Japanese Pork Cutlet (Tonkatsu, 豚カツ)

Food similar to Tonkatsu was served as “pork cutlet” at Renga-Tei (Ginza, Tokyo) in 1899. The word “katsu” in Tonkatsu derives from côtelette (cutlet, in English). Though Tonkatsu used to be luxury foods, it’s one of the most popular dishes for Japanese people nowadays.
I’m going to introduce the Tonkatsu recipe that will be crispy no matter who makes it.


(for 2 servings)

  • 2 pork fillets
  • salt to taste
  • black pepper to taste
  • a proper amount of all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • panko for coating
  • vegetable oil for deep frying


  1. Make small cuts in several places of the pork fillets with a tip of a knife. This process keeps their shape when deep frying. Use a meat hammer or the back of your knife to pound the meat on both sides. Sprinkle the salt and the black pepper.
  2. Beat the egg in a bowl. Prepare a generous amount of panko in another bowl.
  3. Shift the all-purpose flour to the fillets of both sides as thin as you can. Remove the excess flour.
  4. Hold the fillet with your left hand. Dip the pork fillet in the beaten egg.
  5. Coat the pork fillet with panko with your right hand. Remove the excess panko.
  6. Repeat the process 3 – 6. Let the pork fillets rest for 10 minutes.
  7. Heat the vegetable oil up to 160 – 170ºC. Then deep-fry the pork fillets in the fryer until they become light golden-brown.
  8. Deep-fry the pork fillets again at 180ºC until they become golden-brown.

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