Tonkatsu is a typical Japanglish word - ton is pig or pork, and katsu derives from the word cutlet. Tonkatsu is one of the western-style Japanese dishes that can be classified as yohshoku . However, tonkatsu is so popular in Japan that there are even restaurants that only serve tonkatsu and similar items such as kushikatsu (bite-sized fried bits of pork and other things on a skewer).
One of the key ingredients for tonkatsu, or any breaded deep-fried item in Japanese cooking, is panko. In recent years panko has been adopted by the trendy world of cuisine, but it's not anything special - it's just dried bread crumbs. The thing that makes panko unique is that the flakes are bigger and crunchier than the kind sold by non-Japanese food manufacturers.
You can buy panko ready-made at Japanese food stores, or make your own. To make your own, take off the crusts of day-old good white bread. Flake the white part of the bread by hand, not the food processor, which would turn the bread into powder. Spread out the bread crumbs on baking sheets and dry in the oven at a very low temperature until the crumbs are thoroughly try - not colored, just crunchy. You can store this in tightly sealed plastic bags or containers for quite a long time.
This deep fried pork dish is one of the most popular Japanese meat dishes.
Prep time: 15 min :: Cook time: 15 min :: Total time: 30 min
Yield: 2 cutlets
Serving size: 1 cutlet
(For search engine purposes)
By Makiko itoh
Published: April 05, 2004
Type: Japanese, yoshoku, pork, meat, deep-fried