Tonkatsu (Japanese Fried Pork)

I’ve enjoyed tonkatsu many times in Japanese restaurants but it’s quick and easy to make at home.  Katsu can be made with either pork or chicken cutlets but I find pork more forgiving if it ends up slightly overcooked.  At a restaurant, a typical katsu dish often includes thinly shredded cabbage or lettuce and white rice but at home I pair it with a simple salad or have it on its own with a sweet and sour Asian dipping sauce on the side.  Authentic tonkatsu sauce is fairly complex but for a quick and easy substitute: Mix a tablespoon of ketchup with 1/2 tablespoon each of Worcestershire sauce and oyster sauce.  Add in a few drops of low sodium soy sauce, taste, and adjust to your liking.

canola oil
2 thin-sliced pork loin chops
kosher salt
ground black pepper
1/2 cup flour
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 egg
2 tablespoons chopped scallions

fry thermometer
medium (10-inch) skillet
boning, or utility, knife
2 large plates
1 shallow bowl
kitchen tongs
wire rack
chef’s knife

1. Pour about 1/2 inch of oil into skillet. Heat on medium heat until it reaches 350 degrees Fahrenheit—about 5 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, debone pork chops, then pierce all over with fork. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Pour flour into one plate and panko into the other. Beat egg in bowl with fork.
4. Dredge pork chops with flour, shaking off the excess. Dip pork chops in beaten egg, then coat thoroughly with breadcrumbs, pressing firmly to help the coating stick.
5. Cook pork chops until golden brown—about 2 minutes per side—then place them on wire rack to rest for 1 minute.
6. Slice pork chops into strips, cutting across the grain and garnish with diced scallion.

• Pork loin chops have a round or t-shaped bone on one end and have more marbling than rib or shoulder chops.
• If you don’t have a fry thermometer, you can tell oil is hot enough when it starts to shimmer. Also, a breadcrumb tossed in will immediately float to the top and turn golden brown.
• If doubling the recipe, scoop out the cooked bits between batches. This will keep the oil clean and prevent over-browning.
• Allowing the pork chops to rest helps the coating stick to the meat when you slice it into strips.

20 minutes

2 servings

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