It is no secret that I have fallen in love with Japanese food. There are so many Japanese dishes that I love eating and that I am dying to recreate at home. Some of them are more complicated (okonomiyaki, anyone?), and certainly going to take a lot of planning, trial, and error, but some like this lovely, simple tonkatsu are easily made in your own home kitchen.
Tonkatsu is a delicious, succulent, fried Japanese pork cutlet. When Peter and I were in Japan, we had tonkatsu served in a variety of ways–plain, in sandwiches, and my personal favorite– smothered in savory Japanese curry.
So while the recipe is simple and wonderful on its own I highly recommend topping it with tonkatsu sauce at the very least (a Japanese BBQ sauce). If you are feeling a bit more adventurous, try seasoning your pork with an additional spice– I added curry powder to ours and may try paprika or cayenne next time.
I have had many southern fried pork chops in my day and don’t get me wrong, I still love southern fried pork chops, but this fried pork cutlet sets itself apart with its crunchy crust traditionally made with panko. Panko (Japanese bread crumb) gives the tonkatsu an extra crispy exterior while protecting the pork underneath and keeping it juicy and flavorful.
It is slightly different than your usual bread crumb and is becoming more popular in the US. You can find it at many Asian food stores and experiment with breaded and fried shrimp or chicken as well. However regular breadcrumbs make a fine substitute.
- 2 boneless pork chops or loins (1/2 in thickness)
- curry powder
- 1 egg
- 1/2 tbsp oil
- oil, to fry
- 1 tbsp ketchup
- 2 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 1/2 tsp oyster sauce
- 1 1/8 tsp sugar
- Season pork with salt, pepper and curry powder
- In a large bowl, whisk egg and oil
- Coat pork in flour and shake off excess
- Dip pork in egg mixture
- Coat pork in panko
- Gently remove any excess panko
- In a large pan, heat oil over medium high heat
- When pan has reached 350 F (180 C), a piece of panko should sink in the oil before coming back up
- Carefully place breaded pork in oil
- Fry pork for 1 minute on each side
- Remove pork and allow excess oil to drain from pork on a wire rack or paper towel
- Allow pork to rest for 4 minutes
- Fry pork for 1 minute on each side, until pork is cooked through
- Drain oil from pork once again
- In a small bowl, mix ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, oyster sauce, and sugar
- Slice pork and serve hot with tonkatsu sauce
adapted from Just One Cookbook http://www.justonecookbook.com/tonkatsu/