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Tonkatsu Recipe

Difficulty: Moderate | Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Makes 2 servings


2 boneless pork chops
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 egg
1/2 Tbsp. oil
Fresh panko*
Oil for deep frying
Tonkatsu Sauce* For Tonkatsu, I highly recommend you use fresh panko (we call it Nama Panko 生パン粉, and it’s not dried panko). If you can’t buy fresh panko at a Japanese store, spray regular panko with water and leave for 15 minutes. When you select panko, look for packages with bigger flake as they are suitable for Tonkatsu. Here’s regular panko you can find at Japanese or Asian market.


1. Prepare the meat.

a) Get rid of the extra fat and make a couple of slits on the connective tissue between the meat and fat. The reason why you do this is that red meat and fat have different elasticity, and when they are cooked they will shrink and expand at different rates. This will allow Tonkatus to stay nice and flat when deep frying and prevent Tonkatsu from curling up.
b) Pound the meat with a meat pounder, or if you don’t have one then just use the back of knife to pound. When using knife, crisscross by first pounding top to bottom then left to right.
c) Mold the extended meat back into original shape with your hands.

2. Dust with salt and pepper.

3. In a large bowl or plate, add ½ Tbsp. of oil for each egg you use and whisk them up. By adding oil, the meat and breaded coating won’t detach from each other while deep frying.

4. Dredge in flour and remove excess flour.

5. Dip in egg mixture.

6. Dredge in panko. After removing excess panko, press gently. While deep frying panko will “pop up” so at this moment they don’t have to be fluffy.

7. Heat oil in a wok over medium high heat and wait till oil gets 350F (180C). If you don’t have a thermometer, stick a chopstick in the oil and see if tinny bubbles start to appear around the tip of the chopstick. Alternatively, you can drop one piece of panko into the oil, and if it sinks down to the middle of oil and comes right up, then that’s around 350F (180C) as well. When the oil reaches to that temperature, gently lower Tonkatsu into the oil. Keep watching the oil’s temperature and make sure it doesn’t go over 350F (180C) or else it’ll look burnt.

8. Deep fry for 1 minute on one side and flip to cook the other side for 1 minute. If your pork chop is thinner than ¾ inch, then reduce to 45 seconds for each side.

9. Now take the Tonkatsu out and get rid of the oil by holding Tonkatsu vertically for a few seconds. Place on top of wire rack (if wire rack is not available, substitute with paper towel) and let it sit for 4 minutes. The hot oil on exterior is slowly cooking the meat as it sits. Please do not cut to check whether the inside is cooked or not. We need to keep it closed to retain the heat. While waiting, you can scoop up fried crumbs in the oil with mesh strainer.

10. After resting for 4 minutes, bring the oil back to 350F (180C) of oil again and deep fry Tonkatsu for 1 minute.

11. Poke the meat with a chopstick and if clear liquid comes out then it’s done. Drain the oil by holding the Tonkatsu vertically again for a few seconds. Then leave it on top of rack/paper towel for 2 minutes. If you have to use paper towel, try to keep Tonkatsu in a vertical position so it does not get soggy on one side.

12. Cut Tonkatsu into 3 large pieces (see below) by pressing the knife directly down instead of moving back and forth. This way the breading will not come off. Then cut again in between. Transfer to a plate and serve immediately.

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23 COMMENTS... read them below or add one

  1. Great recipe! I hate those recipes that seem to overcook the meat. So you’re deep frying meat but it still ends up dry because of the long cook time.

    Next up, a recipe for tonkatsu sauce? ;)

  2. Bee, I came over from Nami’s site… This is my first time visiting your blog & I LOVE it! I live in India, but I lived for a while in Singapore. Not for long, but long enough to fall in love with the food. So thrilled to find so many familiar recipes on your site! Can’t wait to try them out :) Thank you for sharing…

    Nami, this is one delectable guest post! Thanks for the recipe!

  3. I love pork tonkatsu and I shall try this recipe very soon. Nami has become a very good blogging friend too. She is so sweet and genuine. I love her blog very much.

  4. Bee, thank you so much for having me on your website. I feel very honored! I’m looking forward to your delicious recipes in the future.

    Hi everyone, thank you for your kind comments. I hope you will enjoy my Tonkatsu recipe. I have step-by-step pictures on my site if you need picture tutorial. Thanks and enjoy!

    • K. KIM

      Having been born and raised here in Hawaii one of my favorite dishes that I grew up with and enjoy eating is Ton Katsu (Breaded pork fried in Panko flakes) or Chicken Katsu served over a bed of chopped cabbage. I have never tried cooking Ton Katsu before because it can be readily available at our local eating establishments here such as Zippys Drive In and L&L Drive In. But I did come across your recipe. Looks delicious. Can’t wait to try it one day. One of the most important item that was not included with your recipe is the Ton Katsu Sauce. Why? Can you include the Ton Katsu Sauce Recipe with your dish. I want to make one from scratch. Not the store bought. Thank you!

  5. Nami, great post! This crispy Tonkatsu has really won my heart!

    Bee, I simply loved your blog. Just visited Nami’s site and hopped over here. I loved the variety and the quality here. I am an Indian living in Hong Kong and I have had great Malaysian dishes here. Asian food is so full of variety, isn’t it?

  6. Hi Bee, I come via Nami’s lovely blog–This gorgeous recipe sounds absolutely mouth-watering.This goes on my list to try :)

    Beautiful job Nami!


  7. Stu Dewan

    I just don’t understand why you call coarse salt “kosher salt”…

    it’s only called that on zionist countries…

    please use the correct name…

    • Loren

      Stu: Kosher salt refers to a special type of salt used for “koshering” fresh meats. It has a special shape to the individual grains. Until very recently coarse, large grained salt was virtually unknown to the majority of US home cooks. Only very fine grained highly processed salt was commonly available. Older cookbooks referred to a type of coarse salt normally used to draw blood out of fresh meats (“koshering”), as kosher salt. Nearly all american home cooks know this salt by that name.

      Even today this specific coarse grained salt is sold in the US labeled “kosher salt”, so you are mistaken that it is only called that in “zionist” countries, and your use of that term implies an unflattering bias on your part. Kosher salt is NOT the same thing as “coarse” salt. Coarse salt can be ANY kind of salt that is allowed to crystalise in large grains. Himalayan pink, Celtic sea, Hawaiian Alaea, Normandy grey, all these salts are available in coarse grains. Kosher salt comes from a special process which gives the grains a special, somewhat flattened shape, and denominates a specific type of coarse salt which used to be pretty much the only kind of coarse salt widely available in the US. As Rasa Malaysia noted, it is a culinary term, NOT a religious one, something that experienced cooks generally know.

  8. Loren

    This is a lovely recipe for tonkatsu, and works very well. I just discovered this amazing site, and I’m looking forward to try many of the delectable sounding recipes!

  9. We will be hosting a Japanese themed party next week and I am responsible for the entree. I decided on Tonkatsu as my entree… and found your recipe!

    I made it as a practice this evening and it was fabulous! The meat was perfectly cooked and tender, the coating stayed on and was light and crispy!

    Thanks for a fabulous recipe! Loved it!!

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