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Crispy tonkatsu is served with homemade tonkatsu sauce and crisp cabbage

Crispy Tonkatsu Recipe (Japanese Pork Cutlet)

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This crispy homemade tonkatsu recipe makes extra crispy tonkatsu. Lean pork loin coated with moistend panko crumbs and deep-fried twice for a perfect Japanese pork cutlet. Don't miss out the quick homemade tonkatsu sauce.
Cuisine Japanese
Keyword homemade tonkatsu sauce, japanese pork cutlet, panko, pork cutlet, tonkatsu
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Servings 4
Author Holly Ford


For pork cutlet

  • 1 1/4 lb pork loin 3/8-1/2 inch thick slices
  • salt and pepper to season
  • flour to coat
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cup panko
  • water spray
  • oil for deep-frying

Quick homemade tonkatsu sauce


To make tonkatsu sauce

  • Grind toasted sesame seeds roughly in a Japanese mortar and pestle. Do not grind them too fine. You will want to leave some unground.
  • In a small mixing bowl, combine all the tonkatsu sauce ingredients and add a desired amount of ground sesame seeds; mix well and set aside. You can also add the sesame seeds just before you serve.

For the breading of pork cutlet

  • Place pork on a working surface. Using a pair of scissor, make several slits on the connective tissue (white area) between the meat and fat. This will help prevent the pork from curling up during deep-frying. Cover the pork with a piece of plastic wrap and pound both sides with meat hammer. (You can also use a rolling pin). The pork should become thinner and stretched out.
  • Season with salt and pepper lightly on both sides.
  • Prepare breading, flour, egg, and panko. Spray panko with water a few times to moisten. Bread the pork slices with flour lightly, then coat with egg. Cover the pork in panko by pressing the panko down gently on the meat. Remove excess panko. Set the pork aside for 5-10 minutes.

For the deep-frying

  • Heat a batch of oil in your pot or pan to reach to 330ºF (170ºC) over medium heat. You can also test by dropping one piece of panko into the oil: if it sinks down but immediately comes right up and bubbly, then the oil is ready.
  • Deep fry once slice of pork at a time so that you don’t drastically lower the oil temperature. Gently put one pork cutlet into the oil and cook - without flipping it - for 1-2 minutes. Then, turn the pork to the other side and deep-fry another 1-2 minute (again without flipping it). The coating should be lightly golden.
  • Using tongs, take the pork out and remove excess oil by holding the cutlet vertically and slightly shaking it off. Place on a wire rack or paper towel and let it sit until the rest of the batch is deep-fried.
  • Make sure to scoop up any floating fried crumbs from the oil with a fine mesh strainer in between batches. You can lower the heat while doing this. It's very important to keep the oil clean so the oil does not get darker with burnt crumbs. Return the heat to medium and bring the oil back to 330ºF (160ºC).
  • Prepare for the second deep-frying. Raise the oil temperature to 350˚F (175˚C). Fry the pork again for 1-2 minutes on both sides until deep golden brown. If the coating darkens too quickly, reduce the heat slightly.
  • Slice tonkatsu into wide strips. Serve immediately with homemade tonkatsu sauce, crisped shredded green cabbage, and rice. Drizzle tonkatsu sauce directly over the cutlet, or dip the cutlet pieces into the sauce. You can also drizzle the sauce over the cabbage and serve together.


Make ahead tip: You can prepare the breading step ahead of time and keep the breaded pork in the refrigerator for up to 4 hours.