This one is for all my fried food lovers out there. Actually, it's for all my delicious food lovers out there! If you've never tried a Japanese fried pork cutlet, or popularly known as tonkatsu, then you are missing out my friend! The exterior crust is so wonderful and crispy, yet the meat inside is incredibly juicy and tender. And what makes this dish extra special you ask? It's the use of one of the greatest food inventions ever: Panko bread crumbs! This is different from the regular breadcrumbs we find in the regular grocery stores. Panko breadcrumbs are a lot crispier and airier, which gives the dish a lot more crunch and texture and we absolutely love it!
This dish is super easy and straightforward to make, and it doesn't take much time at all. You can follow the recipe that we posted below to make it, but here are a couple of tips and pointers to make your tonkatsu
How to Make the Crust Extra Crispy:
One of the most important things that make a good tonkatsu is a crispy crust. First, you definitely have to use some Panko breadcrumbs. It's possible to make it with regular breadcrumbs, but it won't be as crispy. The Panko breadcrumbs are becoming more and more common and they might even be sold at your local grocery store! Second, you need to make sure your frying oil is at 350 degrees Fahrenheit when you put in the battered pork cutlet. An oil that's not hot enough will make the crust soggy, while an oil that's too hot will just burn the crust. And third, you need to let the fried pork cutlets cool on a drying rack after it's done frying. A drying rack works best because it has minimal surface contact with the tonkatsu. If you're using paper towels to drain the oil, the bottom side of the cutlet may be end up being soggy. But if you don't have a drying rack it's fine! You can always try holding the tonkatsu vertically on the paper towel, this way you minimize the surface contact and they won't be soggy. You'll just have to hold this position for a couple minutes, but it's worth it for a crispy crust!
How to Make the Meat Extra Tender:
Everybody wants a tender, juicy meat! The important thing to do when you're making tonkatsu is to pound the meat before you bread it. But you also don't want to overdo it, since you might end up with a cutlet that's too thin. Just make sure that you pound it well but still keeping it at a thickness of about 1/2 inch. Another thing to note is to make little cuts around the surface of the meat. This will prevent it from curling and firming up when being fried.
This dish is often served with shredded cabbage, white rice, and tonkatsu sauce, which is a mixture of mainly ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, and a variation of other sauces. We've also tried it being served with rice and curry in Japan. With curry!! It was amazing and we'll definitely try to make that too!
That's it for our recipe today, it was so delicious and we just love this dish! Let us know in the comments if you have suggestions or requests for upcoming recipes, we'd love to hear them! We hope you enjoy the recipe and happy eating!
Fried Pork Cutlet (Tonkatsu)
- 1 boneless pork chop about 1/2 thick
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
- 1 egg
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Shredded cabbage for topping
- 1 tbsp Ketchup
- 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tsp oyster sauce
- 2 tsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp mirin
- On a cutting board, make slits around one side of the pork chop. Using a meat pounder, pound the meat evenly. Try to keep the pork around 1/2 inch thick.
- Prepare the breading stations. Whisk a whole egg in a bowl. Pour the all-purpose flour and the Panko breadcrumbs in two separate plates.
- Dip the pork cutlet in the egg, then coat with flour. Once fully coated, dip the cutlet in the egg mixture again, and coat with Panko breadcrumbs until fully coated. If you want a thicker crust, you can dip the cutlet in the egg once more and coat it with Panko again.
- In a frying pan, heat oil for shallow fry at medium high to high heat. Once it reaches 350 degrees Fahrenheit (or you can check by throwing in a breadcrumb and see if it bubbles), fry the breaded pork cutlet for about 1 1/2 minutes on each side. Once ready, remove from oil and drain off excess oil by letting it rest on a drying rack or vertically on a paper towel.
- To make the tonkatsu sauce, mix together in a bowl the Ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, oyster sauce, miring, and sauce sauce.