Tonkatsu (Pork Cutlet)

A Japanese favorite! Sauce recipe included!

Photo by Allison of Culinary Cupcake

Tonkatsu comes from Japan. It is a dish where a pork chop is breaded and deep fried. In 1899, tonkatsu was invented at a restaurant called Rengatei in Tokyo, Japan. It was called katsuretsu or katsu. The phrase “tonkatsu” meaning pork katsu occurred in the 1930s. Before tonkatsu was invented, the dish katsu was traditionally made with beef.

I love Japanese food. My friends, my brother, and I admired Japanese culture from an early age because the Japanese Immersion teachers at our school would have demonstrations at school assemblies. They would introduce us to Japanese food, culture, and the language. Through my high school and college years, as I experimented with cooking, I enjoyed making Japanese food for my friends.

My husband had a different journey to his love of Japanese food. He lived in Japan for a few years and fell in love with katsu curry, a tonkatsu dish with curry and rice. It was one of the only meals he knew how to make during his bachelor days. When we first began dating he would make it for me and I thought it was glorious. I had only had tonkatsu with cabbage and rice. Tonkatsu with curry was new and exciting for me and I ate every bite. We love tonkatsu and hopefully after trying this recipe you will love it too!

Tonkatsu (Pork Cutlet) Recipe

Yields 2 servings

Specialty Tools: Meat Tenderizer

Prep Time 10 minutes

Cook Time 6 minutes

Inactive Time 2 minutes

Beer Pairing Suggestion: Lager


10 ounces boneless pork chops

Salt and pepper

1/4 cup all purpose flour

1 egg, lightly beaten

2 tablespoons water

1/4 cup Panko bread crumbs

Vegetable oil for frying

1 cup shredded green cabbage

Tonkatsu sauce (recipe below)


Using a sharp knife, make slits on the sides of the pork chops. This will prevent the meat from curling when it is cooked.

Pound the meat with a meat tenderizer until the pork chop is about 1/2 inch thick.

Dry the pork chops with a paper towel. Salt and pepper the pork chops to taste.

Mix the egg and water together.

Dredge the pork chops in flour.

Dip the pork chops in the egg and water mixture.

Dredge the pork chops in Panko bread crumbs.

Heat oil in a wok or pot until it reaches 350 F.

Gently place the pork chops in the oil and fry each side for 3 minutes at a time, until golden.

Remove from oil and place on paper towels to remove excess oil. Rest for 2 minutes.

Slice tonkatsu into 1/2 inch slices. Lay tonkatsu on a bed of cabbage.

Serve hot with rice and dip into tonkatsu sauce (recipe below).

If you do not have a meat tenderizer use a rolling pin or cover a can in plastic wrap and pound the meat.

Add Japanese style curry sauce on top instead of tonkatsu sauce for a different flavor!

Katsu variation: Use chicken cutlets instead of pork. Adjust timing accordingly.

Tonkatsu Sauce Recipe

Prep Time 2 minutes


2 tablespoons Ketchup

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

2 teaspoons Oyster sauce


Mix all the ingredients together until smooth.

Dip tonkatsu into sauce.


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