Tonkatsu Pork is a Japanese-style fried pork chop often served as part of ramen dinners or on its own as the main course. As a result of its gentle frying, the pork itself is juicy on the inside and crispy on the outside, making it already delectable. Add on the tangy, nutty sesame tonkatsu sauce and a shredded cabbage salad with refreshing sesame dressing, and the natural savory flavor becomes even better. Tonkatsu Pork only takes 30 minutes to make and it’s essentially a full restaurant-quality meal in one dish. What could be better?
IngredientsFor the cabbage: • 1/4 cabbage • 1 Persian or Japanese cucumber • 2 tablespoons Japanese sesame dressing For the sesame tonkatsu sauce: • 1 tablespoon toasted white sesame seeds, optional • 1 tablespoon toasted black sesame seeds, optional • 4 tablespoons tonkatsu sauce For the pork: • 2 pork loin chops, boneless, 1/2 inch thick • 1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper • 1 large egg • 3 cups plus 1/2 tablespoon neutral-flavored oil, divided • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour • 1/2 cup panko
Shred the cabbage with a sharp knife.
Thinly slice the cucumber diagonally. Cut the cucumber into thin strips.
Toss the cabbage, cucumber, and dressing together and refrigerate until it is ready to be used.
Grind the white and black toasted sesame seeds in with a pestle and mortar. Leave some unground for the texture.
On individual small plates, serve tablespoons of the ground sesame seeds.
Add the tonkatsu sauce to each plate.
With a sharp knife, remove the extra fat from the pork chops.
Make several slits on the white area between the meat and fat on the pork chops to score them.
Flip the meat and make several slits on the other side of the white area.
Pound both sides of the meat with a meat tenderizer.
Mold the meat back into its original shape with your hands.
Season both sides of the meat with the salt and pepper.
Crack the egg into a deep dish.
Add the 1/2 tablespoon of the oil, whisking them together until they are well combined.
Prepare a deep dish for the flour.
Prepare a deep dish for the panko.
Dredge the pork chops in the flour, dusting off any excess flour.
Dip each of the pork chops in the egg mixture and coat it completely.
Dredge the pork chops in the panko and remove the excess panko while pressing it down gently.
Set the pork aside for 5-10 minutes so the meat and breading will be set.
In a large skillet on the stove-top over medium heat, add the remaining oil.
Bring oil to 340 degrees F.
Gently place one pork chop into the oil and cook it for 1 minute without flipping.
After 1 minute, flip the pork and cook the other side for 1 minute.
Take the pork out of the oil and remove the excess oil by holding it vertically for a few seconds.
Place the pork chop on a wire rack or paper towel and let it sit for 4 minutes, letting the hot oil on the exterior slowly cook the meat as it sits.
Turn off the heat temporarily and scoop up any fried crumbs in the oil with a fine-mesh strainer, keeping the oil clean and crumb-free so it doesn't get darker/dirtier with burnt crumbs.
Turn the heat back on and bring the oil back to 340 degrees F.
Repeat the process with the second pork chop.
Raise the oil temperature to 355 degrees F.
Return the first pork chop to the oil and fry until cooked through at 145 degrees F, about 30 seconds per side.
Remove the pork from the oil and drain it on the wire rack or on a paper towel for 2 minutes in a vertical position so the panko does not get soggy.
Repeat the double frying with the second pork chop.
Cut the tonkatsu against the grain into 3/4-inch-wide pieces.
Transfer the slices to a plate.
Serve with the shredded cabbage and the sesame tonkatsu sauce.