Tonkatsu, simply put, is the Japanese version of chicken-fried pork cutlets. Usually the breaded pork is deep-fried, but we’re going to shallow fry the cutlets and serve them with homemade “Bulldog” sauce…yum! “Bulldog”™ is a brand, because who would really wants any “sauce” from a real, live bulldog? They (not bulldogs!) offer several different types of sauce, but this one is a slightly sweet version of Worcestershire sauce, kind of…sort of. Anyway, it’s just delicious.
This sauce is incredibly simple to prepare. Put everything in a small bowl. Then, just stir it together, and set it aside…pure and simple. You may use this nice little sauce to toss with stir-fried noodles, to make yakisoba. But today, we’re making Tonkatsu, aren’t we?
For the coating, we’re using a combination of “The Dredge”, toasted sesame seeds and panko crumbs for the coating. I toss in some sesame seeds for flavor, as well as texture. Usually you’d use an egg wash to bind the coating to the meat, but I prefer to use just plain water. It makes for a lighter breading, but it still allows the breading to adhere. In light of that info, sprinkle the cutlets with water. Don’t drown the cutlets. You want them to be just nice and moist, like the bottom cutlet in the picture. Usually, I drop them, one at a time, into a food storage bag with the coating, shake it around, then shake it around again. But, in this case, I dredged them on a plate. It works, but I still prefer the bag. You want to get the breading into the little nooks and crannies. Let them stand for at least 15 minutes. Pour the oil into a cast iron skillet; heat over medium-high heat. You just want there to be a little wisp of smoke coming off the oil. Gently slide the breaded cutlets into the hot oil. You just want them to brown, so it takes about 2 minutes per side. These are thin and cook very quickly. I let them drain on paper towels for a few minutes. To serve, I like to serve them with rice. Cut them into 1-inch strips, place the strips on top of the rice, drizzle with the sauce and serve with thinly sliced scallions. The cutlet is nice and juicy, with a light, crispy breading and absolutely delicious. Now, enjoy!
Tonkatsu with Homemade Bulldog Sauce
- “Bulldog” Sauce:
- 3 tablespoons ketchup (or tomato sauce)
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon lower-sodium soy sauce (gluten-free, if needed)
- 2 teaspoons concentrated apple juice concentrate
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 2 tenderized pork cutlets
- water or white wine
- 1/3 cup of “The Dredge”
- 1/2 cup panko crumbs
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
- Vegetable oil for frying
- Cooked rice
- 3 scallions, thinly sliced
Place all the ingredients in a small bowl; stir to make a smooth sauce. Set aside.
Combine “The Dredge”, the panko crumbs and the sesame seeds in a food storage bag; shake. Sprinkle the cutlets with water; rub it into the cutlets. You want them a bit more than damp, but not soggy. Drop the cutlets into the bag with the breading; shake until well coated. Let stand for 15 minutes to allow the coating to adhere. Make ahead tip: You make cover the cutlets with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 8 hours.
Pour about 1/4 inch of oil in a heavy skillet; I like to use a cast iron skillet. Heat over medium-high heat until you see just a wisp of smoke; carefully slide the cutlets into the fat. Lower the heat to medium. Pan-fry for 2 minutes or until nicely browned and crispy. Very gently, turn the cutlets, being careful not to splash yourself with hot oil. Fry for 2-3 minutes on the second side, until browned and done. Remove from the fat; drain of paper toweling for a few minutes.
To serve, cut the Tonkatsu into 1-inch wide strips. Place the strips over the rice. Drizzle with some sauce; sprinkle with the scallions.
Tonkatsu with Homemade Bulldog Sauce Recipe©Marcia Lahens 2019. All rights reserved.