsticks to lift a portion of it to their mouths. The meat is also pretty tender, so it is easy to eat. This dish is so easy to eat that you’ll be surprised how quickly it goes!
2 Chome-7-24 Matsumoto, Yokkaichi, Mie (Rairaiken)
※There are many other restaurants serving tonteki throughout Yokkaichi City!
Around 1500 yen