Tonkatsu, or pan-fried pork cutlet, has become a Japanese food favourite. Everyone enjoys this dish of tender pork cutlet, breaded in golden crispy panko breadcrumbs and served on its own or famously in katsu curry. Tonkatsu can be served with a sweet brown sauce on a bed of sliced cabbage, in curry or can be mixed with egg and served over rice as ‘katsudon’. It is even served in sandwiches in Japan.
To prepare the meat, make small cuts in several places so it keeps its shape when cooking. Use a meat pounding mallet or the back of your knife to pound the meat on both sides. Finish by seasoning with some salt and pepper before covering with the flour.
Beat the egg in a different bowl and dip the pork in it before covering with a generous amount of panko breadcrumbs. Try to spread it evenly and press it firmly on the meat.
You can now heat the oil on medium heat up to approximately 170°C. If you’re wondering which oil to use, sunflower, rapeseed or peanut oils are a good choice. You can use a wok or a saucepan, just be careful to leave a few inches in the pan as the oil level will increase when you start deep-frying. Don’t worry if you don’t have a thermometer, just drop a pinch of the panko breadcrumbs in the oil. If it sizzles and fries, your oil is ready to use. You can also check by putting your chopsticks in the oil, if you see a lot of bubbles then it is hot enough to start cooking.
Delicately slide your breaded pork cutlet in to the oil and allow it to cook for a few minutes before flipping it over. Let the other side cook for a few more minutes until the whole tonkatsu turns a golden colour. Place your tonkatsu on a paper towel to absorb the excess oil.
Meanwhile, mix the ingredients for the sauce in a bowl and spread the mix on your tonkatsu once you have cut it into thin slices. Serve with cabbage or rice and enjoy.