Tonkatsu - Japanese Pork Cutlet

Tonkatsu is a popular Japanese entrée of thin-sliced boneless pork chops (cutlets) that have been coated in panko crumbs, fried and served with a sweet and tangy sauce.

The pork cutlets used in this dish are easy to find in most supermarkets and can be shallow fried to tender perfection in about five minutes. The tonkatsu sauce has just a few ingredients and is a cinch to make, so depending on what you choose for side dishes, this meal can be on the table in less than 30 minutes.

Steamed white rice is the traditional accompaniment for tonkatsu, but lately we’ve started serving it with sautéed snap peas and riced cauliflower that’s been seasoned with a little soy sauce and sesame oil.

Like Japanese food? Try our Ramen Noodle Bowl with Chicken too.

Tonkatsu - Japanese Pork Cutlet

Tonkatsu (Japanese Pork Cutlet)

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Tonkatsu, or Japanese pork cutlet, is a fast, easy dish of panko-coated pork cutlets, shallow-fried and served with a distinctive sweet and tangy sauce.


  • 4 to 6 thin-sliced boneless pork cutlets, 1 to 1-1/4 lbs
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 cup panko crumbs
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Onion powder
  • Vegetable oil

For the sauce:

  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce, or tamari
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 to 2 cloves garlic, finely minced or pressed


  • Prepare the tonkatsu sauce first by combining the ketchup, hoisin, soy sauce, lemon juice and garlic in a small bowl and set aside.
  • Whisk the egg and milk together in a shallow dish or pie plate.
  • Spread the panko on a flat surface or dinner plate. Add 1 teaspoon salt, a few grinds of black pepper and a pinch of onion powder and combine well.
  • Dip each pork chop in the egg mixture, then press gently into the panko crumbs to coat.
  • Heat about 1/8-inch of vegetable oil in a large, heavy frying pan over medium-high heat.
  • To avoid crowding the pan, fry half the pork chops until crisp and golden brown, 2 to 2-1/2 minutes per side.
  • Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate, wipe out the pan and repeat the process with the remaining chops.
  • To serve, slice the chops into strips and top with a drizzle of sauce. Pass the remaining sauce at the table.

Tips for Making This Recipe

Shallow-frying tip: When shallow-frying crumb-coated foods like these pork cutlets, shake the pan from time to time to splash the oil onto the sides of the meat. This ensures more even browning.
Calories: 313kcal, Carbohydrates: 34g, Protein: 14g, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 9g, Cholesterol: 65mg, Sodium: 756mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 7g
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