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    Tonkatsu (Japanese Pork Cutlet)

    Tonkatsu is a simple fried pork cutlet, popular in Japanese cuisine. It’s crispy outside, tender inside, and comes with a beautifully flavorful katsu sauce.

    It’s so easy to make, with only a few simple ingredients, yet it ends up so delicious. If you have 20 minutes, you can have this crispy treat on your table!

    It’s also the base for some other dishes, Katsudon and Katsukarē.

    Tonkatsu is a simple fried pork cutlet, popular in Japanese cuisine. It’s crispy outside, tender inside, and comes with a beautifully flavorful katsu sauce.

    Pork loin can be difficult to cook. Our usual fallback when we have some on hand is our popular Jägerschnitzel.

    This tonkatsu is also a fried pork cutlet, though it’s a somewhat lighter dish. 

    Now that we’ve tried it, we can definitely see coming back to this one regularly.

    What is Tonkatsu?

    Ton (豚) is the Japanese word for “pig”, and Katsu (カツ) is a shortened version of Katsuretu (カツレツ), derived from the English word “cutlet”… so, essentially, “pig cutlet”.

    Tonkatsu is a simple fried pork cutlet, popular in Japanese cuisine. It’s crispy outside, tender inside, and comes with a beautifully flavorful katsu sauce.

    Either pork loin or tenderloin are first pounded flat, then panko coated and deep fried.

    The dish is a classic example of yōshoku, Japanized forms of European dishes, that became popular in the late 19th century. 

    It is typically served with rice and cabbage, and most importantly, katsu sauce.

    Ingredients

    • Pork – as mentioned, loin or tenderloin can be used. We prefer loin for this recipe. It is more budget friendly and comes out perfect when cooked this way.
    • Flour
    • Eggs
    • Panko
    • Katsu Sauce – ketchup, worcestershire sauce, oyster sauce, sugar

    How to Make Tonkatsu

    First, prepare your pork cutlets by pounding flat to about 1 centimeter thick with a meat mallet. I recommend placing them, one at a time, in a ziploc bag to beat them. This helps avoid splattering.

    Prepare the dredging ingredients. Gather three separate, shallow bowls. Fill one with flour, one with whisked eggs, and one with panko.

    Heat oil in a skillet over medium high heat. You want the oil around 350 degrees. If you have an electric skillet, that works perfectly. If not, you can use a meat thermometer to check the temperature of the oil.

    Season the pork with salt, then dredge in flour, then egg, then panko. Fry until golden brown, about 8-10 minutes, turning every few minutes. Remove to a paper towel lined plate to drain.

    two fried pork cutlets on a paper towel lined plate.

    How to Serve Tonkatsu

    Tonkatsu is commonly served with shredded cabbage and tonkatsu sauce, often with rice.

    Tonkatsu is a simple fried pork cutlet, popular in Japanese cuisine. It’s crispy outside, tender inside, and comes with a beautifully flavorful katsu sauce.

    A popular variation is Katsudon, which is an omelet-like dish featuring tonkatsu, and served over a bowl of rice. It’s very tasty, and will be our next post!

    Katsudon, an omelet made with tonkatsu.

    Another post coming in the near future is Katsukarē, which is tonkatsu served with Japanese curry.

    Katsu curry.

    It is also often served in sandwiches, called Katsu-sando.

    Recipe Tips and Tricks

    • Pork Thickness: Ensure the pork loin chops are evenly pounded to about ½ inch thick. This helps them cook evenly and quickly.
    • Use Panko for Crunch: Panko breadcrumbs are essential for that light, airy, and crispy texture that defines Tonkatsu. They absorb less oil than regular breadcrumbs, resulting in a crunchier coating.
    • Correct Oil Temperature: Keeping the oil around 350°F is key. If the oil is too hot, the breading will burn before the pork is cooked through. If it’s too cool, the breading will absorb too much oil and become soggy.
    • Fry in Batches: Don’t overcrowd the skillet. Cook one or two cutlets at a time to maintain the oil temperature and ensure even cooking.
    • Drain Excess Oil: After frying, let the Tonkatsu rest on a wire rack or a paper towel-lined plate to drain any excess oil. This helps to keep the breading crisp.
    • Serve Immediately: Tonkatsu is best served immediately while the breading is still crisp. Pair it with shredded cabbage or slaw and rice for a traditional meal.
    • Leftovers: If you have leftovers, reheat them in the oven or an air fryer to maintain the crispiness.
    Tonkatsu is a simple fried pork cutlet, popular in Japanese cuisine. It’s crispy outside, tender inside, and comes with a beautifully flavorful katsu sauce.

    Fry up these tasty pork cutlets in your kitchen, and see why they are one of the most popular dishes in Japan.

    Save or pin this recipe so you always know where to find it. Once you try this easy and delicious tonkatsu, we think you’ll want to come back to it from time to time.

    And be sure to subscribe to GypsyPlate, we’re always cooking up new recipes for you. Also, check our other cracking Asian Recipes, and come back again for all the new flavors coming to you.

    Tonkatsu, on our Gypsy Plate… enjoy!

    Serving of tonkatsu on the Gypsy Plate.

    Try these other great Asian Dishes!
    Japanese Beef Curry
    Thai Basil Fried Rice
    Mongolian Beef
    Chicken Caldereta
    Teriyaki Chicken
    Gado Gado
    Bun Cha

    Featured image for tonkatsu post.

    Tonkatsu (Japanese Pork Cutlets)

    Yield: 2 servings
    Prep Time: 10 minutes
    Cook Time: 10 minutes
    Total Time: 20 minutes

    Tonkatsu is a simple fried pork cutlet, popular in Japanese cuisine. It’s crispy outside, tender inside, and comes with a beautifully flavorful katsu sauce.

    Ingredients

    Tonkatsu

    • 2 boneless pork loin chops, pounded to about ½ inch, thick
    • ½ cup flour
    • 2 eggs, whisked
    • 2 cups panko

    Tonkatsu Sauce

    • 1 Tbsp ketchup
    • 1 Tbsp worcestershire sauce
    • 1.5 tsp oyster sauce
    • 1 tsp sugar

    Instructions

    1. Gather three separate, shallow bowls. Fill one with flour, one with whisked eggs, and one with panko.
    2. Heat about 1 inch of cooking oil in a skillet over medium high heat. You want the oil around 350°F. If you have an electric skillet, that works perfectly. If not, you can use a meat thermometer to check the temperature of the oil.
    3. Season both sides of pork cutlets with salt. Dredge the cutlets first in flour, then egg, then panko. Fry until golden brown, about 8-10 minutes, turning every few minutes. Remove to a paper towel lined plate or wire rack to drain excess oil.
    4. Mix together tonkatsu sauce ingredients in a small bowl.
    5. Serve Tonkatsu with sauce, cabbage or slaw, and rice.

    Notes

    1. Looking for more easy recipes? Check out our collection of Easy Dinners for Tonight!

    Did you make this recipe?

    Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

    Picture of Alpana, blogger and recipe developer at GypsyPlate

    Welcome to GypsyPlate! I'm Alpana, former wordwide tour manager and professional caterer, now full time blogger. I love exploring cuisines from around the world, and my recipes have been featured on sites such as MSN, Parade, Brit + Co, CNET and AOL. You can explore my entire collection of sortable recipes in my Recipe Index or learn more about me here.

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