Tonkatsu or Japanese Fried Pork Cutlet with shredded cabbage and black soup bowl


Japanese Fried Pork Cutlet

Tonkatsu is a super popular dish among the Japanese. Hence, most restaurants in Japan often have some kind of version of Tonkatsu. For instance, Katsu Ramen (ramen noodles topped with fried pork cutlet), Katsu Curry (Japanese style curry with fried pork cutlet), or Katsu Don (fried pork cutlet on top of rice).

Tonkatsu typically used pork cutlet or tenderloin. However, I find that pork chop and pork shoulder work quite well also. The word “Ton” means pork and “Katsu” is cutlet. Fun fact, in 1899 this dish originated in a Tokyo restaurant called Rengatei in Ginza. This fried pork cutlet often serve with a heap of shredded green cabbage, a lemon wedge, tonkatsu dipping sauce, and ice cold Japanese beer. KANPAI 🙂 Bon Appetit!!!


  • 2 lbs of pork chop or pork loin
  • kosher salt
  • black pepper, freshly grounded
  • all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs, large
  • vegetable oil
  • Japanese style panko
  • tonkatsu sauce preferred Bull-Dog brand


To Prepared the Pork by: 

If using a whole pork tenderloin, starting by slice it into about 1-inch thick cutlet. Then using the back of your knife or meat mallet to flatten the cutlet into the thinner piece. Certainly, the process helps tenderize the pork. Once the pork has been flattened, using your hands to mold it back to the original shape. Lastly, season the pork with salt and pepper.

To Make Nama Panko by:

Nama Panko or semi-soft panko bread crumb is easy to find in Japan. However, it is not common to find it in Western grocery stores. Because we will be doing double fry the Tonkatsu. Using Nama Panko helps the crust to not burn or the color getting too dark before the pork has a chance to fully cook.

Simply, using a spray bottle with regular water to spray the panko. Then let it rest for about 15 minutes to moisten and that Nama Panko is ready.

To Fry the Tonkatsu by Mise en place breading station with Flour, Egg, and Panko:

  1. Betten 2 eggs with about 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. The mixture of oil and egg prevents the coating separation from the cutlet when frying.
  2. Fill a frying pot with enough vegetable oil for deep frying. Then bring the temperature to 350°F over medium-high heat.
  3. Using 3 rimmed plates large enough to comfortably fit the cutlet. Then fill the first one with flour, the second one with egg mixture, and the last one with Nama Panko.
  4. Once your breading station is set you can start the breading process.
  5. First, dredge the pork in flour, then egg mixture, and lastly panko. Making sure to press firmly on the panko so stick to the pork.
  6. Next deep fry the pork for about 1 minute on each side. Then let it rest on a rack for about 5 minutes.
  7. After resting, do a second frying process for about 30 seconds on each side.
  8. Drain Tonkatsu by holding it vertically on a rack lined with a paper towel. Then it is ready to be served with shredded cabbage and Bull-Dog sauce.


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