Tonkatsu Recipe



  • 4 x 100g thick-cut pork loins
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • all-purpose flour for dusting
  • breadcrumbs (panko?)
  • cooked japanese rice
  • cabbage, julienned
  • salt and pepper
  • sunflower oil for deep frying
  • pickles (optional)
  • tonkatsu sauce, shoyu, mustard, salt, lemon, ground sesame seeds to serve

How to make Tonkatsu

Tonkatsu is one of my favourite Japanese dishes (I love pork, I love deep-fried things: do the math!) and I've recently started experimenting with cooking Japanese food at home - this is probably one of the last remaining types of cuisines that I have to conquer (and want so desperately to conquer). Anyway, this one sorta worked. Tasted a bit more like pork cutlets than tonkatsu per se, but I will amend the recipe once I find out what I've left out. Or missed out. (Serves 4)

  1. On a clean surface, bash the pork loins with a mallet, rolling pin, or your fist, to tenderize it and flatten it out a bit. Season both sides with salt and white pepper.
  2. Dust the pork loins with flour, making sure the entire surface is well dusted, then shake off the excess. Dunk the pork into the egg, then coat liberally in breakcrumbs.
  3. Heat oil to about 130-140°C (medium heat), and fry for 2-3 minutes on one side, then flip once and fry for another 2-3 minutes on the other side. The outside should be golden brown and crispy, and the inside should be JUST cooked through.
  4. Drain well on paper towels, then cut into bite-sized strips.
  5. Serve with Japanese rice, cabbage (I didn't have any so just used lettuce in the picture), and condiments.
  • tommy
    tommy says

    Seems like the original way to make tonkatsu, I don't think you've left out any ingredients or steps. Maybe it's the brand of panko? I think Japanese breadcrumbs come pre-flavoured, some even with honey...

  • rachel
    rachel says

    yea that could be it. i bought the panko from one of the reputable japanese supermarkets here, shall have to drag one of my japanese friends down to translate what all the packets say. :)

  • LeIronChef
    LeIronChef says


  • rachel
    rachel says

    LeIronChef: Not you too!!

  • Sinbad
    Sinbad says

    I made tonkatsu a few times a while ago and I recall using something close to a batter before dipping it in panko. It's not the traditional way (I think more like for kushi-mono on sticks), but came out pretty well.

  • tommy
    tommy says

    Or maybe the pork doesn't need too much bashing? Tonkatsu tends to be quite thick, unlike escalopes or Hainanese pork chops.

  • rachel
    rachel says

    @sinbad: got your mail, thanks! @tommy: the bashing's not so much to flatten it, but to tenderize it a bit.

  • tea
    tea says

    hi rachel i emailed you a few days ago. this was the restaurant I was talking about the tonkatsu with grated daikon on top is really yummy!

  • theory
    theory says

    The good tonkatsu places I have been to in Japan dip the cutlets in flour and egg twice before going to the panko (ie. flour-egg-flour-egg-panko). This makes the crust more substantial and keeps the meat jucier, which is what I think (along with the texture of the panko) sets tonkatsu aside from a Western pork schnitzel.

  • muttoneer
    muttoneer says

    Thanks for the tip, theory. My katsudon got a lot better because of this advice. I love tonkatsu.

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