Tonkatsu, or pork cutlet, is a Western-inspired dish that is ubiquitous in Japanese cuisine. And rightly so ... it's simply awesome. Pork cutlets are lightly seasoned, then breaded and deep fried. The great thing about tonkatsu is that you can use it as a jumping off point for other dishes like katsu curry (katsu + curry), katsudon (katsu + rice) or as a component of a box lunch. And of course, you can enjoy tonkatsu, as I do, simply prepared and accompanied by a little bit of rice and sauce.
A note on preparation: you can substitute chicken for pork, in which case this dish is chicken katsu.
2 1/2" pork cutlets (I prefer to go thinner, but it makes it less juicy)
salt & pepper
1 egg, whipped
1/2 cup tempura flakes
vegetable oil for deep frying
cooked rice to serve alongside
shredded cabbage for garnish
tonkatsu sauce (or wooster sauce)
I like to have tonkatsu with rice, so go ahead make enough rice so that it will be ready by the time everything else is.
Cut any nasty parts off the pork cutlets and pound them lightly with a rolling pin to tenderize. Salt and pepper both sizes. Set aside.
Put a generous amount of vegetable oil in a frying pan and bring to 320 degrees.
Put flour, egg and panko in separate bowls/dishes. First flour the cutlets, then dunk in egg, then press into panko (on both sides). Fry for about 4-5 minutes on each side, until golden crusty brown. Then set aside on a paper towel on a rack to dry and cool. After they cool, slice the cutlets into little ~ 1" slices, but keep them roughly together.
Get your plates ready. Add a scoop of rice, add some shredded cabbage and a lemon wedge, then lay on the cutlet pieces. Serve with a side of tonkatsu sauce (or the more all-purpose wooster sauce) or you can drizzle the sauce on top. Serve hot!