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TONKATSU Recipe (Breaded Pork Cutlets)


Tonkatsu is a popular and simple dish in Japan and you can find it mostly in packed meals in supermarkets and convenience stores. You can also order this menu in family-friendly restaurants throughout Japan where they are served with side dishes such as shredded cabbage, miso soup, tsukemono (pickled vegetables), and white rice. There are also varieties of Tonkatsu where they are served with miso sauce and Katsudon where it is served with soy sauce, mirin, sliced onions, and egg.


Tonkatsu served at the local restaurant. Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash

You can cook Tonkatsu at home too by following this recipe.


1/2 head cabbage (about 500g)
6pcs. 1/2 inches (1.25cm)thick boneless pork loin chops(125 to 175g each)
Salt and black pepper for seasoning
All-purpose flour for coating
3 eggs, beaten
Panko (Japanese bread crumbs for coating)
Oil for deep frying
Prepared hot mustard
Lemon wedges
Sesame salad dressing


4 tbsp. ketchup
2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp. soy sauce
2 tsp. prepared hot mustard
1/4 tsp. black pepper

1.  To make Tonkatsu Sauce, whisk together the ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.
2.  Finely shred the cabbage. Set aside.
3.  Place a pork loin chop between two layers of plastic wrap and pound until about half as thick and twice as wide. (To pound the meat, you can use the smooth side of a meat tenderizer, the bottom of a drinking glass, or the side of a large chef’s knife or cleaver.) Score the edges of the chop, cutting through the fat rim, to prevent the meat from curling when fried. Season both sides with salt and pepper. Repeat with the remaining chops.
4.  Heat 2 inches (5cm) of oil in a deep-fryer, stockpot, or large wok to 175C.
5.  Meanwhile, coat the seasoned pork chop with flour, shaking off any excess. Dip the chop into the eggs, and then dredge in the panko. Place on a wire rack and repeat the remaining chops.
6.  Deep-fry the chops in batches of one or two- so as not to crowd the pan- until deep golden brown and cooked through about 5 minutes. Place on a wire rack to drain and repeat with the remaining chops.
7.  If serving the meal with chopsticks, slice the fried pork crosswise into 3/4inch (2cm) pieces. Otherwise, the chops can be served whole.
8.  Serve with a large mound of the shredded cabbage, a lemon wedge, and a dollop of spicy mustard placed on the edge of the plate. The Tonkatsu Sauce can either be poured directly over the meat or used as a dipping sauce. Provide sesame salad dressing for drizzling over the shredded cabbage.

This recipe makes 4-6 servings. I have tried this recipe and it has great results. This recipe is from the book “A Cook’s Journey to Japan” by Sarah Marx Feldner. It is an English language Japanese home cooking dish where you can find easy-to-follow recipes.

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