The Trivia; Tonkatsu In Japan
“Tonkatsu” (豚カツ、とんかつ、豚かつ) is a very common main dish in Japan, and if you ask Japanese people their favorite main dish, surely “Tonkatsu” is ranked in the top 10.
It is a deep-fried panko-breaded pork cutlet, similar to pork schnitzel, pork Milanese.
One of the differences between Japanese-style and these dishes is the Japanese style is deep-fried with oil (not butter) and used of course “Japanese Panko”.
“Tonkatsu” in Japan has a long history.
It is said, “the pork cutlet” had known in the menu around 1899, according to References, the original restaurant began to serve “the Japanese-style Tonkatsu” in 1929, Tokyo.
The name of “Tonkatsu” came from the French, “côtelette” which originally means a slice of mutton, pork, etc containing a rib. But at the time, the western culture had been introduced in Japan a lot, so the person who named “Tonkatsu” mixed words, “Ton”- another pronunciation of the pork in Japanese, and “Katsu”- based on “cutlet”, as Japanese pronunciation.
To make Japanese pork cutlets, there are mainly two types.
The pork loin and the pork tenderloin.
The “Tonkatsu” used pork loin chop is called “Lo(oh)su Katus” (ロースカツ) and the one made with pork tenderloin is called “Hire (here) Katsu” (ヒレカツ).
The part used for pork cutlet is generally pork loin. It has a meaty and juicy.
When using tenderloin, it has a lighter and low-calories than pork loin. Since the pork tenderloin has two pieces on the viscera side, it is a part where a peculiar habit to taste. Select natural pork such as from reliable farmer’s pork.
I use born-less pork loin chops at this time.
• Born-less pork loin chops (about 1 inch)
I like fatty part so I normally don’t trim chops, but if you don’t like it, you can trim it.
Also, I highly recommend marinate pork chops with shio koji or baking powder.
So you can use Italian style bread crumbs for “Tonkatsu”???
Well, I would say…you can, but it is just not authentic Japanese-style pork cutlet.
You can buy “Panko” as the Japanese style bread crumbs at a grocery store easily, so
So why Japanese style bread crumbs are so popular???
Bread crumbs, as the name implies, are made by baking, crushing, and sieving bread.
Raw materials include wheat flour, yeast, salt, sugar, fats and oils, yeast foods, and additives.
Besides, Panko isn’t seasoned like Italian-style bread crumbs, and also not a small particle, which gives you a more airy crunchy texture.
For the best result to make Japanese-style pork cutlet, raw (not dried) bread crumbs is better, but you can get the same result to spray water to regular Panko.
- Spray water to Panko with a few times.
- Leave it for 5 minutes. (You can see Panko absorbs moisture)
• Why to spray water to Panko???
What the difference is between using “raw” and “dry” comes from the water contains bread crumbs. Raw bread crumbs have more water content, so give a nice airy soft but crunchy texture.
When the water in the panko evaporates making holes which make more the crispy and airy texture.
In addition, the temperature of pork does not rise sharply, which also has the effect of preventing overcooking.
By the way, if the water content is too much, it may cause splashing oil, so it is enough to moisten Panko with a spray.
You don’t have time to make sauce???
Here’s the ready-to-go sauce!
For preparation, make afew or more incisions in the pork sinew.
Pork loin has a hard fiber “muscle” between the meat and the fat.
If you cook it as it is, the meat will shrink and warp back.
To prevent these, make a few or more incisions in the pork sinew.
Pierce meats all over with a fork or a meat tenderizer as much as you can. Lightly pound meat if needed, but I don’t like making chops thinner so I usually don’t pound.
If you follow my “how to tenderize meat”, you can skip piercing.
Season them with salt and pepper.
If you are going to make a tenderloin cutlet, slice it up 1-1.5 inch (2 cm) thick, then follow the same process.
Bread pork as usual.
Wipe off excess juice from the pork to prevent the coating come off when frying.
I don’t have a specific way, choose the way by my mood at the day.
So the picture above is when I used batter, and the picture below is when I did with the typical way.
• My batter...Mix well all-purpose flour and water to make enough (very) thick.
If you bread pork chops in a regular way, which is put flour → Beaten egg, you can add a little water to the beaten egg if you don’t want to use more than one egg. (My mom and I always do this way.) Also, make sure to shake off excess flour before coating with a beaten egg to avoid the coating fall off in the oil.
I use plastic bags whenever to bread food to eliminate mess.
Heat up oil (a fryer) with between 340 F. (170℃)
Put a breaded pork gently, do not touch it for while to avoid the coating comes off the meat.
Turn it over once, and keep frying until the pork is golden brown and cooked through, and frying bubbles getting smaller it means done.
I can’t tell the exact time to complete, but approximately 4 – 5 minutes to take.
Place the deep-fried pork on the wire rack to drip off excess oil.
You need to put some disposal papers under the wire rack!
As the Japanese way, cut into slices before serving.
(The reason for this because Japanese people use chopsticks.)
Japanese Crispy and Juicy Pork Cutlet
- Born-less pork loin chops 1-1.5 inch (2 cm)
- Salt & Pepper for season meat
- Oil for deep fry
- Japanese Panko bread crumbs
- Spray of water
- 1-2 Whole egg Beaten, add cold water if you don't want to use many eggs.
- All-purpose flour
- OR Batter
- Wipe off excess water from pork chops, and make a few or more incisions in the pork sinew.
- Pierce meat all over with a fork or a meat tenderizer as much as you can. Lightly pound meat if needed.
- Spray water to Panko with a few times. Leave it for 5 minutes.
- Bread pork as usual.
- Heat up oil (a fryer) with between 340 F. (170℃)
- Put a breaded pork gently, do not touch it for while to avoid the coating comes off the meat.
- Turn it over once, and keep frying until the pork is golden brown and cooked through., and frying bubbles getting smaller it means done. (4-5 minutes)
- Place the deep-fried pork on the wire rack to drip off excess oil.