Think schnitzel, with Asian flavors. Why not? It’s crispy. It’s complex. It’s delicious. Did I mention that it’s best marinated ahead of time, so there’s minimal last minute prep? Now, I have your attention….I got the idea for this from Anthony Bourdain’s new cookbook “Appetites: A Cookbook“. It’s an interesting book, clearly written in Bourdain’s voice, which is both incredibly interesting and vulgar, so be forewarned. If you’re looking for cutting-edge innovative recipes, this isn’t the book for you. These are tried and true recipes from both his travels and thus, his life—basic tuna salad and potato salad, but also banh mi and pan bagnat, for example. They are good basic recipes; these food he cooks for his family. He offers advice/observations that are straight-forward and many times, in your face! Perhaps, that’s the reason I enjoyed reading the book so much. He unequivocally states that a Club Sandwich should NOT have a third slice of bread. What? See, I’ve always wondered why it was there. I’ve always thought it was just filler. Also, he has very strong feelings about hamburgers…leave them the hell alone. I’m with him. It should be about really good meat…no designer ketchup, garlic aïoli or caramelized onions. Just raw onion, maybe ketchup and mustard, pickles and tomatoes, (one slice only, please) but only if they are in season and skip the lettuce, all on a potato bun. Oh, yeah. Just in case you needed me to remind you, The Goddess does not get paid for this or any other opinion…this just happens to be my own opinion and I bought the book with my own little monies.
So anyway, in his travels about, he encounters some interesting foods and flavors. You may have seen him having noodles with President Obama in Vietnam. It was a very real moment. Anyway, Bourdain has a recipe for a Macau-Style Pork Chop Sandwich in the book, that sounded most interesting and it appealed to my taste buds. But, there were some changes I wanted to make, as I wasn’t interested in some of the ingredients he used and I had my own ingredients, or flavor profile, that I wanted to explore. This is that exploration.
This is pretty straight-forward. Mix the marinade together, drop it in the pork cutlets (these are the type that have been run through a tenderizer), zip up the bag and shake it all around, coating everything completely. Let it set, in the fridge for a few hours, but no more than 12 hours or the pork gets sort of funky…it’s the vinegar. Acid breaks down the proteins. But, I think 8-12 hours is perfect and you get plenty of flavor. Then, you dredge. First, in rice flour, then the egg wash, then the panko crumbs. Now, you can fry these immediately, but I prefer to let them stand for about 15-30 minutes. I think the breading clings better. It becomes one with the meat, so to speak. Then fry them up, place them on a nice soft potato roll, top with some condiments and munch away.
Breaded Pork Cutlet with Lemongrass-Garlic and Soy Marinade
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons red wine or apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoons finely chopped ginger
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2-3 teaspoons crushed garlic
- 2 teaspoons finely minced lemongrass
- 2 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/8 teaspoons Vietnamese cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoons ground allspice
- 4 pork cube steaks (or thin-sliced pork chops)
- Rice flour with sesame seeds added
- 1 egg, beaten with 3 tablespoons water
- Panko crumbs
- Vegetable oil, for shallow pan-frying
- 4 soft buns (potato or soft kaiser buns are good)
- Slices raw onion
- Onion slices (optional)
- Tomato slices (optional)
- Very finely shredded iceberg lettuce (optional)
- Hoisin sauce
- Asian chile sauce
- Sweet-Hot Mustard
- Cilantro leaves
Combine the marinade ingredients; place in a Zip-Loc bag, along with the pork cutlets. Shake up the ingredients, coating the cutlets completely. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 12 hours (8-12 offers better flavor).
When ready to cook, remove the cutlets from the marinade; pat dry with paper towels. Place the rice flour, egg/water mixture and panko crumbs in separate bowls. Dip each cutlet in the rice flour, then the egg mixture, then the panko crumbs. Place them on a plate or cookie sheet; chill for 15 minutes.
In a heavy skillet or sauté pan (I use cast iron), over medium-high heat, heat 1/2-inch of oil until the oil is hot; a small bread cube will sizzle immediately and brown in at least 20 seconds when the oil is hot enough. Carefully slide the breaded pork into the oil; I usually fry 2 at a time. Cook until they brown on the under side. Using a tongs, carefully turn and brown on the second side, about 1 1/2-2 minutes per side. Drain on brown paper or newspaper. Repeat with the remaining cutlets.
Serve immediately on lightly toasted buns with a slice of raw onion and tomato, if desired (I recommend the tomato and onion, definitely). You may wish to use a drizzle of hoisin sauce, sweet chili sauce, hot mustard and/or cilantro.
Breaded Pork Cutlet with Lemongrass-Garlic and Soy Marinade Recipe©Marcia Lahens 2016. All rights reserved.
I used a schmear of the mustard, some cilantro leaves and just a bit of hoisin. I really liked the combination.I think these cutlets could be gluten-free and still very delicious by omitting the egg wash and panko crumbs, and using only the rice flour dredge. They will be different, but they will still be delicious.