I love Japanese food especially bento boxes. One of my favorites is Tonkatsu which is crispy fried pork cutlet coated with Japanese panko breadcrumbs and a thick Tonkatsu sauce.
Tonkatsu bento box usually comes with steamed rice, Japanese salad, miso soup and tastes absolutely delicious!
Difference Between Katsu and Tonkatsu
Tonkatsu is part of the katsu family in Japanese cooking. Katsu means fried cutlet of meat or seafood made with panko breadcrumbs so Tonkatsu is a katsu of pork cutlet.
Chicken katsu or torikatsu is fried chicken cutlet while Katsudon means katsu with rice as “don” means rice in Japanese.
Tips on How to Cook Tonkatsu?
My homemade Tonkatsu recipe is very simple. It calls for a few basic ingredients.
- Use panko which is available at supermarkets in the International food aisle. Panko is lighter in texture and will be very crispy after deep frying. If you can’t find panko, you may use regular breadcrumbs.
- Deep-fry the pork cutlet at 350 degrees F for extra crispy, light and airy texture like Japanese restaurant.
- Don’t be afraid of deep-frying as panko breadcrumbs are dry, the oil won’t splatter.
- Drain the excess oil of the pork cutlets on paper towels.
You can buy Tonkatsu sauce in a bottle at Japanese or Asian restaurants but homemade sauce is very easy to make. It calls for the following ingredients:
- Worchestershire sauce
- Soy sauce
What Dishes to Serve with this Recipe?
This meal is best served with a bowl of steamed white rice. For a wholesome Japanese meal and easy weeknight dinner, I recommend the following recipes.
This Recipe Goes Well with:
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Tonkatsu is crispy and crunchy Japanese fried pork cutlet with panko bread crumbs. This homemade tonkatsu recipe is so easy and tastes like restaurants.
- oil, for deep-frying
- 2-3 boneless pork cutlets
- Ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1 cup Japanese panko (preferred) or regular breadcrumbs
- shredded cabbage
- bottled tonkatsu sauce
Heat up a small pot of oil for deep-frying, at 350F.
Rinse the pork cutlets with cold water, pat dry with paper towels and season with salt and black pepper. Arrange the cornstarch, egg and panko in three separate containers, next to each other.
Coat a piece of the pork cutlet lightly with some cornstarch. Shake off the excess. Dip the pork cutlet into the egg, then immediately onto the panko. Make sure the pork cutlet is evenly coated with a layer of panko. Set aside for deep-frying. Repeat the same to the remaining pork cutlets.
Deep fry the pork cutlets until they turn golden brown. Remove using a strainer and transfer to a plate lined with paper towels. Slice the Tonkatsu into pieces and serve immediately with some shredded cabbage and Tonkatsu sauce.