Japanese Pork Tonkatsu

Tonkatsu is a relatively modern Japanese classic recipe, essentially a breaded pork cutlet, served with tonkatsu sauce.

Tonkatsu may have an exotic name but it will be a familiar concept to most people, it is essentially a breaded pork schnitzel served with cabbage salad.

What is Tonkatsu?

It is hard to believe that this dish is Japanese, in fact, Tonkatsu has definite European leanings.

It is effectively a pork schnitzel in all but name and it is hard to not see the link with a classic Wiener Schnitzel.

Its ‘sister’  dish is the katsu curry or katsu kare and is often served as chicken katsu curry. Most definitely well worth checking out!

We are essentially looking at a simply fried pork cutlet that is coated with breadcrumbs.

It is then served with a wonderful sauce and usually a simple white cabbage salad.

Tonkatsu may have an exotic name but it will be a familiar concept to most people, it is essentially a breaded pork schnitzel served with cabbage salad.

What Is In Tonkatsu Sauce?

I wish I could remember where I got my Tonkatsu sauce recipe from and give it name check.

It is delicious and so simple and if I was honest gets a run out on many more things than my tonkatsu recipe.

You can scale up this sauce and it will last for weeks in the refrigerator.

It works wonderfully on a sandwich or burger and I have even added it to my Welsh Rarebit. My grandad will be turning in his grave!

A traditional sauce is incredibly complex and takes many hours to make.

It features everything from malt vinegar to fruit purees and vegetable purees.

This takes minutes and is delicious and contains Worcestershire Sauce, Oyster Sauce and Ketchup.

Tonkatsu may have an exotic name but it will be a familiar concept to most people, it is essentially a breaded pork schnitzel served with cabbage salad.

A Modern Classic!

Tonkatsu is one of those rare dishes that has a history that is pretty much nailed down.

It was first seen in 1899 in a recognisable form in a restaurant called Rengatei in Tokyo.

The name is a compound of 2 words Ton, which means pork and Katsu which is a Japanese derivation of the French word cotelette.

The French word cotelette is also the source of the word cutlet.

The popularity of these recipes boomed in the mid 1930’s.

The most popular brand of katsu sauce, Bull Dog was introduced in 1935 and thrives today.

As with foods in most countries it has evolved and developed and is often seen today in everything from sandwiches to soups in Korea.

Tonkatsu may have an exotic name but it will be a familiar concept to most people, it is essentially a breaded pork schnitzel served with cabbage salad.
Easy Tonkatsu Recipe

Easy Tonkatsu Recipe

Yield: 2 Servings
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Tonkatsu may have an exotic name but it will be a familiar concept to most people, it is essentially a breaded pork schnitzel served with cabbage salad.

Ingredients

For the Pork Steak

  • 350 g Pork Loin
  • 50ml Light Soy Sauce
  • 50ml Mirin
  • 1 Garlic Clove
  • 1 Egg, Lightly beaten.
  • 1 Tbsp Spring Onion
  • Cooking Oil
  • 35 g Panko Breadcrumbs
  • Black Pepper
  • Salt to Taste

For the Shredded Cabbage Salad

  • 250 g White Cabbage
  • 1 Tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 2 Tsp Light Soy Sauce
  • 2 Tsp Sugar
  • 1 Tsp Sesame Oil

For the Katsu Sauce.

  • 1 Tbsp Tomato Ketchup
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 1/2 Tsp Oyster Sauce
  • 1 Tsp Sugar

Instructions

For the Tonkatsu.

  1. Cut the Pork Cutlet into two slices cut approximately 1.5 cm thick on the diagonal across the loin.
  2. Mix the soy, mirin, garlic and black pepper in a bowl and add the pork, allow to marinade for 30 minutes.
  3. Finely chop the spring onion and garlic.
  4. Mix together the egg, garlic, salt and pepper and spring onion.
  5. Thoroughly dry the pork then dip into the egg this mix and then into the panko breadcrumbs to coat.
  6. Refrigerate and allow to firm up for at least 30 minutes.
  7. Heat the cooking oil around 1cm to 1.5cm deep in a pan big enough to hold the tonkatsu to 170° or 340°F and shallow fry on both sides until golden. This should take no more than 4 minutes per side.
  8. Transfer to some kitchen roll to remove excess oil.

For the Cabbage Salad.

  1. Mix together the rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, sugar and sesame oil.
  2. Shred the cabbage as finely as you can, I use a 1.5mm blade on a mandolin.
  3. Plunge into ice cold water to preserve the crunch before draining and drying as much as possible.
  4. Dress the cabbage no more than 2 minutes before serving.

For the Tonkatsu Sauce.

  1. Simply mix together all of the ingredients and serve over the pork when cooked.

Notes

Whilst this recipe says it takes an hour and 10 minutes, an hour of that is marinading and resting... So you will spend maybe 20 minutes in the kitchen in total.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 679Total Fat: 28gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 233mgSodium: 2742mgCarbohydrates: 45gFiber: 4gSugar: 25gProtein: 56g
Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

10 thoughts on this Recipe:

  1. I’ve seen this delicious dish in loads of restaurants, but I’ve never thought about making it myself. Now I know how simple it is to make, I’m going to give it a try!

    Reply
    • It really is stupidly simple, the sauce is a bit of a simplification on the sauce but it works, is close and really really good.

      Reply
  2. This looks like it is family friendly and totally delicious. Love the Japanese twist on a German dish

    Reply
  3. Wow, this sounds fantastic! I admit I’ve never tried it before, but I love anything schnitzel, so I’m sure I’ll adore it.

    Reply
  4. Japanese food is our all time favourite to eat and to cook, but for some reason we haven’t yet tried to make tonkatsu. It’s so yum too, so that definitely needs to change. Can’t wait to give your recipe a try! (Also, love your photography, your tonkatsu looks super delish!)

    Reply

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