There is something satisfying about biting into tonkatsu, with its crisp panko breadcrumbs on the outside and juicy, tender meat within.
- 4 boneless pork cutlets
- 2 eggs
- 1 tbsp milk
- 150 g (5½ oz/1 cup) plain (all-purpose) flour
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 60 g (2 oz/1 cup) panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
- neutral oil for shallow-frying
- rice, to serve
- ¼ green cabbage, finely shredded
- lemon wedges, to serve
Negi shio (spring onion dressing)
- 1 bunch spring onions (scallions), white part only, finely minced
- 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 2 tbsp sake
- 1 tbsp salt
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.
- To make the negi shio, mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl and set aside.
- Using a meat mallet, pound the pork cutlets until they are 1.5 cm (½ in) thick.
- In a large, shallow bowl, whisk the eggs and milk together until homogenous. Place the flour on a large plate, season with salt and pepper and stir to combine. Place the panko on a separate plate and line a third plate with baking paper.
- Take a pork cutlet and dredge it in the seasoned flour. Brush off any excess and dip the cutlet in the egg mixture, followed by the panko, making sure the cutlet is well coated in breadcrumbs. Transfer to the lined plate and repeat with the remaining cutlets, then place in the refrigerator until you are ready to fry.
- Preheat the oven to 80°C (175°F), or as low as it will go, and place a wire rack over an oven tray.
- In a deep, heavy-based frying pan, heat approximately 1 cm (½ in) oil over medium heat until a few breadcrumbs dropped into the oil bubble straight away, but do not brown too quickly. Carefully lower the crumbed cutlets into the oil. Work in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan.
- Fry the cutlets on one side until golden brown, then carefully turn and fry again until both sides are golden brown and the pork is cooked through. Transfer the cutlets to the wire rack in the oven to keep warm while cooking the remaining pork.
- Season the pork cutlets with salt and pepper and serve accompanied by rice, shredded cabbage, negi shio and lemon wedges.
Recipe from Tokyo Local by Caryn Liew and Brendan Liew, Smith Street Books, RRP $39.99