Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Tonkatsu... Schnitzel Never Tasted This Good

Now I have to admit one thing... before I met T-chan, I was not a pork eater. In fact, I don't think I would have ever bought pork myself. Well, T-chan was a little shocked by this when we first met, and I'm sure it was one of the things that gave her pause when marrying me (as she loved pork). Luckily for her - or should I say me - I came around to eating pork quite easily. And one of the important reasons was tonkatsu or pork schnitzel... or more strictly, pork cutlet.

Now, this is both an easy recipe, but also a bit of a pain. Firstly here's the ingredients you'll need:
pork fillet - about 1+ cm thick... not typical thin schnitzel cuts.
bread-crumbs (the Japanese breadcrumbs that you can buy in many asian shops and are typically finer than what you buy or make yourself)
1-2 eggs - beaten
plain flour
tonkatsu sauce or トンカツソース (from asian supermarket - although a Worcestershire sauce can also be used)
oil for deep-frying

Serving suggestion:
cabbage sliced thinly/shredded
miso soup (home made of course)

medium grain rice - boiled

Now - this is really as simple as a normal schnitzel, where season the pork with salt and pepper on both sides before you coat the pork liberally in flour (we toss in a bag), then dip into the beaten egg before coating in the breadcrumbs. Then it's into the saucepan with about 2 cm deep of boiling oil for deep frying. Always test out the temperature of the oil by dropping in some breadcrumbs or a small piece of pork. It should boil and raise to the surface very quickly if it's hot enough.

Note - if you've got lots of left over egg/breadcrumbs, try double coating (just repeating the process before deep frying). This is an easy recipe, but it does tend to get a little messy... especially the way I do it.

Tonkatsu is often served with rice and cabbage thinly sliced... if it's on the rice it's called katsudon (where don effectively means served on rice) - though this also involves beaten egg as well. We often put a dressing of Japanese mayonnaise (e.g. Kewpie brand) and tonkatsu sauce over the shredded cabbage.

Now the pork fillets we had were quite small, so we didn't need to cut them up. Typically in a shop in Japan you'd have them served already cut into strips. Below is a photo of a tonkatsu bought just around the corner from T-chan's house. Hmmm - getting hungry writing this post.

This is one of my favourite dishes... and I never would have thought that I'd be saying that about a pork dish. But seriously, I love it.


  1. Tonkatsu is one of my Japanese favourites and I love it with miso sauce. You can make a great sauce for it using just a combination of Worcestershire sauce and Ketchup as well.

    Japan Australia

  2. Thanks for that.... will try out your suggestion.

  3. We are making this for dinner tonight too. Hope mine turns out as good!