Feb 19

Tonkatsu: Japanese style pork cutlet







Hello again y’all. So how was Valentine’s day for you? Did you make any of my stuff?


Well for Valentine’s I was in Germany with the boyfriend and the dog, sort of a mini break to spend extra quality time with him (the dog) before he goes in for a lung biopsy procedure on Friday. It’s been a good trip … we booked accommodation with a lovely couple on their farm-type property just outside of Cologne and it was perfect for the dog. Lots of room to roam about any time of the day, through the woods along streams and horse riding trails. The only thing that put a damper on our holiday was in fact the damp weather … and you know what that means. Damp weather means a very dirty dog after trudging up and down the hills around the property.



It was 5 a.m on the Saturday morning and R. was already awake. Why? Because he chose not to sleep the night before, then drove us the three hours to Cologne and then crashed out like a light at 8 p.m. He got growled at by yours truly for proceeding to play computer games on his laptop, making clickety-click noises with the mouse and keyboard. I am a light sleeper and I did have to be somewhere specific that very morning in Cologne. So he decided to skedaddle out of there with the dog and check out the woods … in the DARK! My alarm goes off at seven and I find a very sheepish looking R. in the hallway being all extra nice to me. This usually means something is up and he doesn’t want me to find out. Seconds later I discover  my dog sitting in the kitchen COVERED in mud, looking well pleased with himself, tongue lolling out, tail wagging out of control. The floor had streaks of brown all over …>>  the bathroom was another matter altogether. He had tried to wash Doopey off in the tub before I woke up but the damn dog wouldn’t get in (and carrying a 37 kg brute isn’t exactly easy) … so he thought it would be a good idea to simply do it on the floor, failing to realize there wasn’t any drainage point anywhere.



The guilty parties trying to gain favour with me after their muddy morning escapade

The guilty parties trying to gain favour with me after their muddy morning escapade.



Instances like this frequently occurs when the pair of them are left to their own devices. Turn your back for ten minutes and suddenly something totally juvenile is in progress. They go everywhere together, bless them. They even sleep together on the couch and take baths together.


Anyway, so that was about the only mishap on our trip. Thankfully the floor was tiled and it was easy to clean up, but I had to find a way to dry all the wet mats in the bathroom, which I did. Rest of the trip went smoothly and event free. Ate a lot of pork, as you do when in Germany. Which is why I did not expect to return to the Netherlands and cook pork for dinner so soon.


Tonkatsu is a deep fried pork cutlet that’s dredged in seasoned flour, dipped in egg and then crumbed in panko. To keep everything nice and crispy I mix some corn flour with plain flour for the dredging process. To this flour mixture I add a teaspoon of salt. Dredging is a specific process involving the dipping of the meat into various different things before you fry it in oil. I strongly urge you to prep yourself a dredging station before you begin the cooking process because in this instance if you take the extra time to follow a few simple rules it will save you the headache and prevent a mess from exploding in your kitchen … trust me, I learnt this the hard way.



Tonkatsu_dredging station





So I took the liberty of drawing up a rough diagram for all of you who are unfamiliar with what I mean by setting up a dredging station. The circles represent plates or any receptacle that is deep enough to hold beaten eggs and flour without getting it everywhere. Eggs need to be in the middle, and on either side you can put either the seasoned flour or panko crumbs, depending on which direction you prefer to work; personally, I tend to go from right to left. The pork cutlets then get dusted in flour first, then dipped in egg wash, and finally it gets crumbed in the panko. Really press the panko onto the pork to get an even coating, then put the pieces onto a wire rack or baking tray while you continue dredging the rest of the cutlets.







Heat up some peanut oil in a pan and bring it up to temperature, then drop in the pork cutlets and fry away until nice and golden. Remove from the oil and set on a wire rack to drain.







Serve with rice and soy dipping sauce. Delicious! Tonkatsu is what you will be eating if you went into a Japanese cafe and ordered a bowl of Katsudon, a rice bowl served with the pork cutlet, a fried egg, spring onions, sesame seeds and other condiments. In my house we simply eat tonkatsu with plain rice and a soy sauce + sesame oil dip.










The key to getting a nice crispy cutlet that is still juicy on the inside is:

  • a) use corn starch in the flour
  • b) use panko and not regular bread crumbs
  • c) make sure the oil is hot before you add the pork
  • d) don’t over cook the meat or you will end up with a chewy piece of pork.


Well that’s all from me today. Quite a short and simple post. Didn’t even bother styling the pictures too much since it was night time and as I have mentioned before, the lighting in my house at night isn’t conducive for photos. I like low lighting everywhere, but perhaps once we move to another house next month (or maybe April) I will insist on having a room solely for my photography and have brighter lights installed in there. Shall make a note of this. In the meantime … happy cooking.



~ Enjoy! ~



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