This Japanese pork cutlet – also called baked Tonkatsu – has an irresistible panko breading. When you bake it instead of deep-frying it, you cut at least half the calories while keeping all the flavor. You are going to love this classic and easy recipe!
What Is A Japanese Pork Cutlet?
Tonkatsu is a pork cutlet, usually fillet or loin, that’s coated in cornstarch, egg, and panko (bread) crumbs. Traditionally, it is fried served with tonkatsu sauce and some cabbage.
While the classic version is very good, there is always room for improvement! I made some changes to the standard pork cutlet recipe to cut down on the mess and extra calories. I am sure it will be love at first bite!
Why You Will Love Baked Tonkatsu
Trust me, one bite of these irresistible cutlets and you’ll be a believer! The first thing you’ll notice is the salty and crunchy breading. Then, your teeth sink into the juicy, tender, savory pork. You won’t need any extra sauces – it is pure culinary perfection on its own.
Even though you are not frying the cutlets, they still turn out just as crispy and juicy. When you bake them, they are so much healthier for you than when you fry them. Plus, you won’t have to clean up the oil and fryer when you are done.
This pork dish is the perfect main course to serve for yourself or for your family. Since they are so easy to make, you’ll be able to feed a large crowd without breaking a sweat.
Ingredients In Baked Tonkatsu
There are only four simple ingredients in these delicious pork cutlets. You probably already have everything you need in your refrigerator or pantry! Here is a bit more information about each one.
- Pork: Use either pork roast or loin and slice it really thin – about 1 cm thick.
- Cornstarch: This is for the crispy coating on the outside of your pork. If you don’t have cornstarch, you can use flour as a replacement.
- Egg: This is very important and helps all the breading ingredients stick together.
- Panko Bread Crumbs: Panko are a specific type of breadcrumb. Normal breadcrumbs can work in a pinch, but they do not have the same texture or taste.
What To Serve With Japanese Pork Cutlets
Tonkatsu makes a fantastic entree because you can eat it by itself or with some simple steamed or sauteed vegetables. One of my favorite side dishes to serve with it is green peas and rice. It’s quick to put together and adds color to your table.
For a little more sweetness, make some simmered kabocha squash. It has a nutty taste with the perfect amount of mirin and sugar.
You can also add these cutlets to a bunch of other dishes too. One of my favourite tonkatsu variations is ‘katsu-sando’, which is the tonkatsu in a sandwich; it has a robust flavour but isn’t as healthy as this baked recipe.
Other favourite tonkatsu dishes are ‘katsu-karee’, which is Japanese curry rice with the tonkatsu on top, and also ‘katsu-don’, which is rice topped with the tonkatsu and a sweet, egg, onion, and soy sauce mixture.
Frequently Asked Questions About Baked Tonkatsu
Before I share the printable recipe card, here are some questions people often ask about how to make Japanese pork cutlets.
The easiest way to cut thin pork cutlets is to buy an entire pork loin at the grocery store and ask the attendants behind the meat counter to slice it for you. Ask them to slice each piece 1cm thick.
Yes, it is very important to make sure each slice is the same exact size. Since they will all be baking in the oven together, you want to make sure that some don’t burn while other pieces are undercooked.
The safe cooking temperature of pork is 145 ºF or 63 degrees C.
More Japanese Pork Recipes
Here are some more authentic Japanese recipes that are made with pork.
- Pulled Pork Bao Buns
- Ramen Pork Chashu
- Rafute Okinawan Braised Pork Belly
- Ginger Pork Shogayaki
- Slow Cooker Pulled Pork With Japanese Plum Sauce
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Baked Tonkatsu (Japanese Panko Crumbed Pork Cutlet)
- 200 g thinly cut 1cm thickness Pork loin
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- 1 egg
- 20 g Japanese panko crumb
- Preheat the oven to 180c (356f)
- Cook the panko bread crumbs in a frying pan over low heat until golden brown.
- Remove the panko from the heat and set it aside.
- Wrap the pork loin in saran wrap and microwave it for 1 minute so the meat is slightly cooked.
- Remove the cling wrap and soak up the excess liquid off the pork with a paper towel.
- Put the pork on a plate and use a sifter and sprinkle the cornstarch over both sides of the pork.
- Crack the egg in a bowl and scramble it a little then dip the pork into the egg to coat it.
- Pour the panko in a shallow pan or a plate and coat the pork in it.
- Put all the coated pork cutlets on a baking tray and bake for about 10-15 minutes.
- Once baked, serve with rice, miso soup, and vegetables.