Tonkatsu is a popular pork cutlet dish in Japan. Its so simple and its one of my favorite comfort foods. While most tonkatsu is made with pork loin, I found that pork tenderloin is more tender and flavorful and needs to be butterflied if you're going for the cutlet style tonkatsu. While I've had this dish at Korean restaurants, the best tonkatsu I've had was at a Japanese restaurant where they use pork tenderloin, and instead of cutlets they were medallions of pork and it was super tender. You can also make the katsu (means cutlet) with chicken, fish and I'd say even beef.
This dish is generally served with rice sometimes miso soup and usually with a side of thinly sliced cabbage, sort of a slaw if you will. Most Korean restaurants serve it with, wait for it...a mayo and ketchup dressing...gasp. Its quite tasty I must say and I like it. There is also a Japanese worcestershire sauce served with the tonkatsu. I like to put my sauce on the side for dipping rather than directly on the tonkatsu.
I made this dish twice in one week. I had to. My growing baby girl in utero was pleading for it. While the hubs and I had the pork katsu, I made my love a cod katsu and he loved it. I highly recommend using the Sushi Chef Japanese panko bread flakes if you can find it. I've used other brands in the past and it just wasn't the same. Also, I used peanut oil for pan frying which is the best oil for this dish. You could prepare the katsu ahead of time, refrigerate then pan fry. They're super crispy.
1lb Pork Tenderloin (Butterflied to make cutlets) Or Chicken, Fish or Beef
1-1/2 Cups Sushi Chef Pank Bread Flakes
1 Egg, Whisked
3/4 - 1 Cup Flour
Kosher Salt & Peper
1/4 - 1/2 Cup of Peanut Oil
Store Bought Tonkatsu Sauce
1. A) Butterfly your pork tenderloin to the thickness you prefer, I like mine on the thick side. If you're using other meats such as chicken or beef use a meat tenderizer to pound the meat to desired thickness. This will also make your meat more tender. Salt & pepper to taste.
2. Prepare three separate bowls. One with the panko bread flakes, one with flour and the other with a whisked egg. B) Evenly dredge your meat in the flour. C) Then dip in the egg and D) coat with the panko bread flakes. Press the panko gently onto the meat on each side and coat evenly.
3. Heat a pan with peanut oil on medium high for several minutes. When the pan and oil is heated, place the katsu and allow to fry until golden and flip. If your piece of meat is on the thicker side, place a lid on after you have fried both sides of the katsu for a minute of so flipping in between. Serve immediately.
Mayo & Ketchup Cabbage & Cucumber Side
1/2 Red or White Cabbage, Thinly Sliced
1 Small Cucumber, Julienned
1-3 Tbsp Mayo (give or take depending on how creamy you like it, taste as you go)
1-3 Ketchup (give or take, taste as you go)
Salt to Taste
Sprinkle of Scallions on top
1. Thinly slice your cabbage and julienne the cucumber. Add mayo/ketchup mixture, salt and mix well. Sprinkle chopped scallions on top and serve with the katsu and rice.
You can make this meal in less than 30 minutes. And you can choose your favorite meat. Serve with your choice of rice, cabbage and cucumber side and even miso soup. I promise you'll really enjoy this meal!