Utah Bites

Pork Tonkatsu

A very popular dish in Japan is tonkatsu: deep-fried pork cutlets drizzled with katsu sauce. Here is the recipe for pork tonkatsu.


A very popular dish in Japan is tonkatsu: deep-fried pork cutlets drizzled with katsu sauce. It’s typically served with plain steamed white rice, although I tend to serve pork tonkatsu with sesame noodles, udon, or something a little more flavorful than plain rice. It’s also traditionally served with shredded cabbage (preferably Napa) alongside.


  • 4-6 boneless pork cutlets, pounded to about 1/3 inch thick (one cutlet per serving)
  • salt and cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • oil for frying (I prefer peanut oil)  
  • 1 lemon, sliced into wedges
  • katsu sauce (store bought is fine) 


  1. Get your ingredients lined up to coat the cutlets: flour, eggs and bread crumbs in separate shallow bowls or plates.
  2. Generously salt and pepper the pork cutlets.
  3. One piece at a time, dip the cutlets in the flour first, then the egg, allowing any excess to drip off, then the bread crumbs. Using your fingers, press the crumbs into the pork so that they stick and it is thoroughly coated. Set the pork cutlets aside on a plate and heat oil for frying to 360 degrees F.
  4. Gently place the breaded cutlets into the hot oil. If your fryer is small like mine, cook the pork in batches so the temperature doesn’t fall and the cutlets don’t get crowded. This technique will ensure that the pork is crisp and crunchy, not greasy and soggy with oil.
  5. When the cutlets are cooked through and golden brown — after about 3-4 minutes — remove them from the fryer and place on a paper grocery bag or paper towels to drain and cool a little.
  6. Slice the pork into pieces you can eat with chopsticks and serve with katsu sauce and lemon wedges.



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Food writer Ted Scheffler

Originally trained as an anthropologist, Ted Scheffler is a seasoned food, wine & travel writer based in Utah. He loves cooking, skiing, and spends an inordinate amount of time tending to his ever-growing herd of guitars and amplifiers.

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