Ever dreamed of making your own tonkatsu at home? You know…that succulent pork cutlet seasoned and meltingly tender wedged in between a thick and crisp, crunchy batter? I have…more than a few times and I’ve finally done it now. Oddly enough I was inspired when a bag of shredded cabbage caught my eye. It then went on to a Japanese carrot ginger dressing…then suddenly an image of tonkatsu and a side salad came together. Oh my…this is beyond heaven on a plate!
Tonkatsu is not tonkatsu without tonkatsu sauce! Besides buying the store bought kind which you can probably get at your local grocery store (bulldog brand is the best I hear) you can easily make it at home! You most probably have all the ingredients at hand as well and realize wow… that is easy…and damn that’s goooood! And for an equally great salad…you need an awesome dressing to complement all the flavors and I suggest to make your own carrot ginger dressing. It’s as easy to make as it is to wallow it down.
It is essential to flour your chops twice to ensure that your meat juices keep within itself and does not seep out into the panko crumb. This makes an unbelievably crisp and crunchy out layer that isn't soggy or dripping with oil.
2 center cut pork chops (1” thick)
1 C flour
2 eggs (whisked)
1 ½ C panko
vegetable oil for frying
½ C ketchup
4 T worchestire sauce
1 t allspice
1 T mustard ( I used trader joes hot and sweet mustard)
Carrot Ginger Dressing
2 carrots (peeled, rough chopped)
1 thumb ginger (peeled chopped)
¼ red onion (roughly chopped)
1 T soy sauce
1 ½ T miso paste
1 ½ T sesame oil
pinch of sugar
¼ vegetable oil (or other neutral oil)
water ( if you want it thinner)
2 handfuls shredded cabbage
1-2 tomatoes (quartered)
10-15 slices of cucumber
Half avocado (sliced thin)
Make the sauces first.
For the tonkatsu sauce combine all ingredients and allow it to meld together for an hour or so before serving.
For the salad dressing, puree carrots, ginger, sesame oil, soy sauce, sugar, and miso paste. Once finely pureed mix in oil and taste. Add more soy sauce if needed and if you like a stronger sesame oil taste don’t hesitate to add more. Add water to adjust consistency and add more seasoning if necessary. Set aside in the fridge till ready to serve.
Place the pork chops in between two sheets of plastic wrap and with a mallet or rolling pin as I used pound it just lightly on both side. Score the meat in a crosshatch action on both sides and season generously with salt and pepper and set aside. In 3 separate shallow but high edged bowls, fill one with whisked eggs seasoned with salt and pepper, one with flour seasoned with salt and pepper then the last with panko seasoned with salt and pepper. Park them next to your frying pan. Once ready to cook heat a large skillet or frying pan with an inch of oil and heat it up till about 350 F or when you dust a little flour in it sizzles immediately. When you are ready to fry your chops, dip the pork into flour, then egg, then flour, then panko and straight into the hot oil. Fry them for 2 ½ minutes on each side and when done set them on paper towels to rest and sprinkle immediately with some salt.
Serve with lemon wedges, tonkatsu sauce and side salad…or with whatever you desire.