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Recipe courtesy of Kathleen Brennan for Food Network Kitchen

Tonkatsu with Homemade Sauce

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 30 min
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
Tonkatsu (fried pork cutlets) is one of the most popular dishes in Japan. It's commonly served with a bottled sauce (Bull Dog is a beloved brand), but making a homemade version is simple and quick. Slice the cabbage that accompanies the pork as thinly as possible and keep it cold until ready to serve for the best contrast in taste and texture.






  1. For the sauce: Stir together the ketchup, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, mirin, sugar, Dijon and garlic powder in a small bowl. Set aside while you prepare the pork.
  2. For the pork: Put the flour in a shallow bowl. Whisk the egg with a small splash of water in a second shallow bowl. Add the panko to a deep dish.  
  3. Lightly pound each piece of pork with a meat mallet, then generously sprinkle on both sides with salt and pepper. Dredge one cutlet in the flour, coating completely, then shake off any excess. Dip it in the egg mixture, letting any excess drip off, then coat with the panko, gently pressing it into the panko so the crumbs stick. Transfer to a plate and repeat with the remaining cutlets.  
  4. Heat about 1/3 inch oil in a medium skillet over medium heat until it shimmers. Add 2 of the cutlets and cook until golden brown on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Flip the pieces over and cook until almost cooked through but still pink, 1 to 2 minutes more. Transfer the cutlets to a paper towel–lined cutting board, sprinkle with salt and tent with foil to keep warm. Repeat with the 2 remaining cutlets.  
  5. For serving: Slice the cutlets crosswise into 1/2-inch strips. Place a sliced cutlet on each plate along with a scoop of rice, a mound of cabbage and 2 tomato wedges and/or cucumber slices, if using. Drizzle the cutlets with the sauce and serve with extra sauce on the side. 

Cook’s Note

You can use a 1-pound or so pork loin, cut it into 4 pieces, then pound the pieces until they are a little less than 1/2 inch thick. For the tastiest and juiciest results, use the best pork you can find with some fat on it and don’t overcook it. Some people crisp the cabbage in a bowl of ice water before serving; if you do, make sure to drain and dry it well.