Tonkatsu – Crispy Breaded Pork Cutlet

  • Yield: 4
  • Serving: 4
  • Prep time: 10 m
  • Cook time: 20 m
  • Ready in: 30 m
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Tonkatsu – Crispy Breaded Pork Cutlet is a popular Japanese dish that features crispy breaded pork cutlet that is believed to have originated in the late 19th century. The dish was influenced by European cuisine, specifically the Austrian schnitzel, and was adapted to Japanese tastes over time. To make Tonkatsu, you start by seasoning a pork cutlet with salt and pepper and then coating it in flour, beaten eggs, and panko breadcrumbs. The pork is then deep-fried until golden brown and crispy on the outside, and tender and juicy on the inside. Tonkatsu is typically served with a sweet and savory tonkatsu sauce made from Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, and other ingredients such as ketchup and mustard. It is often accompanied by rice, shredded cabbage, and pickles. Tonkatsu is a popular dish in Japan and is also enjoyed in other parts of the world, often served in Japanese restaurants or as a popular street food.

In Japan, there’s a superstition about this dish (TON) means pork, and (Katsu) means to fry. But (Katsu) also means “to win” so if someone has an important exam or interview, they might have Ton katsu for dinner the evening before, to improve their chances. More importantly, with its golden crumb, this pork is wonderfully juicy and crispy, and the recipe also works well with chicken.


Step by Step Methods

  • 1

    Crisp up the shredded cabbage by soaking it in a bowl of icy cold water. Keep to one side.

  • 2

    Combine all the ingredients for the sauce in a small pan. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes and then remove from the heat. Pour the sauce into a small jug and leave it to cool.

  • 3

    Place the pork slices on a chopping board and cover with cling film. Bash them with a meat hammer or rolling pin to tenderize , then remove the cling film and season with plenty of salt and white pepper.

  • 4

    Pour the oil into a deep fryer or wok and heat to 180 degree.

  • 5

    Coat each pork slice with plain flour then dip into beaten egg and coat with bread crumbs Then put each one back in the egg, and coat again with bread crumbs. Leave them on a plate until the oil is ready.

  • 6

    When the oil is hot, carefully place the pork slices in the fryer or wok and leave until they become golden . It will take about 5 to 8 minutes for the meat to cook, depending on the thickness of the slices. If you're using a small fryer or pan, you can do this in batches.

  • 7

    While the pork is cooking, drain the cabbage and remove any excess water in a salad spinner, if you have one, or pat dry with a tea towel. Pile the cabbage onto 4 individual plates.

  • 8

    When the meat is cooked and golden, lift it out of the oil and drain on few layers of kitchen paper.

  • 9

    Transfer the pork to a chopping board, and cut into 1.5cm slices. Arrange these on the plates, next to the cabbage.

  • 10

    Drizzle some of the sauce over the cabbage and pork slices, Serve with rice

Tips & variations

  • If you have time after coating the pork slices with bread crumbs leave them for 10 minutes before frying. This helps make them more golden and crispy.

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