Tonkatsu (Fried Pork Cutlets)-Japan

I know I’m in the minority here when I say this but I’m not a fan of sushi…at…all. I’ve tried it out a couple of times (well, never the raw fish variety-that I could certainly never try) and just didn’t care for it. Give me a bowl of thick udon noodles and some gyoza (Japanese style dumplings) any day.

On our last night on Maui we ate at a local dining institution called ‘da kitchen. It’s extremely popular with locals and I’m just happy to have randomly come across it on a TripAdvisor forum. For my dinner I had Japanese style fried chicken cutlets and the portion was beyond enormous as it also came with the typical fixings of a plate lunch-white rice and macaroni salad. I think I ate about four cutlets and there were still more than half a dozen remaining. Unfortunately the leftovers had to be thrown away as we were catching a flight, but boy was it good.

I spotted a recipe for Tonkatsu (breaded and deep-fried pork cutlets) in my Book of Japanese Cooking and was eager to try it out. They really turned out good and tasted even better. I will say that if someone in your household isn’t the biggest fan of the taste of pork-make them anyway as the sauce really “hides” the pork taste. This is a recipe I’ve love to try out again sometime.

recipe courtesy of The Book of Japanese Cooking  by Emi Kazuko

4 pork loin cutlets or boneless chops
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
All-purpose flour for coating
2 eggs, beaten
Dried breadcrumbs for coating
Vegetable oil for deep-frying

4 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon shoyu
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons mustard plus extra for serving

Make a few slits in the cutlet or chop edges to prevent them from curling when cooked. 

-Sprinkle both sides of the pork cutlets with salt and pepper and dredge with flour, shaking off any access. Dip in the beaten egg, the coat in breadcrumbs. Heat oil in a wok or deep-fryer to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Gently slide in the pork cutlets, 1 or 2 at a time and deep-fry 5-7 minutes until golden brown, turning once or twice. Drain on paper towels. In between each batch, clean the oil with a mesh ladle. Meanwhile, mix all the ingredients for the sauce in a small serving bowl. 

-When all the cutlets have been cooked, place them on a cutting board and cut each one crosswise into 1-inch strips. Serve with the sauce and extra mustard if desired.

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