Not for the faint-hearted, this flavour-packed pork roll lands with a punch that will knock you off your chopsticks. You'll love this Japanese-style schnitzel recipe, with pickled daikon and cabbage for crunch, topped off with Japanese barbecue sauce.
- 500 g pork loin trimmed (see note), cut into 4 equal slices
- 2 tsp ponzu sauce (see note) or soy sauce
- 2 tsp mirin
- ½ tsp sesame oil
- 3 tsp caster sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- 60 ml (¼ cup) boiling water
- 185 ml rice vinegar
- 150 g daikon (Japanese radish), finely shredded
- 60 ml (¼ cup) Kewpie mayonnaise (see note)
- 150 g red cabbage, finely sliced
- 2 tbsp plain flour
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 80 g (1 cup) panko breadcrumbs (see note)
- vegetable oil, to shallow fry
- 4 long soft white rolls
- tonkatsu sauce (see note), to serve
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.
Using a meat mallet flatten the pork until roughly 1 cm thick. Combine ponzu sauce, mirin and sesame oil. Spoon 2 teaspoons over the pork, turn to coat and set aside. Reserve the remaining marinade.
Dissolve the sugar and salt in the boiling water then add the rice vinegar and stir to combine. Pour the liquid over the daikon and set aside until ready to use. Drain
Combine the mayonnaise, 2 teaspoons of the reserved marinade and 1 teaspoon of daikon pickling liquid. Add the cabbage, season with salt and toss to coat. Set aside.
Place the flour, egg and panko in three separate bowls. Pat the pork dry with paper towel then dust with flour, coat in egg and toss in panko until evenly coated.
Heat 1 cm of oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat until the surface shimmers. Cook the pork for 2 minutes on each side until golden and crisp and cooked through. Drain on paper towel.
Split the rolls in half and divide the cabbage between the bases. Place the pork on top of the cabbage and drizzle over the tonkatsu sauce. Top with pickled daikon and the roll tops.
• Buy pork mid loin chops and have your butcher cut out the bone.
• Kewpie mayonnaise, ponzu sauce, panko breadcrumbs and tonkatsu sauce are all available from Japanese food stores and some Asian grocers.
Photography by Benito Martin.