Japan – Tonkatsu

by Zayna Khan

TONKATSU is a platter of few elements having much variety but the main thing is ”fried tempura pork cutlet”. This dish is a whole platter of wholemeal having rice, meat, salad, and soup, etc. The main element of all flavors and texture is pork meat when mixing with some spices and covered with bread crumbs to fry them. This is a very crispy and tasty element of the dish.

Naming of the dish

The name of the dish came into existence by combination of two separate words ;

In sino Japanese language word ”TON” means ”PIG / PORK” and ”KATSU” means ”CHOP MEAT/ CUTLET”. So this word means Pork cutlets but having more components on the plate. But star of the dish is this Pork Cutlet/ Fried pork.

Elements of the dish

Here are all the elements of the dish given below :

* Fried Pork Cutlet

This is an actual dish name, which means fried pork or pork cutlet. This is the simple pork cutlet when spiced up and deep-fried in the oil. Having a layer of crispy bread crumbs over the meat. But the main thing about this element is not only the ingredient but also the meat. The part of which meat is taken is usually from ribs side of filltet.

  • Pork fillet / Hire is the part of pork meat from the back. Meat from the center back of the spine.
  • Pork loin / rosu is the cut from the side of the rib cage.

This portion of meat preferably used in this dish. Now meat is marinated with salt, pepper, spices, egg, plain flour and then fried by coating in bread crumbs known as Panko.

* Tonkatsu sauce

Tonkatsu sauce is the special sauce used in this dish and served with fried pork. This is a very thick, tangy sauce made up of tomatoes, apples, dates, brown sugar. The use of different elements in this sauce is very good in go with this pork dish. It is also known as ”fruity Tonkatsu sauce

*Cabbage Salad

This salad is specially served with this dish. It has few ingredients to toss with the thinly sliced cut of cabbage. Sesame seeds, vinegar, salt, miso are added to the cabbage and serve along the side of this dish.

*Steamed rice

Rice is also an element of this dish. Rice on the bottom of the plate served on the top with fried pork is also giving us the Donburi cuisine.

*Miso Soup

To complete the dish, Miso soup is compulsory to serve with Tonkatsu. This dish is not a complete dish without Miso soup.


This dish is very popular of having many varieties of having different texture with different ingredients. Like we can use different meat like chicken, beef etc and we can prepare sauce, gravy, curry of this dish to have new effect of taste and deliciousness. But by doing all the different variation we have lost the tradition of the dish. Here are many different dishes made up from the same main element of the dish.

  • Katsu Sando ( sandwich )
  • Japanese prok sandwish
  • Katsu curry
  • KatsuKare ( Curry )
  • Chicken katsu
  • Kare katsu
  • Menchi katsu ( mince pattis )
  • Hamu katsu ( Ham meat )
  • Gyu Katsu ( Beef meat )

Here is a picture of Katsu Sando, a pork Tonkatsu stuffed sandwich

Cuisine : Japanese

Course : whole meal course

Taste : salt and savory

Temperature : hot serving

Servings : 6 persons

1.Ingredients of Pork Cutlet / Tonkatu

  • Pork Loin chops : 4 fillet
  • Rock salt : 1 teaspoon
  • Garlic chopped : 2 tablespoons
  • Green chilies : 2 chopped
  • Black pepper : 1/2 teaspoon
  • Olive oil : 2 tablespoons
  • Vegetables oil : for frying

Outer Coating of Pork

  • Plain white flour : 4 tablespoons
  • Egg : 1
  • Corn starch : 4 tablespoons
  • Salt : 1/2 teaspoon
  • Panko Bread crumbs : 1 cup
  • Water : to make thick paste

Instructions of making Tonkatsu

  • First of all take pork with all its ingredients and marinate it for 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Salt, pepper, garlic, green chilies and olive oil make this pork juicy and tasty meat.
  • Now after 20 minutes of marination, Start making the outer crispy coating of Tonkatsu.
  • Take a mixing bowl and add flour, cornstarch, egg, salt and make a slightly thick paste with water.
  • Now heat up the oil for frying, First pick up the pork fillet and dipped into the thick slury make up of flour and egg.
  • Now coat the pork into panko bread crumbs.
  • Check the meat is sealed properly, if required double coat the pork meat by dipping again to slurry and bread crumbs.
  • Now on moderate temperature, deep fry this pork meat.
  • In this procedure, for proper crispiness we have to double fry our meat pieces.
  • First batch of meat is fried on medium heat for 5 minutes.
  • Now let them cool down properly, again deep fry this fillet till brown color and hard crispiness appeared.
  • Let this set aside until other elements are cooked and serve it.

2.Ingredients for Tonkatsu Sauce

  • Ketchup : 1/2 cup
  • Hot sauce : 2 tablespoons
  • Oyster sauce : 3 tablespoons
  • Worcester sauce : 4 tablespoons
  • Sugar : 2 teaspoons
  • Lee kum Kee sauce : 4 tablespoons


Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and serve it over the pork fillet.

3.Ingredients of Cabbage Tonkatsu Salad

  • Napa cabbage : 1/2 cup
  • Savoy cabbage : 1/2 cup
  • Green cabbage : 1/2 cup
  • Apple cider vinegar : 4 tablespoons
  • Salt : 1/2 teaspoon
  • Sesame oil : 4 tablespoons


Mix all ingredients together and serve it freshly prepared. Otherwise cabbage softens and bitter in taste.

Cuisine : Japanese

Course : whole meal course

Taste : salt and savory

Temperature : hot serving

Servings : 6 persons

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