Tonkatsu (Japanese fried pork cutlet)

How To Make Japanese Tonkatsu (Japanese fried pork cutlet)

Course: Entree
Cuisine: Japanese
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Chill the cabbage: 5 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Marvellina
Tonkatsu or fried pork cutlet is a popular dish in Japan. It is a breaded, deep-fried pork cutlet sliced into bite-sized pieces, generally served with sauce, shredded cabbage and/or miso soup.
Print Recipe


  • 12 oz green cabbage
  • 4 5 oz pork shoulder steaks each about 1-inch thick
  • Salt and pepper to season
  • Flour-for coating
  • 1 medium egg beaten
  • Bread crumbs-for coating you can use panko bread crumbs or regular bread crumbs
  • Cooking oil-for deep frying
  • Tonkatsu sauce and mustard- to taste


  • Cut the cabbage into fine strips and soak in a large bowl of iced water for about 5 minutes, to crisp. Drain and put in a plastic food bag and refrigerate until ready to serve the tonkatsu
  • Make a few small cuts around the edges of each pork steak so they will cook without shrinking. Pound each cut of pork with heavy object (meat pounder or pestle will work). Season with salt and pepper
  • Cover each pork steak in flour, then dip in beaten egg and coat with breadcrumbs
  • Heat the oil for deep-frying in a deep saucepan. Check the temperature by dropping a few breadcrumbs into the oil-if they float immediately, it is at the correct temperature (340F)
  • Deep-fry each pork steak on medium heat until they are cooked through and golden brown. When cooked, drain on a rack or some paper towels to remove and excess oil. Slice the pork into bite-sized pieces and serve with a large heaping of crispy shredded cabbage on the side


NOTES: It is normally served with a pat of mustard and some tonkatsu sauce. This sauce is usually store-bought and I would recommend you try to find it from a Japanese supermarket, because it is not easy to replicate the taste. Worcestershire sauce is an acceptable accompaniment if you cannot find tonkatsu sauce. My daughter loves it with Worcestershire sauce
You can also pan-fried the pork cutlet instead of deep-frying. It's not going to taste exactly the same, but the kids don't seem to mind eating the pan-fried version too