Cook Japanese Tonkatsu at home!

  • HOW TO
  • Washoku

    Washoku, or Japanese cuisine, is on the list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO, which shows just how important the food of Japan is. Japanese food is slowly but surely taking over in many different countries, and it would be difficult to find someone that hadn’t tried some Japanese food.

    Eating out is a huge part of travelling through Japan, whether it is a bento box for a convenience store, or dining at a 5-star restaurant in Tokyo, everyone remembers the food! When you don’t have the luck to be in Japan you can still enjoy Washoku by cooking at home. I will explain how to make on of the favourites for travellers and Japanese alike: Tonkatsu!


    Tonkatsu is a staple dish seen around Japan and a big favourite. It is fried pork tenderloin in a Japanese bread crumb called Panko. This is traditionally served with cabbage and a rich sauce to compliment the pork. Tonkatsu can also be served in a sandwich or with curry sauce too.


    To start you need your ingredients:

    • Pork loin or pork fillet
    • Cabbage
    • Salt
    • Pepper
    • Vegetable oil (suitable for deep drying)
    • Egg
    • Flour
    • Panko bread crumbs

    To start take your pork cut and trim into shape, you can either do one large tonkatsu or smaller ones, depending on what you want. To make it extra tender after cooking (important as sometimes pork can get tough) simply lightly pound the pork cut with either the back of a knife or a rolling pin etc. Be careful not to pound it too much or split the meat, we want it in good shape. Season the pork well with salt and pepper, then dip in flours ensuring an even coverage, then dip into the beaten egg mix, again make sure the coating is all over. Lightly cover in Panko bread crumbs so that your tonkatsu is crispy. To prepare the cabbage simply finely slice it, to make the cabbage more crisp you can sit it in cold water.


    To cook the tonkatsu you need to deep fry it in oil that is around 150C, it can take between 7-10 minutes to cook the pork through depending on the size of the cut, turn once to get an even browning. If you want extra crispy tonkatsu you can increase the temperature of the oil by another 30 degrees and refry to get a deep brown covering. After the frying process leaves the tonkatsu cutlet to drain.

    The sauce

    The sauce that goes with the cutlet is also very important, however, there are many different recipes depending on what chef you ask. One that is nice that I have tried is;

    • 1⁄4cup ketchup
    • 1⁄4cup ketchup
    • 4teaspoons rice wine
    • 4teaspoons soy sauce
    • 4teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
    • 2teaspoons sugar
    • 2teaspoons applesauce
    • 4teaspoons rice wine vinegar
    • 4teaspoons yellow mustard
    • 1⁄4teaspoon ground allspice
    • 1⁄8teaspoon ground clove
    • 1⁄4teaspoon garlic powder

    Simply mix the ingredients together and whisk until blended. However you can either use your own recipe or why not try serving with curry for a spicy tonkatsu dish?