Yoshoku is a category of Japanese cooking that originated just before the turn of the 20th century, when Japan was opening up to foreign trade and influence. The dishes are Japanese takes on European fare that were previously unknown in the country. They look familiar, but they have a distinctly Japanese character. Tonkatsu is one of these derivatives. You may never want to eat pork chops any other way, again!

Tonkatsu - Japanese Pork Cutlet

Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine Japanese
Servings 4


  • deep frying pan or wok, meat tenderizer, tongs, mixing bowl, wire sieve


Daikon and Cabbage Slaw

  • 2 cup shredded daikon
  • 2 cups shredded cabbage
  • 1 carrot, thinly sliced
  • 2 red radishes, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp dashi (optional)
  • 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp salt


  • 4 1/2 inch thick pork loin cutlets
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/4 cup panko crumbs or crushed saltines
  • enough neutral oil to fill the wok or frying pan about 1" deep
  • 2 chopped green onions or a handful of chopped chives

Katsu Sauce

  • 1/4 cup tomato ketchup
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp English brown sauce (HP sauce for example)
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • a few drops of sesame oil


  • Shred the cabbage and daikon and set in a wire sieve over a bowl. Toss in 2 tsp of the salt. Set aside to drain for about 30 minutes.
  • Pound cutlets with the tenderizer until they are half the thickness. Push them back into their original size and shape. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Place flour on a plate, have eggs ready in a dish and place the panko crumbs on another plate.
  • Heat oil in the wok to 350F.
  • While oil is heating, whisk together the katsu sauce ingredients.
  • Rinse the cabbage and daikon and drain well. Add to a bowl with sliced carrots and radish. Mix together the rice wine vinegar, 1 tsp of salt, sugar, and dashi until salt and sugar are dissolved. Pour over the vegetables and toss.
  • When the oil is hot, dip each cutlet in flour, egg, and crumbs, making sure to coat thoroughly.
  • Fry as many cutlets as will fit in a single layer for 1 minute per side. Remove and let rest for about 5 minutes. After they have rested, fry them again for 1 minute per side. Rotate out the cutlets so that while some are frying, the others are resting. The cutlets continue to cook while they are resting and the final frying makes them super crisp.
  • Serve with coleslaw and katsu sauce for dipping.
Keyword japanese, yoshoki, pork, breaded, deep fried, slaw
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Tonkatsu - Japanese Style Pork Cutlet
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