Japanese "tonkatsu" deep fried pork cutlet is an absolute classic and I think nearly every Japanese mum knows how to cook this dish. I will show you how to make the crispiest, most delicious tonkatsu that can be served on it's own with rice, salad and miso soup (teishoku style) or as part of another dish!
What is Tonkatsu?
Tonkatsu is the Japanese name for deep fried pork cutlet. Pork chops are coated in crispy panko breadcrumbs, it is pretty similar to German Wiener Schnitzel.
There are different variations of "katsu"
- Tonkatsu（とんかつ）: Pork Cutlet
- Chikinkatsu（チキンかつ）: Chicken Cutlet
- Gyuukatsu（牛かつ）: Beef Cutlet
A Brief History of Tonkatsu
The name "Tonkatsu" (とんかつ) is a combination of the words "ton" (meaning 'pork' in Japanese) and the French word "côtelettes" which means cutlet or meat chop.
The dish was first seen in 1899. The history of the dish is still not very clear but as the name suggests, it was probably inspired by French cuisine. It was also originally made with beef, but these days pork is the most common.
Now we eat katsu at home or at restaurants, diners, etc. It has become one of the most loved dishes in Japan, and I bet you will love it too.
If you love katsu, you can also check out our other recipes that use katsu!
- Chicken Katsu Kare（チキンカツカレー）Chicken cutlet with curry and rice
- Katsu Don（かつ丼）Cutlet with egg rice bowl
- Katsu Sando（カツサンド）: Pork Cutlet Sandwich
There is only one letter difference, but they are completely different things.
Tonkatsu = Deep fried pork cutlet
Tonkotsu = Broth made from pork bones (Typically used for ramen soup)
Tonkatsu only refers to the deep fried pork cutlet itself, however, katsudon is the deep fried pork cutlet rice served in a bowl of rice and then topped with egg. You can see how to make katsudon here.
In my recipe I use Worcestershire sauce, tomato ketchup, soy sauce, sugar
and white sesame seeds.
The name comes from the French word "côtelettes" which means cutlet.
It is mostly served as Teishoku style (Bowl of rice, miso soup, shredded cabbages, pickles) or as donburi (Katsudon). You can also serve it on top of Japanese curry which becomes "katsu curry".
In Japanese, it's called "とんかつソース" or "Tonkatsu sauce", the same as English!
Chicken katsu is prepared similarly to tonkatsu, it's simply chicken coated in panko breadcrumbs and deep fried. Chicken thigh is most commonly used for chicken katsu, but I actually have a chicken breast katsu recipe on my website here.