• Chef Naoya Shimada was inspired by the sandwiches he found in Japan's konbini. (Naoya Shimada)Source: Naoya Shimada

On soft white bread, the Sando Bar chef layers Japanese pork cutlets with tonkatsu sauce and a Western-style slaw.






Skill level

Average: 4.5 (14 votes)


Pickled slaw

  • ¼ savoy cabbage, shredded
  • 1 fennel, thinly sliced
  • 3 Fuji apples, finely julienned
  • 250 ml rice wine vinegar
  • 75 ml apple cider vinegar
  • 325 ml water
  • 25 g sea salt
  • 75 g caster sugar
  • 8 g yellow mustard seeds
  • 5 g caraway seeds

Pork cutlet

  • 500 g rindless pork loin
  • 150 ml liquid shio koji
  • 80 g plain flour
  • 2 free range eggs, beaten)
  • 100 g panko bread crumbs
  • Vegetable oil for frying


  • 8 slices of thick white bread (crusts cut off)
  • Japanese tonkatsu sauce, to serve
  • Japanese mayonnaise, to serve
  • Karashi mustard or hot English mustard, to serve

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


1. Prepare the pickled slaw. Shred the cabbage, thinly slice the fennel and finely julienne the apples, using a mandolin if available. Mix the ingredients together thoroughly and store in a heatproof container that will fit in your fridge.

2. Combine the vinegars, water, salt, sugar and spices in a pot and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and allow the flavours to infuse whilst it cools slightly, then strain, and pour over the cabbage slaw while still warm. Store in the fridge until the slaw becomes cold and crunchy.

3. Prepare the pork cutlet. Cut the pork loin into 4 x 125 g portions (If you prefer thick cutlets, slice the loin in half lengthwise and then cut each half into two portions).

4. Pour the liquid shio koji over the pork cutlets and allow them to marinate for 30 minutes. Note: do not leave this to marinate too long or the cutlets will become too salty.

5. Drain the pork portions and pat them dry. Set up a crumbing station with your plain flour, beaten eggs and panko crumbs. Dust each portion in the plain flour, then the egg mix and finally the panko crumb. Allow the crumbed cutlets to get to room temperature before cooking.

6. In heavy based, shallow skillet, heat up some vegetable oil to 170˚C. Fry the pork cutlets, two at a time, until golden and cooked through. This will take around 10 minutes, but the duration will vary depending on the thickness of the cutlets.

7. Lay out your bread on a cutting board. On the base side, spread a good layer of tonkatsu sauce. On the top side, spread some karashi mustard and mayonnaise. Place a pork cutlet on the base, then top with a handful of (well-strained) slaw. Close the sandwich with the top side of bread and cut the sandwich neatly in half. Serve the sando with the cut side facing up.



• Shio koji can be bought from Japanese grocery stores. It can be omitted if unavailable.

• Karashi mustard can be substituted with hot English mustard.

• Tonkatsu sauce can be substituted with a blend of tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce and a little oyster sauce.