Updated: Mar 19
So you want to know how to cook the popular Japanese dish, Tonkatsu とんかつ? Well you came to the right place! Tonkatsu, or pork cutlet is a breaded filet that is fried and served with shredded cabbage, an umami tonkatsu sauce, and sticky Japanese rice. It is the ultimate comfort food and brings me back to lots of childhood memories living in Japan. The process of cooking it is also really fun and simple. It requires some work so the more helping hands the better; my family normally creates a cooking line where we each have a designated job to either: egg, flour, or panko the pork. The results are well worth the work and we make a lot at a time to have in the coming days. This recipe will render a crunchy fried outside with a juicy pork inside that really cannot be beat. Read on and try for yourself!
4 pork chops (boneless)
1 cup all-purpose flour
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1 egg, beaten
1/2 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil to mix with egg
2-3 cups canola or vegetable oil (this will vary if you want to fry one side at a time or fully immerse the pork)
2 cups Jasmine rice
1 teaspoon "Slap ya mama" cajun seasoning (optional)
Garnish: 1/4 a cabbage head, shredded
Garnish: Tonkatsu sauce
Garnish: chopped scallions
Make rice according to package instructions.
Place egg, flour, and panko into three separate large plates.
Trim excess fat off pork cutlets and pound with a meat pounder (if you do not have one use a rolling pin or the back of a knife) until it is about 1/2 an inch thick.
Dredge pork in flour and shake off any excess.
Add 1/2 a tablespoon of oil for every egg you use then mix. Dip the pork in the egg so that both sides are coated.
Next dredge the pork in panko and press gently to make it stick.
Heat oil in a wok or pan over medium high heat until the oil reaches 350º F. If you do not have a thermometer use a chopstick or the end of a wooden spatula and place into the pan - if bubbles form around it, the oil is ready. Once the oil is ready, gently place the pork in (I suggest using chopsticks or tongs).
Deep fry the pork on each side for 1 minute. If your pork is less than 3/4 of an inch thick fry for only 45 seconds.
Take the tonkatsu out and place on a wire rack or paper towels to get rid of excess oil. Let rest for 4-5 minutes.
After letting pork rest place back into the hot oil and fry for another 1 minute (30 seconds on each side).
Cut tonkatsu with a large knife and press directly down. Do not cut back and forth or the breading will fall off.
Serve immediately with shredded cabbage and rice all topped with tonkatsu sauce. Garnish with scallions and enjoy!
Adjust the ingredient quantity by how much you would like to make. Generally, I eyeball the flour and panko amount to how much pork I am cooking.
You do not have to use the double fry method and can instead fry the pork for a longer period of time all at once. I find that letting the meat cook while it rests and frying it again has better results.