Crispy Pork Cutlets (Tonkatsu) with Shaved Cabbage Salad and Ginger Vinaigrette, as seen on Food Network Kitchen Live.
Recipe courtesy of Andrew Zimmern

Crispy Pork Cutlets (Tonkatsu) with Shaved Cabbage Salad and Ginger Vinaigrette

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 45 min
  • Active: 45 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
The pork quality is essential to this dish and you need a tender cut with lots of good marbling. I use a boneless rib chop with very even and dense marbling. I also prefer my cutlets to be thick, as this helps to keep the meat from drying out as you fry it. Please use a heritage breed of pork such as Kurobuta, Berkshire or Iberico; they all have superior flavor and marbling.


Carrot-Ginger Vinaigrette:


  1. Soak the cabbage in ice water for 20 minutes. Drain thoroughly then spin very dry in a salad spinner (or pat with paper towels). Set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, carefully score the flat sides of the chops with a paring knife at 1-inch intervals, about 1/4 inch deep. Season with kosher salt and pepper. 
  3. Heat 3 inches of oil in a large pot to 350 degrees F.  
  4. Put the flour, eggs and panko in 3 separate shallow bowls. Season the flour with salt and pepper. Dredge each chop in the flour, shaking off the excess; dip in the egg, then dredge in the panko, pressing to help the crumbs adhere.  
  5. Fry the cutlets in a single layer, working in batches if need be, until medium browned (not burnt), 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer the cutlets to a wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet and season immediately with sea salt.  
  6. While the cutlets cook, combine the cabbage with the chives, lemon juice and salt in a large bowl and toss. 
  7. Place each cutlet on a plate; add a pile of the seasoned cabbage and dress with the vinaigrette. Serve right away with some tonkatsu sauce, a smear of Japanese hot mustard on the edge of plate, lemon wedges and bowls of rice on the side, if you like.  

Carrot-Ginger Vinaigrette:

  1. Bring a medium saucepan of water to a simmer. Add the carrots and cook for 1 minute. Drain then immediately plunge in ice water. Drain again, then place in a blender. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Season with salt and white pepper. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 week. Makes 3 cups.

Cook’s Note

Bull Dog brand tonkatsu sauce, Japanese hot mustard and Japanese short-grain rice are available at Japanese markets and on Amazon. I make this dressing and keep it in my fridge at all times--it's that good. The shiso or perilla (beefsteak plant leaf) is available at any Asian grocery and many conventional markets.