Learn how to cook tonkatsu pork quickly and know its origins, key ingredients, storage tips, cooking techniques and how to prepare this mouthwatering dish with our comprehensive guide.
Welcome, and today is something special since we are making one of my favorite restaurant foods- tonkatsu pork! If you’re a fan of Japanese cuisine or simply looking for something easy to make and something to bring for lunch, let’s make this crispy and succulent dish; you’re in for a treat.
In this comprehensive guide, you will make this dish in no time and be part of your menu rotation. Whether you’re a seasoned home chef or a cooking enthusiast, this article will equip you with the knowledge you need to create a memorable culinary experience. So, let’s dive in and explore the world of tonkatsu pork!
What is Tonkatsu Pork?
Tonkatsu pork, a beloved Japanese delicacy, is a name “tonkatsu” and is derived from two Japanese words: “ton,” meaning pork, and “katsu,” meaning cutlet. This dish boasts a harmonious blend of textures and flavors, with its crispy exterior and tender interior making it a true delight for the palate. Typically served with shredded cabbage, tonkatsu pork is often accompanied by a tangy and slightly sweet tonkatsu sauce.
What you’ll love Tonkatsu Pork:
This is a cheaper option instead of buying and going to the restaurant.
- Cheaper– everything is costly now and I am saddened that the Tonkatsu place near me is no exception, so I am making my own of this deliciousness at home.
- Crispy and Tender Texture: Tonkatsu is known for its satisfying contrast between the crispy and crunchy exterior and the tender, juicy interior of the pork cutlet.
- Flavorful Seasoning: The seasonings are readily available and there is no fuss about it. You can even customize the seasoning to your liking. This seasoning combination enhances the flavor of the meat.
- Umami-rich Sauce: Tonkatsu is typically served with a special tonkatsu sauce that adds a rich and tangy flavor. The sauce blends Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, sugar, and other ingredients.
- Variations: While the classic version features pork, some variations use other proteins like chicken or fish.
- Comfort Food: Tonkatsu is often considered a comfort food due to its hearty and satisfying nature. It’s a dish that can evoke feelings of nostalgia and warmth.
- Accompaniments: Tonkatsu is commonly served with rice, shredded cabbage, and miso soup.
- Cultural Significance: Tonkatsu has a long history in Japanese cuisine and is deeply ingrained in the country’s culinary culture. It’s enjoyed in various settings, from casual restaurants to more upscale dining establishments.
- Customizable: You can customize your tonkatsu experience by choosing different cuts of pork, levels of frying (like “hirekatsu,” which uses lean meat, or “rosukatsu,” which includes fattier cuts), and even adjusting the thickness of the breading.
- Popular Worldwide: Tonkatsu’s popularity has extended beyond Japan’s borders, making it a beloved dish in many parts of the world. Its appeal lies in its simple yet flavorful preparation.
Personal tastes vary, and while many people love tonkatsu, it might not be everyone’s favorite. If you’re interested in trying new foods, tonkatsu is worth a taste to see if it matches your preferences!
Tonkatsu Pork Ingredients:
- Pork Cutlets: Choose boneless pork loin or pork tenderloin for the cutlets, ensuring they are of even thickness to ensure uniform cooking.
- Breading Mixture: Prepare a breading mixture by combining all-purpose flour, beaten eggs, and panko breadcrumbs. Panko breadcrumbs add a distinct light and crispy texture.
- Salt, Onion powder, garlic powder, and Pepper: Before coating them in th
- Neutral Oil: Opt for neutral oil for deep-frying.
How to Cook Tonkatsu
Make a slit on the edge of the pork cutlets. This will prevent the pork cutlets from curling when they are deep-fried.
Mix the seasoning ingredients and rub them on both sides of the meat.
Beat the egg in a medium-sized bowl deep the pork cutlets on both sides and roll into the Panko bread crumbs.
Heat two cups of canola oil in a pan and let the temperature reach 350 F. Deep fry the pork cutlets until golden brown and let the oil drain on a wire rack.
Serve with Homemade Tonkatsu Sauce. See notes for the recipe
How To Cook Tonkatsu in the Air Fryer and Deep-Frying?
- Follow the breading procedure as mentioned above.
- Place the bread pork cutlets into the air fryer basket and spray the meat with bot stick spray for air frying.
- Push the air fryer setting button and set the timer to twelve minutes. Set the Air fryer temperature to 350.
- If you prefer to fry them deep, make sure that you heat two cups of oil to 350 F and fry until golden brown.
Meat preparation techniques
Cooking tonkatsu pork to perfection requires precision and care. Follow these steps to achieve that coveted crispy and juicy result:
- Pounding: If the pork cutlets are uneven in thickness, gently pound them with a meat mallet to ensure uniform cooking.
- Seasoning: Sprinkle the cutlets with salt and pepper on both sides for a well-balanced flavor.
- Coating: Dredge the cutlets in flour, dip them in beaten eggs, and coat them generously with panko breadcrumbs. Press the breadcrumbs gently to adhere.
- Frying: Ensure the oil is hot at 350°F. Carefully add the breaded cutlets and fry until golden brown and crispy, usually 3-4 minutes per side.
- Draining: It is essential that after frying, you drain the oil in a cooling rack for the cook cutlets to maintain their crisps. Putting it on a plate or paper towel will moisten the breading.
Common Tonkatsu Questions:
Can I use a different type of meat for tonkatsu?
Absolutely! While pork is the traditional choice, you can try other meats like chicken or tofu for a vegetarian twist.
What’s the difference between tonkatsu and katsudon?
Tonkatsu refers to the breaded and fried pork cutlet, while katsu don is a popular Japanese dish with tonkatsu served over a bowl of rice and topped with egg and condiments.
Is tonkatsu sauce readily available?
Yes, tonkatsu sauce can be found in most Asian grocery stores. You can also make your own by combining ingredients like ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, and sugar. You can also make my tonkatsu sauce without Worcestershire sauce.
Can I air-fry tonkatsu instead of deep-frying?
Certainly! While deep-frying achieves that classic crispiness, you can perform a healthier version by air frying the cutlets at 350 F until golden brown.
What sides go well with tonkatsu pork?
Besides shredded cabbage, tonkatsu pairs wonderfully with rice, miso soup, pickled vegetables, and even Japanese potato salad.
How can I ensure my tonkatsu stays crispy if I serve it later?
- Place the cooked tonkatsu on a wire rack rather than a plate to maintain the crispiness. This prevents moisture buildup, preserving the crunch.
How to Store Tonkatsu Pork:
Quality of your tonkatsu pork. Follow these steps to ensure your leftovers stay just as delectable:
- Cooling: Allow the cooked tonkatsu pork to cool to room temperature before storing it.
- Refrigeration: Place the cooled cutlets
- Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
- Freezing: For extended storage, freeze the cutlets individually by placing them on a baking sheet until frozen. Then, transfer them to a freezer-safe container or resealable freezer bag. They can be stored in the freezer for up to 2 months.
Tonkatsu Pork Cutlets
- frying pan
- Instant Pot Air Fryer
- 4 pieces Pork Cutlets
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- 2 cups Canola oil for frying
- 1 tbsp Garlic powder
- 1 tbsp Onion Powder
- 1/2 tbsp Ground Black Pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- Make a slit on the edge of the pork cutlets. This will prevent the pork cutlets from curling when they are deep-fried.
- Mix the seasoning ingredients and rub them on both sides of the meat.
- Beat the egg in a medium-sized bowl deep the pork cutlets on both sides and roll into the Panko bread crumbs.
- Heat two cups of canola oil in a pan and let the temperature reach 350 F. Deep fry the pork cutlets until golden brown and let the oil drain on a wire rack.
- Serve with Homemade Tonkatsu Sauce. See notes for the recipe
How To Cook Tonkatsu in the Air Fryer
- Follow the breading procedure as mentioned above.Place the bread pork cutlets into the air fryer basket and spray the meat with nonstick spray.Push the air fryer setting button and set the timer to twelve minutes. Set the Air fryer temperature to 350.
Very Important tip!
- When the cutlets are cooked and done after deep-frying, cool it in a wire rack to maintain its crispsness.