Just over 10 years ago we moved to Japan. Out of all the places I’ve lived in my life (33 residences) Japan was by FAR my favorite. It’s gorgeous, and felt like home in a way that was so natural it’s hard to describe. ANYWAY, it was SO exciting, moving overseas. We got picked up at the airport by someone from Mr. Topsy Turvy’s work, and they took us to our apartment, shopping, setting up our phone/internet, etc… Then they left us and we were on our own!
We needed to let our families know we made it and were safe so we walked a few blocks (no car while we were there, the apartment came with one bike, but our home bike and bike trailer didn’t arrive for a few weeks) to an internet cafe. While I was getting online to send an email to our families The Husband ordered me dinner. My first dinner in Japan, Katsudon. It was AMAZING, and so delicious, I fell in love right away.
Katsudon is Tonkatsu with a sweet egg topping. I’ll share that another day, but for now I wanted to share the Tonkatsu Breaded pork cutlet. It’s easy to make, and super delicious. Everyone I’ve made this for falls in love, and it’s one of my kids all time favorite dinners. Even my mom, who doesn’t love a lot of foreign food, LOVES this meal!
Before you get started you want to heat a few inches of oil in a large saucepan on medium high. Now start with a pork chop, regular thickens, not thin, but not the thick Costco pork chop. These are about 1/2 inch thick. And of course make sure your meat is fresh, and your work surface is clean.
Now POUND that pork chop thin! You can see the difference here. Try to pound it evenly, you don’t want one area too thin or one too thick, but really, it’s all very easy!
Now dip both sides if flour, and shake it off, you don’t want too much flour, but you want to make sure every part is covered.
Dip both sides in beaten eggs.
And now the secret to these, Panko bread crumbs. BUT make sure to get the JAPANESE kind, they are larger chunks than the Chinese panko crumbs.
Dip the flour/egg covered pork chop in the panko crumbs. Don’t just place the cutlet into the crumbs, pile them on top too, try to get it good and covered. Then, ONE at a time, fry the cutlets in the oil, flipping it half way through. You want the outside golden, and the inside cooked. If your burning the outside and your pork is still raw turn down the oil.
When it’s finished pull the cutlet out of the oil and let it drain on a paper towel. It doesn’t take long to get the feel for it, on medium high it should take about 2 mins on each side. It will be firm when you pull it out, but not too stiff.
Cut it into slices and serve over rice (Japanese rice of course). For my kids I cut them into smaller pieces to make it easier, but this is the “correct” way to serve them, and with chop sticks. One of the things my husband was the most surprised about is my MAD chop stick skills.
When you don’t have time to make the sweet egg topping to turn this Tonkatsu into Katsudon then you want to serve it with Tonkatsu sauce. Mmmmm This stuff is amazing. The BEST brand by FAR is Bull-Dog. We buy this stuff in BULK. It’s a vegetable and fruit sauce that has an amazing tang. I seriously love it!
- Pork chops
- Oil (vegetable or olive) for frying
- 2 eggs beaten
- Japanese Panko bread crumbs
- Tonkatsu sauce
- Heat a few inches of oil in a large saucepan on medium/high. When you add a drop of water it should bubble a lot.
- Pound out the pork chop evenly. Dip both sides into flour and shake it off. Then dip both sides in the beaten eggs, let the excess drip off.
- Cover both sides completely in the Panko bread crumbs. Then fry the pork cutlet in the hot oil, about 2 minutes on both sides. It should be golden and cooked through, if it's too dark turn the oil down.
- Slice and serve over warm rice with the Tonkatsu Sauce.