Tonkatsu (Japanese Breaded & Fried Pork Cutlet)

by tina

This is another one of my mother’s specialties. I love it–So crunchy and flavorful (no sauce needed!). I was always responsible for helping her beat the egg whites and making this again reminds me of how much my hand gets sore from the constant beating. some things don’t change. :]

Instead of deep frying the breaded pork cutlet (how it’s traditionally done), I pan fry it instead (less oily–keep it healthier).


  • 2 pork loin chops (bone in or no bone, ~0.5 lbs)
  • 1 large clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon rice wine (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon potato starch (太白粉)
  • 1 egg white
  • Panko bread crumbs

*if you were to double this recipe, 1 egg white would be enough for 4 pork loin chops.

Tenderize and marinate the pork cutlets the day before. Mix together the garlic, sugar, soy sauce, and rice wine (optional) for the marinade.

Make sure to soak them completely and evenly in the marinade. Cover and place in fridge.

The next day..

Dispose of any leftover marinade (along with all the garlic pieces) that the pork cutlets did not soak up. In a bowl, beat the egg white very well (with chopsticks) until it becomes light and fluffy, forming small foamy bubbles.

Coat each cutlet with a thin layer of potato starch (left pic). Then pour the egg white foam in and coat the cutlet. The egg white foam will allow the bread crumbs to stick on easier (right pic).

Pour panko bread crumbs on a plate. Take one cutlet at a time and fully coat each side with the crumbs. Let them naturally stick onto the cutlet and then lightly dab crumbs on the missed spots–Do not force press the crumbs on.

Set each finished piece on another plate.

Turn the temperature to High. When the pan is hot, place about 3-4 tablespoons oil in. Once the oil is hotter (test by putting a couple of crumbs in. if they sizzle, then it’s ready), place the breaded cutlets in. When the bottom side is very light brown, flip them over. When the bottom side is brown, flip them over again. (if your cutlet slices were thin enough, they should be done once both sides are evenly brown)

But.. If the cutlets you have are a little thicker or the bone is still not quite looking fully cooked, turn the temp down to Medium and place the lid partially on, but make sure no moisture gets in the pan. You might need to flip them over again and do the same.

Once done cooking, place the cutlets on a plate with a paper towel (folded over, double-layered) over it to soak up some of the excess oils.

Look at that crunchy goodness.

My full dinner. (I ate half of the other piece too!)

*I made this again a few nights later with no bone pork loin chops and they were definitely easier to fry–fried much evenly, much nicer.


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