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, so stay tuned for those!
I often find pork loin 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”.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
How to Serve Tonkatsu
Tonkatsu is commonly served with shredded cabbage and tonkatsu sauce, often with rice.
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!
Another post coming in the near future is Katsukarē, which is tonkatsu served with Japanese curry.
It is also often served in sandwiches, called Katsu-sando.
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. See you soon… Also check our other cracking Asian Recipes on GypsyPlate, and come back again for all the new flavors coming to you.
Tonkatsu, on our Gypsy Plate… enjoy!
- 2 boneless pork loin chops, pounded to 1cm, or about 1/2 inch, thick
- 1/2 cup flour
- 2 eggs, whisked
- 2 cups panko
- 1 tbsp ketchup
- 1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
- 1.5 tsp oyster sauce
- 1 tsp sugar
- Gather three separate, shallow bowls. Fill one with flour, one with whisked eggs, and one with panko.
- 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.
- 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.
- Mix together tonkatsu sauce ingredients in a small bowl.
- Serve Tonkatsu with sauce, cabbage or slaw, and rice.
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