I’m happy to say that I have a list of recipes that I’m able to never fail on. It’s not as long as I would like it to be, but at least I have one. Tonkatsu is very near the top of that little list.
If you’ve ever gone to a Japanese restaurant and had tonkatsu, you’d know that it’s deliciously crispy and tender. With the right sauce, it’s an extremely satisfying way to eat pork and is very lean to boot. What you might not know is how easy it is to make at home.
The first thing you’ll need is some thin sliced boneless pork chops. Either rib or loin works fine. I’m lucky in that my supermarket always has some out for purchase. You can always just use regular boneless pork chops and go for thick tonkatsu, but I highly recommend thin slices. The couple times I’ve done thick tonkatsu, the meat either didn’t fully cook or it came out dry. Thin chops will cook quickly, right around the time it takes for you to get the panko golden brown.
Anyway, season with salt and pepper.
In three separate dishes, have flour for dredging, scrambled eggs for washing, and panko for breading. I’ve never actually used regular panko as I prefer the Fine type, but I’m sure both do nicely.
To bread the slices, first dredge in flour, then wash in egg, then coat with panko. Wash wish egg again and coat once more with panko. You can simply go through all three steps once and begin frying, but I find that two coats of egg and panko give you a much fluffier and even outer crust. I highly recommend double dipping! It takes maybe 4 eggs for about 5 cutlets, so just keep cracking more eggs as needed.
Heat oil in a pan on medium heat. To check on the oil, simply flick some panko flakes in. If it begins to sizzle and rises to the top, the oil is ready. Fry each cutlet to a nice golden brown, about 3-5 minutes. Flip over and cook until the other side is golden brown as well. Remove to a cutting board or plate.
Your cutlets should be beautifully golden and ready for slicing, which is amazingly easy. You don’t even need a sharp knife, a dull one would do just fine.
To slice, place a cutlet on a cutting board and simply slash down repeatedly down the cutlet, making even strips. The breading should cut nice and even, leaving you with beautiful bite-size strips of tonkatsu.
Top with tonkatsu sauce and serve with hot rice and steamed broccoli. If you don’t have tonkatsu sauce, simply mix ketchup and Worchestershire sauce to taste. When desperate, just ketchup will do.
- 5-6 thin sliced pork chops
- 3-5 eggs, scrambled
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1-2 cups fine panko flakes
- salt and pepper to taste
- oil for frying
- 3 bowls
- Chopsticks or tongs
- Season pork chops with salt and pepper.
- Dredge in flour, dip in egg wash, coat in panko. Dip in egg wash and coat in panko one more time.
- Heat oil in a skillet on medium and fry cutlets until golden brown, about 3-5 minutes on each side. Remove to plate to cool.
- While still warm, use a knife to press down repeatedly to cut the tonkatsu into even strips.
- Serve with tonkatsu sauce.
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