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Tonkatsu: Tasty comfort food


Comfort food is good for the soul. Try your hand at something new while in isolation, with this tasty recipe for some Tonkatsu with an accompanying sauce.


Image and text from Japanese Food Made Easy by Aya Nishimura, photography by Lisa Linder, Murdoch Books, RRP $39.99.

  • 4 pork loin steaks, about 170g each, skin and bones removed
  • Sea salt and ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup (35g) plain flour
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups (120g) panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 cups (500ml) sunflower oil, for deep-frying
  • 400g soft white cabbage (about 1/4 small cabbage), shredded and kept in ice-cold water
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) quick tonkatsu sauce

Bring the pork steaks to room temperature. If you have thick steaks, make five or six incisions where the meat meets the fat on both sides. This will tenderise the pork and prevent it from curling during cooking. Season with salt and black pepper.

Place the flour, beaten eggs and breadcrumbs in three separate shallow bowls. Coat the pork in the flour first and pat to remove any excess flour. Next, dip the pork into the egg. Finally, cover the pork with breadcrumbs. (You can freeze the coated pork at this stage if needed.)

Heat the sunflower oil in a deep saucepan to 180°C.  Cook two pork steaks for about 3 minutes, until golden brown.  Use a metal strainer to remove the tonkatsu and place on paper towel to drain. Repeat with the rest of the steaks, then fry each tonkatsu again for another minute and drain on paper towel.

Drain the cabbage completely.

Cut the tonkatsu into thin slices. Serve with the cabbage and drizzle with the tonkatsu sauce.

Quick tonkatsu sauce

  • 1/2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp tomato sauce 
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 4 tsp soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup (45g) light brown sugar a pinch of sea salt
  • 1/4 cup (40g) white sesame seeds, toasted, optional

Mix the tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, soy sauce, sugar, lemon juice and salt in a bowl until well combined. If you are making this to store, don’t add the sesame seeds at this stage. Store the sauce in the fridge in a clean, screw-top jar for up to a month. Place the toasted sesame seeds in a suribachi or mortar and coarsely grind. Mix them into the sauce just before serving.

More comfort food recipes:

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