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Tonkatsu (Deep Fried Pork Cutlet)

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(Tonkatsu / Image)

Tonkatsu (豚カツ, とんかつ, or トンカツ, pork cutlet), invented in the late 19th century, is a popular dish in Japan. It consists of a breaded, deep-fried pork cutlet one to two centimeters thick and sliced into bite-sized pieces, generally served with shredded cabbage and/or miso soup. Either a pork fillet (ヒレ, hire) or pork loin (ロース, rōsu) cut may be used; the meat is usually salted, peppered, dredged lightly in flour, dipped into beaten egg and then coated with panko (breadcrumbs) before being deep fried.
How to make Tonkatsu by YouTube


* 1/2 pound cabbage, shredded as thinly as possible (ideally with a mandolin)
* 4 cutlets (about 1 pound) pork loin, cut into 1/2 inch thick slices
* Salt and pepper
* 1 cup flour
* 2 eggs, beaten
* 2 cups panko crumbs (this brand has nothing artificial)
* Vegetable oil for deep frying
* Tonkatsu sauce, to taste
* Japanese mustard, to taste


Place the shredded cabbage in a large mixing bowl and fill with the coldest water you have. Add a tray of ice cubes, and let the cabbage sit for about 30 minutes to crisp it up; the cold water makes the cabbage really crunchy. Drain well in a colander when it's ready.

Set up a deep frying station: One one side of your burner, arrange 1 plate with the flour, 1 shallow bowl with the beaten egg and 1 plate with the panko crumbs. On the burner, place a pot filled with at least 1 inch of oil (I like to use a cast iron skillet). On the other side of your burner, set up a rack over a newspaper lined tray to drain the deep fried cutlet.

Lay the fillets on a tray and use the back of a heavy knife or cleaver, or a meat pounder, to flatten them to about 1/3 inch thickness. If you have a ribbon of fat on your meat, make sure to flatten that pretty good (even to 1/4 inch). Cut nicks in the fat to make it easier to cook (Watch this video and you'll understand the technique, even if you don't speak Japanese). Season the cutlets with salt and pepper on both sides.

Heat the oil to 340 degrees F (170 degrees C). I use a deep fry thermometer, to make sure the temperature is right (too hot will burn it). When the oil is ready, coat a cutlet with flour, shaking off excess. Dip it into the egg, shaking off excess. Now lay it in the panko, making sure to coat it very well with the crumbs; you can even press them on the cutlet. Carefully place the cutlet into the oil, and deep fry for about 7 minutes, turning once. Check the temperature, to make sure you're maintaining 340 degrees F. Depending on how large your pot is, you can fry more than 1 cutlet at once, but don't crowd the pot; frying in batches is the way to go. When the cutlet is beautifully golden brown, remove from the oil and drain on the rack. Let the cutlet rest for about 1 minute before transferring to a cutting board and slicing into strips.

Serve the tonkatsu with the cabbage. Slather with tonkatsu sauce, to taste. Add a dab of Japanese mustard, if you like. Eat piping hot.

By JS on Apr 30, 2011

tag : Recipe



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