Thursday, May 3, 2012

Donkatsu

Donkatsu (or Tonkatsu) is a Japanese dish: breaded and fried pork cutlet.

Here are the ingredients:
boneless pork chops
flour
egg
salt & pepper
panko breadcrumbs
oil for frying

**I haven't listed any quantities because it's kind of silly to try and quantify how much you'll need to bread the chops. You'll need 1 pork chop per person and then enough breading ingredients to coat them. Start with a modest amount of each and then use more if necessary.

***You could also use chicken instead of pork or even salmon. I've also seen beef katsu but I'm not a fan of breaded beef and a surefire way to ruin a steak (in my opinion, obviously) would be to pound it out, bread it, and cook it past medium rare. Chicken-fried steak, anyone?

I started by pounding out the chops. I would do the same with the chicken but do NOT pound out the salmon. Pounding the chops serves two purposes: to tenderize the meat and to lessen the cooking time. Since these are being breaded in panko - a pretty delicate, pale, crispy crumb - you don't want to have to leave the chops in the pan for so long that the breadcrumbs burn.
Next, I beat up an egg with some salt and pepper. Then I coated the chops in flour, dipped them in egg, and then lastly coated them with panko breadcrumbs. Then, I fried them in a large frying pan with just enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan. I don't like deep frying because it's messy and I don't enjoy the clean up so I just pan fry my donkatsu. The chops will take about 4 minutes on the first side and then another 2 minutes on the second side. The panko should be nice and crispy and golden when it's finished.
To go with the donkatsu, I always make a sauce. I believe the typical sauce is a Japanese Worcestershire but I don't have easy access to it so I sort of make my own. I just combine equal parts of a honey barbecue sauce (any version that is sweet but not smoky is best) and A1 steak sauce. The A1 has Worcestershire in it, which gives the sauce a bite but the barbecue sauce definitely mellows it out, gives it some body, and adds lots of sweetness and spices.
I served the pork katsu with rice and a salad.

I like making my own homemade sesame ginger dressing. It's really easy and tastes really delicious and fresh. In a food processor, I combine 3 or 4 baby carrots, a few small bits of ginger (about 1 teaspoon), a few slices of apple (about 2 tablespoons), 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil, 1/2 teaspoon rice wine vinegar, and a drizzle of honey. Pulse until the mixture resembles baby food. Serve over baby greens, iceberg lettuce, what have you.
Enjoy!

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