Tonkatsu: Ton=Pork, Katsu=Cutlet : Tonkatsu is the Japanese version of pork schnitzel.
The other day, I made a huge batch of “Japanese Curry) which is totally a different dish from the Indian version, and suddenly I wanted to have Katsu-Curry (Japanese Curry with pork cutlet).
- Pork Loin (I usually look for ones with more fat!)
- Panko (Japanese Breading, which is more coarse than the typical American ones)
- Salt, Pepper
- Vegetable Oil
- Pound pork with either meat pounder or back of the knife
- If you like cheese, try Cheesy-Tonkatsu by cut a slit on the side of the loin (make it almost like a bag) before pounding. Once pound the meat, fill the slit with your favorite melting cheese
- Salt/Pepper the pork once pounded
- Coat the pork with flour, dip in beaten eggs, cover it with panko, then dip back in egg and put more panko for extra crispy crust. You can go without the second round of egg and panko, but this will make the crust very light and crispy and worth it IMO…
- Heat oil in deep pot, in medium (or slightly lower) heat. I don’t know the actual temperature for the oil, but when you drop a piece of bread crumbs, and if it het the bottom and raise back up right away with bubbles, you know it’s ready… (or if you have wooden chop sticks, dip in oil and if they start bubbling it’s ready…)
- Now the fun part. Start deep frying! Almost whenever I fry things, I double fry them. It ensure the ingredients are cooked all the way through, and also makes the crust crispy, even after getting cold!
- The first frying is to get the crust cooked solid, and start getting some heat in to the meat. Once the first frying is done put it aside on a rack, while frying the rest of the pieces
- After all pieces get the first bathe in oil, start the second frying. While sitting on the rack the remaining heat will continue cooking the meat, and this round of cooking is to get a color on the crust.
Tonkatsu matches very well with shredded cabbage. I usually layer cabbage and lettuce leaves, and then shred them together for better (or at least for me) texture. Then pour “Tonkatsu Sauce (Must have, and easily found at any Asian Grocery stores), Karashi (Japanese Mustard), and mayonnaise if you like it.
Of course the freshly fried ones taste the best, but you can freeze them and then warm it up in oven if you cook a lot (which I always do).