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The Easiest Tonkatsu You’ll Ever Make

Updated: Mar 27

Tonkatsu is one of the all time great fried foods. It's everything you want in a fried dish, and it's pretty straightforward to make. The difficulty in this dish lies in the balance between a perfectly juicy interior and a dry crispy exterior. You need to simultaneously drive out the moisture from the breading and maintain all of the moisture in the pork, it’s a hard balance to strike, but I'll teach you how to do it. This is the perfect recipe to practice frying at home.





Tonkatsu

2 Bone in Pork chops cut off the bone and pounded thin

90g panko

2 eggs

Flour to coat

salt and msg to season pork


Tonkatsu Sauce

60g or 3 tbsp ketchup

20g or 1 tbsp oyster sauce

20g or 1 tbsp worchestershire sauce

5g or 1/2 tbsp sugar

10g or 1/2 tbsp rice vinegar


Step 1: Prep The Pork

For juiciness, let’s use a rib chop which is a ribeye, same exact cut. Remove the bone by slicing against it, and following it all the way to where the bone ends. If your pieces are thick like mine are, you can pound them thinner or you can cut them in half from the middle. You want them about a half inch thick either way you go. With our pork prepped, season both sides heavily with salt (and msg if you have it) and let it come up to room temperature. If we fry the pork at room temp, it will keep more of the breading and that time also gives the salt time to penetrate the meat. These steps ensure the perfect juiciness that we crave.


Step 2: Make The Sauce

To make this tangy sauce, combine 60g of ketchup, 20g of oyster sauce,20g of Worcestershire sauce, 5g of sugar, and 10g of rice wine vinegar. Mix this together and store it in the fridge so the sauce can become one cohesive flavor. You could also make this just before eating and it would still be delicious.


Step 3: Make Any Sides

The 2 classic pairings for Katsu are rice and thinly sliced cabbage. The cabbage can easily be sliced by cutting the head in half then removing the dense core. From there, make consistent cuts through each half. Keep the slices super thin here that way you can create a pile of easily snackable cabbage. Wash your cabbage in cold water then drain your cabbage and let it sit. Keep this cold and crisp until ready to serve.


Weigh out 200g of medium grain rice (calrose is good here) and wash it until the water runs clear. Pop it into a rice cooker with 200ml of water and a pinch of salt. Run the machine and you’ll have the perfect side for our katsu. If you make this on the stove, use 300ml of water instead of 200ml. Bring your rice and water up to a simmer and cover the pot. Turn the heat to low and set a 20 minute timer. Once the timer goes off, turn off the heat and let it steam for 5 more minutes.


Step 4: Bread And Fry The Tonkatsu

For our tonkatsu, add half vegetable oil and half lard into a medium pot. The amounts are gonna depend on the size, you just need about oil to cover the pork completely. Never fill a pot above halfway when frying at home or risk a boil over which are super dangerous. Begin heating your oil so it’s ready to go the second your pork is breaded. Medium or medium low is a safe bet until it hits 350f.


In one bowl, crack and beat 2 large eggs with a pinch of salt and a splash of water. In a second container, one with high sides, add 90g of panko. Dry off any excess moisture from the exterior of the pork and add on enough flour to just coat them. Make sure every inch is covered. Dunk the pork into the egg wash until completely coated then drop the pork into the panko. It’s important to press the panko into the pork so as much of it sticks as possible. Press both sides until every bit of the pork is covered in those flaky breadcrumbs.


Once your pork is breaded, you can gently lower each piece into your hot oil. Lay the pieces gently away from you so no oil splashes back. Set a 4 minute timer and begin gently moving the pieces so they don’t stick to the bottom. At the 2 minute mark, give your pieces a flip and continue moving them around. I find this short time gets you a crispy brown exterior without drying out the pork itself. Once the times goes off, remove the pieces from the oil and set them on the rack to dry. Season the pork with salt while it's still hot. While they dry and rest, I like to flip them every minute. If they rest on one side the bottom tends to get greasy where the oil wicks out. These pieces need at least 3 minutes if not more to cool and so that the juice doesn’t run out the second you slice into them.


Step 5: Serve

Slice them up and be ready to dig in. Lay down your rice, place that beautifully juicy pork, and then a handful of that crispy cabbage. The sauce is the perfect counter to the crispy richness of the pork. It's a thing of beauty. Cheers!


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Hey, I'm Cameron, and I'm glad you're here. I post new recipes every week, all intended to build your confidence in the kitchen, each one with video tutorials to help. Craving something specific? Drop me a note in my contact form! 

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