Tonkatsu. Juicy crispy pork loins coated in panko breadcrumbs and deep fried with a homemade katsu sauce. Ready in under 30 minutes.
Popular in Japan!
This delicious pork dish is usually served with a tangy sweet tonkatsu sauce. It’s a common way to cook pork in Japan.
What is a tonkatsu?
Tonkatsu is a popular Japanese dish where the pork is coated in flour, beaten eggs, and panko breadcrumbs and deep fried in oil. It’s popularly served at many restaurants in Japan. Sometimes served with rice, cabbage slaw, over udon noodles, or sandwiched between fluffy bread which is also known as a tonkatsu sandwich.
Easy Tonkatsu Recipe
My tonkatsu recipe is so easy. You’re cutting slits into the surrounding fat and tenderizing your meat (if the loin is less than 1 cm thick, you can skip this step). Then seasoning with salt, black pepper and garlic powder. Next, you’ll evenly coat each loin in flour, egg and panko breadcrumb. Lastly fry it in hot oil until golden and crispy and serve with katsu sauce. I share a tonkatsu sauce recipe below.
Other ways to eat it!
There are so many ways you can eat pork tonkatsu. You can have it over udon noodles, in a sandwich or in katsudon!
I even share a pork katsu sandwich or tonkatsu sandwich called a Wanpaku Sandwich. It's very popular in Japanese cuisine.
What you’ll need
For this tonkatsu fried pork you’ll need the following ingredients:
- Pork loin
- Black pepper
- Garlic powder
- Panko breadcrumbs
- All-purpose flour
How to make Tonkatsu
Below are brief steps with visuals to show you how to cook tonkatsu. Please scroll down to the recipe card below to find full instructions and details.
Cut slits into the layer of fat that surrounds your pork loin. No need to cut slits into the non-fat portion.
If your loins are thicker than 1 cm, tenderize with a meat tenderizer or with the back and side of your knife.
Season on both sides with enough salt, black pepper and garlic powder.
Add all-purpose flour into a large bowl. In a second bowl, beat your eggs, In a third bowl, add your panko.
Evenly dredge each loin into the flour first, then eggs and lastly panko – ensuring no bald spots. Repeat for the remaining loins.
In a heavy bottomed pot, heat oil over medium heat (350 F). Check to see if the oil is hot enough by placing a wooden chopstick in the oil and look for bubbles. Carefully lower pork away from you.
Deep fry on each side for 2-3 minutes or evenly golden brown (or an internal temperature of 145 F). See video for visual.
Remove and transfer to a cooling rack or paper towel lined plate to rest for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.
How to make Tonkatsu Sauce
In a small bowl, well combine the sauce ingredients. Serve with tonkatsu!
Below are tips on making tonkatsu dish:
Cut slits into the fat to prevent pork from curling
By cutting slits into the pork, it keeps your pork from curling as it fries due to the thick edge of fat that surrounds it.
Tenderize the meat if thicker than 1 cm
You’re probably tempted to skip this step but if your pork loin is more than 1 cm thick, it’s highly recommended to tenderize it with a meat tenderizer or the back of your knife. This ensures that it cooks evenly without overcooking the exterior coating.
Be sure to season each pork loin with enough salt, black pepper and garlic powder.
Ensure when dredging your pork in the flour, eggs and panko that it’s evenly and well coated. Making sure that there are zero bald spots.
Lower pork away from you when frying
When going to fry, make sure to lower the pork away from you to prevent oil splash back.
Deep fry until golden brown
Be patient when you go to deep fry, you’ll want to deep each loin over medium heat for about 2-3 minutes per side until golden brown.
Allow the fried pork to rest after frying
Allow the fried pork to rest for 5 minutes on a cooling rack or paper towel lined plate. The resting allows the juices to stay inside your pork, making your pork juicy.
Below are frequently asked questions about this recipe:
What is the difference between tonkatsu and Tonkotsu?
Tonkatsu is a fried breaded cutlet and tonkotsu is a stock made with pork.
What is tonkatsu in Japanese?
Tonkatsu in Japanese is a deep-fried breaded pork cutlet.
What part of pork is tonkatsu?
Pork loin is typically used for tonkatsu.
Can I use another cut of pork?
Yes and no. I wouldn’t suggest anything too fatty as this meat is already deep fried in oil making it quite indulgent as it is and it can cause the pork to curl.
Can I use normal breadcrumbs?
Yes, you may.
Do I have to tenderize the meat?
Yes, only if the pork loin is thicker than 1 cm.
Other recipes you may like!
If you enjoyed this tonkatsu cutlet recipe, you may enjoy these other recipes:
Tofu Katsu Sando
Fish Katsu Bites
Korokke Japanese Potato Croquettes
Well, I hope you give my Tonkatsu a try! It always excites me when you make my recipes and I hope this is one you try and most importantly, enjoy.
Sharing is caring
If you enjoyed my recipe, please share it with your family and friends or on social media! Take a picture of your re-creation and make sure to tag me @ChristieAtHome in your feed or stories as I would love to see it!
Did you enjoy it?
If you genuinely enjoyed my homemade tonkatsu recipe, please leave a 5-star review. I would appreciate it 🙂
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Easy Crispy Tonkatsu (30-min.)
- 1 lb Pork loin pre-sliced & boneless
- ½ teaspoon Salt add more if needed
- ¼ teaspoon Black pepper add more if needed
- ½ teaspoon Garlic powder add more if needed
- 1 ¼ cup Panko breadcrumbs add more if needed
- 2 Eggs beaten
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour add more if needed
Sauce (serves 6 tablespoons)
- 2 tablespoon Ketchup
- 5 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 3 teaspoon Oyster sauce
- 2 ¼ teaspoon White granulated sugar
- Cut slits into the layer of fat that surrounds your pork loin. No need to cut slits into the non-fat portion.
- If your loins are thicker than 1 cm, tenderize with a meat tenderizer or with the back and side of your knife.
- Season on both sides with enough salt, black pepper and garlic powder.
- Add all-purpose flour into a large bowl. In a second bowl, beat your eggs. In a third bowl, add and spread out panko.
- Evenly dredge each loin into the flour first, then eggs and lastly panko – ensuring no bald spots. Repeat for the remaining loins.
- In a heavy bottomed pot, heat oil over medium heat (350 F). Check to see if the oil is hot enough by placing a wooden chopstick in the oil and look for bubbles. Carefully lower pork away from you.
- Deep fry on each side for 2-3 minutes or evenly golden brown (or an internal temperature of 145 F). See video for visual.
- Remove and transfer to a cooling rack or paper towel lined plate to rest for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.
How to make Tonkatsu Sauce
- In a small bowl, well combine the sauce ingredients. Serve with tonkatsu!
Okay YUM! I pinned this to try making this week 🙂 Looks incredible!
Michelle | Sift & Simmer
My kids love pork tonkatsu! Looks delicious, Christie!
Tasia ~ two sugar bugs
This tonkatsu looks amazing! Can't wait to share it with my family!
Heidi | The Frugal Girls
Your cutlets look so perfect. They are such a fabulous temptation paired with your beautiful homemade Tonkatsu sauce! 😋
Made this last night, soo good.
Thank you so much for making my recipe, Steph! Happy to read that you enjoyed it! 🙂
Just made it last night. It was delish! And the meat was so tender. Thanks for sharing this recipe!
So happy to read this, Victoria! Glad it was delicious and tender. Thanks for making my recipe 🙂