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Tonkatsu (Japanese Pork Cutlet) Recipe

Authentic tonkatsu recipe with step-by-step instructions
Tonkatsu vertical shot arranged on a bed of rice with chop sticks and a ramekin of katsu sauce in the background.

Tonkatsu, or Japanese pork cutlet, is a Japanese take on fried pork that is popular in Japanese cuisine. While traditionally served with shredded cabbage, I usually serve my tonkatsu sliced on a bed of rice and drizzled with a healthy portion of tangy tonkatsu sauce. However you choose to enjoy it, you won’t be disappointed with this savory dish.

Best of all, it’s fairly quick to make! In this article and video we will walk you through how to make delicious tonkatsu step-by-step.

Tonkatsu vertical shot arranged on a bed of rice with chop sticks and a ramekin of katsu sauce in the background.

What is Tonkatsu?

Tonkatsu pork sliced on a bed of rice covered with katsu sauce on a white plate.  Brown chopsticks in the background.

Tonkatsu is made from pork chops that have been breaded in Japanese Panko bread crumbs, deep fried, and sliced into strips. Tonkatsu is usually served with a tangy dipping sauce called tonkatsu (or katsu) sauce. Like ramen and tempura, restaurants that specialize in tonkatsu are common throughout Japan.

How to Make Tonkatsu?

Tonkatsu is fairly simple to prepare with most of the time spent being in the preparation of ingredients.

1. Heat vegetable oil on medium heat to 340 degrees.

Heat oil on medium heat to 340 degrees.

2. Trim any fat off of the pork slices. This is a personal preference as I prefer a leaner piece of meat. Some people also score the fat so it cooks down easier and helps to tenderize the meat.

Slice the fat off of the pork slices prior to seasoning, adding batter or frying to make tonkatsu.

3. Flatten pork chops with a meat tenderizer/mallet until thickness is 1/2 inch.

After fat is trimmed, use a meat tenderizer or mallet to flatten the pork slices to a thickness of around 1/2 an inch.

4. Season pork pieces with salt and pepper.

Lightly season the pork slices with salt and pepper.

5. Prepare the ingredients for the batter by whisking the two eggs together in a small bowl. Then add flour and Panko bread crumbs to two separate plates so you can quickly dredge pork prior to cooking.

6. Lightly dredge the pork chops with flour, dip into the bowl of whisked egg, and coat the pork with a thicker layer of Panko breadcrumbs.

Dredge the pork slices in flour, dip in the mixed egg, and coat with the Panko crumbs

7. Gently place the pork in oil and cook for around 1 minutes on each side. Make sure to only cook 1-2 pieces at a time as to not overcrowd the pot or lower the temperature of the oil.

Dip the tonkatsu slices into the hot oil and cook for around a minute on each side.

8. After cooking each batch, remove any extra Panko crumbs to prevent burnt Panko crumbs sticking to your tonkatsu pieces.

9. Once the pork is done cooking, remove the slices from the oil and place on a paper towel-lined plate. Let rest for three minutes.

After the tonkatsu is done cooking, remove from oil and place on a paper towel-lined plate.

10. Slice into strips before serving. I like to serve with tonkatsu sauce.

Tonkatsu Recipe

Tonkatsu vertical shot arranged on a bed of rice with chop sticks and a ramekin of katsu sauce in the background.

Tonkatsu Recipe

Authentic tonkatsu recipe with step-by-step instructions
Print Pin
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: Japanese pork cutlet, tonkatsu, tonkatsu pork, tonkatsu recipe
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4 People
Calories: 712kcal

Equipment

  • 1 Pot For frying pork
  • 1 Kitchen mallet

Ingredients

  • 4 Boneless pork chops Roughly 4 oz. apiece
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 Cups Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 Cup All-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 1/8 tsp. Black Pepper
  • Vegetable oil

Instructions

  • Heat vegetable oil on medium heat to 340 degrees.
  • Trim any fat from the pork chops.
  • Flatten pork chops with a meat tenderizer/mallet until thickness is 1/2 an inch.
  • Lightly season pork pieces with salt and pepper.
  • Prepare ingredients for the batter by whisking the two eggs together in a small bowl. Add flour and Panko bread crumbs to two separate plates so you can quickly dredge pork prior to cooking.
  • Lightly dredge the pork chops with flour, dip into the bowl of whisked egg, and coat with a thicker coat of Panko breadcrumbs.
  • Gently place the pork in oil and cook for around 1 minute on each side. Make sure to only cook 1-2 pieces at a time as to not overcrowd the pot.
  • After cooking each batch, remove any extra Panko crumbs so they don't burn and stick to your tonkatsu pieces.
  • Remove pork from oil and place on a paper towel-lined plate and let rest for three minutes.
  • Slice into strips before serving. I like to serve with katsu sauce.

Video

Nutrition

Serving: 4oz | Calories: 712kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 44g | Fat: 38g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 183mg | Sodium: 789mg | Potassium: 747mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin C: 24mg | Calcium: 143mg | Iron: 4mg

Final Thoughts on Tonkatsu

Tonkatsu is a popular option in our house. I love the combination of the crispy pork and the tangy dipping sauce. We hope that you have found this article helpful and the recipe delicious. Happy cooking!

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