Japanese Tonkatsu とんかつ

Ton Katsu (とんかつ, トンカツ, and 豚カツ in Japanese) not to be confused with Tonkotsu, means “pork cutlet.” This is a very tasty, Japanese adaptation of the Austrian Wiener Schnitzel.

Almost every part of the world has some form of fried cutlet popularized by restaurants and family recipes passed down. In Germany it’s the Jägerschitzel, venison smothered in mushroom gravy. Italians have the Cotoletta Alla Milanese and Chicken Parmesan as you well know, and in America we use everything from cube steak to chicken cutlets, calling it chicken fried steak or my favorite the southern “chicken fried chicken.” Polynesian adaptations such as in Hawaii use pork but may also use pounded chicken cutlets barring similarities in the name and presentation of Japanese Tonkatsu.

As for the original Austrian Wiener Schnitzel, it is simply pork of veal cutlets battered then fried and served with lemon wedges. Throw in a side of garlic and rosemary oven baked red skin potatoes and you’re golden. Which sounds like a recipe for another time…

So if you haven’t stopped to think about the various fried cutlets from around the world, well now you have.

As for this recipe, we’ll simply batter a pork cutlet and fry it in about 1/2″ of oil using a cast iron skillet. Once fried we’re going to cut it into strips, place it over a bed of sticky white rice, then top it with a lovely Tonkatsu sauce and a garnish of scallion. And that’s it, so without further ado let’s get to it!

This recipe serves two adults, increase ingredient amounts as needed.

Ingredients: (Sauce – Serves 2)

  • 1/4 Cup Ketchup
  • 1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Oyster Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Minced Garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Minced Ginger
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Brown Sugar

Ingredients: (Main Dish – Serves 2)

  • Two 3oz Thin Pork Chops (6oz total)
  • 1 Cup Uncooked Rice (You will have 2 cooked cups left over)
  • 1 Egg, Whisked
  • 1/2 Cup Panko
  • 1/2 Cup All Purpose Flour 1/4 Cup Scallion

Nutrition Facts:

  • Calories: 534
  • Total Fat: 24.6g
  • Cholesterol: 145mg
  • Sodium: 868.2mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 45.3g
  • Protein: 31.6g
  • Vitamin D: 0%
  • Calcium: 7.9%
  • Iron: 20.8%
  • Potassium: 163.6mg
  • Vitamin A: 6.2%
  • Vitamin C: 4.5%

Directions:

  1. Boil your rice per package directions. I never boil less than 1 Cup of rice, so I always end up with 3 Cups once cooked no matter what I’m making. If you are indeed making dinner for two, you’re going to have some rice left over. That’s no big deal however simply use that for meal prep!
  2. While rice boils make your sauce. Combine ketchup, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, oyster sauce, minced garlic, minced ginger, and brown sugar in a mixing bowl. Whisk together until the brown sugar is dissolved and all ingredients are well combined.
  3. Before rice finishes boiling, finely chop the tips of some green onion to make your scallion garnish. Use the video for reference here, you want the scallions cut fairly thin.
  4. If your pork chops are more than 1/4″ thick you need to pound them out with a meat pounder. If you don’t have a meat pounder then any flat heavy surface will do, such as a burger press. Do not use a meat tenderizer. If you were able to purchase thin cut pork chops which are 1/4″ thick or less then you may skip this step.
  5. Prepare your pork chops. Dredge them on both sides in flour, then coat with whisked egg, then transfer to panko bread crumbs for coating. Video shows an easy demonstration of how to accomplish this.
  6. You need cast iron for this step. Line skillet with 1/2″ of oil and let it heat up to 375 degrees. Canola oil works great as it’s inexpensive and has a smoke point of 500 degrees. You’ll know the temperature is right when you add a drop of flour and it sizzles.
  7. Gently lay pork cutlets into oil and fry until golden brown on both sides. This should take 4-5 minutes per side but please check every minute with a spatula to make sure it’s not over cooking which will burn your breading.
  8. Remove from skillet once cooked and let drain over paper towel. Cut into strips and prepare to plate.
  9. Line plate with a layer of white rice, then fan strips of Tonkatsu over rice. Top with a nice drizzle of sauce and garnish with scallions. And that’s it! A delicious, heart warming dinner that is sure to please.

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