Amazingly, I’ve not written about this before, although I did a post about chicken katsu curry a while ago. This is a surprise because I make tonkatsu fairly often and it is one of my favourite things to do with lean pork.
It is a Japanese dish that was invented in the 19th century when Japan was first opened up to Western influences.
It is a slice of pork loin or a boned pork chop, trimmed of fat and breaded with panko crumbs. It is really the same as a Wienerschnitzel or an escalope panée.
I like loin steaks for this and I beat them out with a meat mallet and then simply season them and flour, egg and crumb coat them. They are then fried until the coating is crisp.
The best way to do this is in a deep-fat fryer, because the crumb layer becomes really wonderfully crisp and golden but you can shallow fry them too.
There is a special Tonkatsu sauce too, based upon Western brown sauces, Bulldog being a popular brand in Japan. It is very similar to HP sauce.
Last night I served the tonkatsu with a stir-fry of beansprouts, noodles and mushrooms in oyster sauce and steamed Pak Choi. In Japan, tonkatsu is often served with shredded cabbage, rice and miso soup, or with rice and Japanese curry sauce.