Tonkatsu Recipe (Japanese Pork Cutlet Bento Recipe)Katachiware Japanese Style Tableware
For all those new to Japanese food, the term ‘Tonkatsu’refers to a crunchy deep fried pork cutlet made the Japanese way. The cutlet is coated with special bread crumbs, covered with Tonkatsu sauce and served on a bowl of hot steamed rice alongside shredded pieces of cabbage.
The term ‘Katsu’ is an abbreviated form of katsuretsu which refers to a ‘cutlet’ in Japanese.Tonkatsu refers to a pork cutlet.
What is so special about Tonkatsu?
The difference between Tonkatsuand any other cutlet lies in its breadcrumb coating. The crusts of white bread are sliced off and these are used in the making of breadcrumbs for this cutlet. Known as panko flakes, they give the cutlet a scrumptious texture.
Following details enumerate the making of this crispy delicious cutlet.
Preparation & Cooking Time
- Preparation Time: 15 minutes
- Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Ingredients For the Cutlet
- Boneless pork loin chops 2
- Sea salt to taste
- Black pepper powder (freshly ground)
- Oil for frying
Ingredients For the Coating
- Large sized egg- 1
- All-purpose flour -2 tbsp
- Oil -1/2 tbsp
- Japanese breadcrumbs/ Panko -1/2 cup
Ingredients For Serving
- Tonkatsu sauce
- Shredded pieces of cabbage
- Bowl of steamed rice
Preparation of Panko
- It is best to use fresh panko for Tonkatsu. This can be done in a food processor using white bread slices which have their crusts removed.
- Regular dried panko can be used by spraying water to make it fresh and soft.
- Keep it aside.
Preparation of Pork
- Excess fat has to be removed from the meat pieces. Make few slashes on the tissue connecting the fat and meat. This is essential due to the differing elasticity of fat and red meat and consequently their varying shrinking and expanding rates. The slashes prevent the Tonkatsu from curling up during the frying process.
- The skill of making an amazing Tonkatsu as mentioned below lies in effective pounding of the meat. So pound the meat well with the help of a pounder or the back of a sturdy knife.
- The elongated meat has to be molded to its initial form with the aid of your hands.
- Sprinkle salt and freshly ground pepper depending on your taste.
Application of Panko
- Take a bowl and break one large sized egg into it. Add ½ tbsp. oil and use this measure for every additional egg you may need. The oil ensures that the coating sticks to the meat during the frying process.
- Add all-purpose flour in another bowl. Dip the meat piece into it first. Shrug off the excess flour.
- Next, dip the meat piece in the prepared mixture of egg and oil
- Lastly, dredge the meat piece in panko. Remove surplus panko and give a slight gentle pressure to the meat piece using your palm.
Process of Deep Frying
- Pour oil into a wok and heat it up to 180 degree C. In order to test if the oil is heated to the right temperature you can drop a panko crumb into it. If it goes down into the oil and comes up right away then that is an indication of the oil being heated at the required temperature. Put your prepared meat piece into the oil with care.
- Deep fry the Tonkatsu piece for a minute or so and then turn it over to the other side to be fried for another minute. In case your Tonkatsu piece is on the thinner side then decrease the frying time to slightly less than a minute.
- Remove the Tonkatsu piece from oil holding it vertically as you do, so that excess oil drips down. Let it rest atop a wire rack or a paper towel for about 3 to 4 minutes. The heat on the exterior causes the meat to be cooked slowly from inside. Till then, clean the oil of any fried crumb remnants.
- Heat oil again in the wok to the required temperature and repeat the frying process with the rested Tonkatsu piece. Drain off excess oil by placing it on a wire rack for a couple of minutes.
Cut the Tonkatsu by pushing the knife straight through the piece and serve it hot with Tonkatsu sauce on a bowl of steamed rice and pieces of shredded cabbage.
Tips to Make an Amazing Home-Made Tonkatsu
- Use moistened panko: This can be done by spraying a little bit of water to the panko before using it
- Skill lies in pounding: Enhance the texture of the meat by pounding it well and ensure that it becomes very tender. This can be best achieved by using a meat pounder or even the back of a sturdy knife.
- Fry the pork twice: Deep frying the Tonkatsu twice with a rest period in between lends it the extra crispiness.
On a Concluding Note
Follow the above guidelines and get ready to eat a scrumptious and crispy Tonkatsu!