The iconic Japanese fried pork is a traditional, delicious comfort food served with a flavorful sauce and shredded cabbage.
By Ai Ping
Tonkatsu is the pinnacle of Japanese fried pork.
You know when’s the perfect day for Tonkatsu?
- 5 boneless pork chops, ½? thick, excess fats removed
- Salt and pepper
- ¾ cup all purpose flour
- 1 tbs oil and 2 eggs, beaten together
- 2 cups panko crumbs
- 5 cups shredded cabbage
- Lemon Wedges
- ½ cup ketchup
- ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
- 4 tsp oyster sauce
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 4 tsp sugar
- 1½ tablespoons black sesame seed, roughly grounded
- Use a knife to make a few tiny slits around the sides of the pork with fat. This is so the pork doesn’t curl up when frying.
- Pound the pork to ¼ inch thick. Use a meat tenderizer, back of knife or bottle.
- Fill a pan or skillet with oil, about ½ inch. Heat the oil to 350F.
- Sprinkle salt n pepper on both sides of pork.
- Dredge both sides of pork in flour. Shake off excess flour. Dip both sides of pork in the eggs and then into the panko. Gently press to get the panko crumbs to stick.
- When oil is ready, fry the pork (1-2 pieces at a time) for 2-3 minutes or until brown to your liking. Flip and fry on the second side for 2-3 minutes or until meat thermometer inserted reads 150 F.
- Place Tonkatsu on a wire rack. Let the meat rest for 5 minutes.
- Slice by pressing the knife directly down so that the breading won’t come off. Serve with thinly shredded cabbage and steamed rice. Squeeze some lemon on Tonkatsu or dip it in Tonkatsu sauce.
- Combine all and pour over grounded black sesame. Mix and dip away.
If you want a little dressing on the cabbage, mix equal parts of soy sauce and vinegar, a touch of sugar, salt and pepper and dilute it a little with water. The role of the cabbage is to cut the heaviness from the pork so it’s meant to be fresh and light.
The oil in the eggs helps the panko breading stick to the meat even after frying.
Pounding the meat tenderizes it. I like my Tonkatsu ¼? thick. If you like yours thicker, start with 1? thick pork chops and pound it to ½? thick. Adjust the time for frying to 3-4 minutes.