Many cuisines have a version of a breaded fried cutlet; the Japanese take, called katsu, is pretty terrific. It’s considered an east-meets-west Japanese comfort food, usually made with pork (tonkatsu), sometimes chicken, that has been pounded thin, dredged in four, then beaten egg, then finally panko breadcrumbs before being fried. Because it's so easy to make at home—and comes together so quickly—I've found it makes a great weeknight dish, served with white rice and shredded cabbage.
It's also super easy to mix up: Try serving is as a sandwich, using different types of protein, or mixing different seasonings into the bread crumbs or dredging liquid. For a lovely tangy version, skip the beaten eggs and use a ranch dressing for the liquid part of the dredging process. Mix together 2 tablespoons Hidden Valley Ranch Seasoning Mix with 1/2 cup whole milk and 1/2 cup mayonnaise in a shallow bowl. Dip the cutlets into that dressing in between the flour and the panko steps.
- Serves 4
- For the cutlets:
(4 ounce) boneless pork cutlets or chicken cutlets
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
large eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups
panko bread crumbs
Vegetable, peanut, or canola oil for pan frying
Lemon wedges, for serving
- For the tonkatsu sauce:
mirin (rice wine; optional)
- Place the pork or chicken cutlets, one at a time, into a heavy-duty zipper top bag and use a rolling pin or meat mallet to gently pound them into cutlets 1/4-inch thick. Season with salt and pepper.
- Place the flour, eggs, and panko in three separate shallow bowls. Dredge each cutlet one at a time in the flour, the eggs, then the panko. Set on a wire rack as each is coated.
- Heat 1/4-inch of oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Place two or three cutlets into the pan, making sure there is space between each of them so they can brown well. Cook for about 3 minutes on each side, until the outer coating is nicely browned and the meat is cooked through. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate as they finish. Repeat with the remaining cutlets, adding more oil and allowing it to become hot between batches. You can use 2 skillets if you want the cooking process to go more quickly.
- Make the sauce: Add all ingredients to a small bowl and mix to combine.
- Slice the katsu into thin strips and serve over rice with the cabbage or lettuce, lemon wedges, and Tonkatsu sauce.