This Japanese style crispy breaded pork cutlet is always served on a bed of very finely shredded cabbage and spicy sauce similar to Western steak sauce. The cutlets are breaded in the wonderfully crunchy panko bread crumbs. The recipe for the sauce follows, but there are very good commercial bottled brands readily available in many large western supermarkets in the Asian food aisle (as are the panko bread crumbs). Pork is most commonly used but beef and chicken may also be used following the same recipe. Tonkatsu is so popular in Japan there are restaurants that specialize in the dish and serve nothing else.
Leftover cold tonkatsu makes an excellent sandwich for lunch the next day and is often sold in Japan as such.
4 one inch slices boneless pork loin pounded out to ½ inch thickness
1 cup flour
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups Japanese panko bread crumbs
salt and pepper
oil for frying (peanut, canola or vegetable)
Very finely shredded cabbage
Gently pound the pork between two slices of plastic wrap to a thickness of ½ inch. Season with salt and pepper. Dust lightly with flour and shake off excess. Dip in the beaten egg and then coat well in the panko crumbs.
Preheat the oil in a large sauté pan pan over medium heat to 350 degrees. When the oil is hot, fry the cutlets without crowding them until golden brown on each side. Drain on a wire rack to maintain the crispness on the bottom. Serve with shredded cabbage and tonkatsu sauce.
½ cup ketchup
¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
¼ cup sake
¼ cup dark soy sauce
½ tsp sugar
Stir all of the ingredients until the sugar is dissolved, Serve on the side in dipping bowls or drizzled over top of the cutlets.