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Easy Japanese Pork Recipe; How To Make Crispy Japanese Pork Cutlet

how to make japanese tonkatsu, pork cutlet, recipe Food & Recipes
Food & Recipes

The Japanese-style pork cutlet is called Tonkatsu, which is breaded with panko breadcrumbs and deep-fried in oil.

Tonkatsu is a very popular dish in Japan and is often found on the menus of restaurants from western-style to Japanese style, family restaurants, convenience stores, in Bento lunch boxes, and monthly family dinners at home.

Typically, served with a savory tonkatsu sauce (known for bulldog sauce in the US) and shredded sweet green cabbage.

Crispy Panko breadcrumbs and juicy pork is no doubt about satisfying your family’s appetite and savory sweet-tangy tonkatsu sauce are so addictive.

Recently, Japanese pork cutlet has been popular as Katsu curry rice as Japanese food worldwide.


This pork cutlet is made with simple ingredients even though it’s Japanese style.

You can easily find everything you need to make in your local grocery.

What Part Of Pork Is Best For Tonkatsu?

Make Japanese pork cutlets, you can use either pork loin or tenderloin.

Pork-loin cutlet called Rohsu Katsu (ロースかつ) in Japanese is generally meaty, juicy, and savory-sweet fat.

A thick band of fat along one side of the meat, which, the fat bring the dish very juicy.

Use boneless pork loin chops.

Tenderloin cutlet called Hire Katsu (ヒレカツ) is lighter, tender, and makes people happy with its lower calories.

I like fatty parts so I normally don’t trim them, but you can trim them if desired.

Also, I highly recommend marinating pork loin/ tenderloin meat with shio koji or the baking powder solution to tenderize and moisturize them.


So you can use Italian-style bread crumbs for “Tonkatsu”???

Well, I would say…you can, but it is just not an authentic Japanese-style pork cutlet.

You can buy “Panko” as the Japanese style bread crumbs at a grocery store easily, so why not???

So why Panko 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.

Japanese Panko bread crumbs aren’t seasoned like Italian style and are also not a small particle, which gives you a flakier, airier, crunchy texture.

Fresh bread crumbs have more water content, so give a nice airy soft but crunchy texture.

When the water in the panko evaporates making holes that make it crispier and airier texture.

It also prevents the deep-fried pork from over-frying (so avoiding the meat from drying out).

For the best result to make Japanese-style pork cutlet, fresh bread crumbs is better, but you can get the same result to spray water on dried Panko.

Here’re the tips when using dried Panko.

  1. Spray water to Panko a few times.
  2. Leave it for 5 minutes. (You can see Panko absorbs moisture)

Tonkatsu Sauce

You don’t have time to make sauce???

Tonkatsu is served with a savory tonkatsu sauce that is available in bottles at Asian grocery stores.

Bull Dog Tonkatsu Sauce is definitely the most popular brand.

You can use other Japanese dishes such as Yakisoba noodles, Yaki udon.

For Nagoya-style, it is called “Miso katsu” which is served with sweet red miso sauce.

How To Make Tonkatsu Pork Cutlet

Actually, it’s not a complicated recipe for Japanese Tonkatsu.

So simple and delicious.

Like other deep-fried dishes, dreaded, coat, and deep-fry.

Yet, here are some tips to make the Japanese Tonkatsu cutlet more tender, juicy, and crispier!

Prepare The Pork

  • Cut the edge of the pork chops in several places.

Pork loin has chewy parts between the meat and the fatty part.

To prevent warping and shrinking the meat, cut the muscle fibers before cooking.

To tenderize the meat, pierce the meat all over with a fork or use a meat tenderizer as much as you can.

Lightly pound meat if needed, but don’t make it thinner. (It’s not schnitzel.)

  • Use Shio-Koji / The baking Powder Solution To Tenderize Meat.

As I said, I highly recommend marinating the meat with the baking powder solution or shio-koji overnight for a better result.

Especially, marinating shio-koji can not only tenderize but also bring Umami and savory-sweet flavor.

When preparing a pork tenderloin, trim off any excess fat and the silverskin.

Slice up 1.5 inches and pound lightly.

Dredge The Pork Cutlet

  1. Pat dry the pork and season the meat with salt and pepper.
  2. Beat eggs in a bowl with some water.
  3. Prepare flour and Panko (sprayed water) in separate bowls.
  4. Start the pork in the flour. Shake off excess flour.
  5. Dip the cutlet just enough to coat, then the dry breadcrumbs.

You can use batter instead of dredging.

Cook The Pork Cutlet

Always, it’s better to use plenty of oil for deep-frying rather than pan-fry with 1.5-2 inch oil.

The oil temperature at 340 F (170℃).

Deep fry the pork cutlet to a golden brown.

When you see bubbles get smaller it means done.

Approximately 4 – 5 minutes of the total cooking time.

Place the deep-fried pork on the wire rack to drip off excess oil.

How To Store The Pork Cutlet

This dish will keep in the refrigerator for up to a few days.

Reheat on a baking sheet in a hot oven (400 F) for a few minutes.

You can also freeze pork, individually wrapped then stored in a freezer bag.

If your cutlet will not get crispy, you can cook the pork cutlet with an egg and Japanese sweet Dashi broth which is called “Katsuni”.

The dish that Katsuni on rice is called “Katsu Don”

how to make japanese tonkatsu, pork cutlet, recipe

Crispy, Juicy, Easy Japanese TONKATSU PORK CUTLET

Rico McConnellRico McConnell
A crispy Panko breaded fried Japanese pork cutlet. This Pork Tonkatsu recipe is simple, easy, crispy, tender, and delicious! Using Japanese Panko, Crispy on the outside, and juicy and tender inside. Serve with Homemade Tonkatsu sauce or homemade Nagoya-style miso sauce.
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Japanese
Servings 2 people


  • 2 Born-less pork loin chops/ tenderloin 1-1.5 inch (2 cm)
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Oil for deep fry

For Dredging

  • cup All-purpose flour (add more if needed)
  • 1 cup Japanese Panko bread crumbs (add more if needed)
  • Spray of water
  • 1 Whole egg Beaten, and add cold water if you don't want to use many eggs.
  • Batter *Optional

For Tonkatsu Sauce

  • To Make Homemade Read Other Recipes *Link in the recipe


Make Tonkatsu/ Miso sauce

Prepare The Pork Cutlet

  • *Marinate the pork with Shio-koji or the baking powder solution overnight. (*Optional)
    how do the japanese make though meat tender at home
  • Wipe off excess water from pork chops, and make 3-4 tiny slits between the meat and fatty parts.
  • Tenderize the pork. Pierce meat all over with a fork or use a meat tenderizer. Lightly pound meat if needed.
  • When preparing a pork tenderloin, trim off any excess fat and the silverskin.
    Slice up 1.5 inches and pound lightly.
  • Season with salt, and pepper.

Make The Pork Cutlet

  • Beaten eggs with cold water.
  • Get ready for breading. Place flour in the first dish, beaten egg in the second dish, and panko breadcrumbs in the third dish. 
  • Spray water on Panko to moisten them lightly.
  • Coat each pork cutlet, shaking any excess off.
  • Dip pork into a beaten egg, and shake excess.
  • Coat pork with panko breadcrumbs and set aside.
  • In a deep pan, heat the oil at 340 F.
  • Deep-fry the pork cutlet for 5 to 6 minutes until golden on the bottom.
  • Turn the pork over and keep frying for about 5 more minutes or until cooked through.  
  • Place the deep-fried pork on the wire rack to drip off excess oil.
  • Slice up each tonkatsu and drizzle the tonkatsu sauce/ Miso sauce over tonkatsu before eating. Enjoy.


©Japanmcconnell/Rico McConnell- Content and photographs are copyright protected. Sharing this recipe is both encouraged and appreciated. Copying and/or pasting full recipes to any social media is strictly prohibited.
Keyword Deep-fry, Easy, Holiday, meat, Panko, Pork, Traditional
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