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These Japanese pork cutlets have crispy panko on the outside and tender, juicy meat on the inside. It's a quick, easy, and super flavorful meal on the table in less than 30 minutes. Perfect for a weeknight dinner! This recipe makes 6 pork tonkatsu cutlets in about 25 minutes.

Honestly, I love tonkatsu because it's a dish even a three year old would love. It's basically an elevated, more delicious chicken nugget. Ok, it's not chicken, but you get it. What I mean to say is that (apart from those who don't eat pork), it's something that pleases everyone. And it's stupid easy to make.


  1. 5-6 boneless pork chops, about 1/2 inch thick

  2. 3 tablespoons flour

  3. 1 egg, beaten

  4. 1 cup panko breadcrumbs

  5. 1 cup neutral oil for frying (canola works great)

  6. Salt and white pepper, to taste

  7. Shichimi togarashi, to taste (optional)

  8. Tonkatsu sauce (optional)


  1. Tenderize the pork chops. Using a meat tenderizer, pound the meat evenly into an even layer until the cutlet is about half as thick as before. If you don't have a meat tenderizer, you can use a rolling pin to pound the meat.

  2. Season and coat your pork chops! Start with seasoning each cutlet generously with salt, white pepper, and shichimi togarashi (if using). Set up 3 trays for a dredging station. One for flour, one for the egg, and one for the panko. Then, dredge each side cutlet in that order: flour, egg, then panko. Make sure each cutlet is coated evenly. Place each tonkatsu in a single layer on a tray for frying.

  3. Heat oil in a cast iron or heavy bottomed pan until the oil reaches 350F. The oil should be about 1/2 inch deep. If you don't have a food thermometer, drop a single piece of panko in the oil. If it immediately sizzles, bubbles, and floats to the top, the oil is ready.

  4. Fry the tonkatsu. Do NOT overcrowd the pan! In my 12 inch cast iron, I only fried two at a time. Fry for about 1 minutes and 30 seconds per side, making sure the keep the oil at a steady temperature. Place the crispy babies on a paper towel lined plate to drain. It's great topped with tonkatsu sauce or Japanese curry gravy. I serve mine with furikake-topped rice and shishito peppers.

I hear this crunch in my dreams.

- Arielle

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