Tonkatsu is a Japanese home-style dish made of thick pieces of pork loin or fillet, coated in egg, and flour, and wrapped in panko bread crumbs. It is then deep fried and finished by being topped with tonkatsu sauce and served with vegetables such as shredded cabbage or tomatoes. Tonkatsu is often served with miso soup and white rice.
The roots of Tonkatsu come from the Western-style "cutlet" dish that was popularized in Japan during the Meiji period (1868-1912). Originally beef was used to make the cutlet, but later on, pork became popular among the Japanese as it is cheaper than beef.
Today, tonkatsu always ranks high in Japanese home cooking, as everyone loves its crispy texture and savory flavor. Fried food can be a bit of a challenge to make at home, so it's hard to make it often. However, many Japanese families feel excited when they get to eat Tonkatsu for dinner.
Katsu also has a double meaning in Japanese. "Katsu" in tonkatsu is pronounced the same as "katsu = victory" in Japanese, so tonkatsu is eaten as a good luck charm when there is an important exam or game, with the hope of winning.
Outside of the home, you can find tonkatsu at Japanese restaurants and in the prepared food section of supermarkets across the country.
Tonkatsu is also served and arranged in many different ways in Japan. For example, there is “Katsu curry”, which is curry served with a piece of tonkatsu on top. There is also “Katsu sando” which is a sandwich consisting of shokupan, a thick piece of tonkatsu, katsu sauce, and shredded cabbage.
In this recipe, we’re going to show you how you can easily make Japanese tonkatsu at home with only a few ingredients. We hope you'll enjoy making tonkatsu for your family and friends!
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 10 mins
Total time: 30 mins
Total servings: 2
- 2 Boneless Pork Loin Chops (about 1/2 inch or 1cm thick)
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1/2 tsp Pepper
- 2 Tbsp All Purpose Flour
- 1 Egg
- 2 Tbsp Panko Bread Crumbs
- 3 Cups Canola Oil (should fill 2-3cm from the bottom of the pot)
- Shredded Cabbage for serving (as much as you like)
- Tonkatsu Sauce (as much as you like)
The choice of pot is very important to successfully deep-fry foods. The key to choosing the right pot is its depth to hold the right amount of oil, and its heat retention properties to maintain the right temperature for deep frying. It is also important to control the temperature properly during cooking and to drain excess oil from the batter to avoid failure. This pot from Yoshikawa has all of the above functions in one and is specially designed for deep frying.
1) Gathering the Ingredients
Gather the ingredients together.
2) Preparing the Pork
Cut the muscle which is located between fat and meat with a knife. This prevents the meat from shrinking while frying. Tenderize the meat by beating it with the back of a knife then shape its back with your hands. Finally, sprinkle it with salt & pepper.
3) Breading the Pork
Dredge the pork in the flour, beaten egg, and panko in that order. Be sure to thoroughly coat all surfaces of the pork.
4) Frying the Tonkatsu
Heat the oil to 170-180°C (340-350°F) and add the tonkatsu to the pot. After about 3 to 4 minutes of frying, the sound of the oil will become lighter, indicating that the tonkatsu is ready to be flipped. Flip it to allow the other side to cook evenly, and then once both sides are golden brown, it's done! Served with shredded cabbage, tomatoes, or your other favorite vegetables and tonkatsu sauce.