Japanese Bento Box : Tonkatsu (Deep Fried Pork)

Japanese Bento Box : Tonkatsu (Deep Fried Pork)

Many consider the Japanese Bento Box the best way to pack a meal; millions of Japanese use them daily. Tonkatsu, or Japanese pork cutlet, is among the quickest and simplest dishes to prepare at home. Tonkatsu Sauce imparts an additional layer of flavor and makes the exterior of each bite perfectly crunchy while keeping the interior perfectly juicy.

A homemade bento box gets on board. The container contains rice and several bite-sized portions of different types of dishes. Bento boxes are crafted with care to include a variety of nutritious foods, and their creators devote their entire beings to the task.

There are numerous tonkatsu restaurants in Japan, ranging from small family-run establishments to large national chains. Because Tonkatsu restaurants are so specialized, it may not be easy to locate one in the United States, depending on your location. The good news is that making tonkatsu at home is relatively easy.

If you are willing to deal with a great deal of hot oil and clean up the mess you make while cooking, you will be rewarded with a delicious and crunchy snack. Most of the recipe's ingredients are readily available in grocery stores across the United States, making it simple to acquire them on your next shopping trip.

What is tonkatsu?

Tonkatsu is one of the most popular Western-style dishes in Japan. This dish consists of a pork chop breaded with flour, egg, and Panko (bread crumbs) and fried in deep frying oil. Although it is not the healthiest Japanese cuisine, everyone enjoys it because it makes them feel good. Japanese restaurants frequently feature pork tonkatsu on their menus, and it is also a common component of bento boxes (Japanese for "boxed lunch"). It is also a common component of the Japanese dish katsu donburi, which consists of tonkatsu, a fried egg, and a savory-sweet sauce. Donburi is a single-dish meal consisting of a variety of ingredients atop rice.

Tonkatsu is served with a flavorful "tonkatsu sauce," sold in bottles at Japanese and other Asian markets. Bull Dog Tonkatsu Sauce is a well-known Japanese tonkatsu sauce. It is made with various fruits and vegetables to create a flavorful sauce that pairs well with tonkatsu. Finely shredded green cabbage is typically served with pork tonkatsu. People frequently drizzle tonkatsu sauce over cabbage as well.

As with many other popular Japanese dishes (such as ramen, tempura, and soba), some restaurants serve only tonkatsu, a juicy pork cutlet. Also, a tonkatsu dish is only complete with a mountain of freshly shredded cabbage and a generous amount of tonkatsu sauce.

Recipe Tonkatsu : Japanese Food | Main Course Cuisine (western cuisine) | Experience By Japan Crate

What does tonkatsu taste like?

Tonkatsu is a Japanese dish consisting of pork cutlets coated in panko breadcrumbs and deep-fried. This flavorful pork cutlet is usually served with tonkatsu sauce, which can be found in the condiment section of most supermarkets.

The unique flavor of the tonkatsu sauce is a combination of sour, sweet, and a touch of heat. It is predominantly sweet due to the fruits and vegetables, sour due to the vinegar, and spicy due to the spices. This dish contains all three of those flavors.

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What is the difference between tonkatsu and tonkotsu?

Tonkotsu ramen is a type of ramen that is prepared with pork bone-based tonkotsu broth. The name of the dish is derived from the soup's ingredients. In contrast, shoyu ramen derives its name from its primary ingredient, a shoyu-flavored sauce (also known as soy sauce). Tonkotsu means "pork bones," the primary ingredient in all tonkotsu-style broths. Tonkatsu is deep-fried pork cutlets, and tonkotsu is a type of pork broth.

What's the difference between tonkotsu and deep fry tonkatsu ramen? -  | Experience By Japan Crate

How do you give tonkatsu bento?

Place the tonkatsu on top of the rice and drizzle some tonkatsu sauce over it (or put it in a different sauce container) (or put it in a different sauce container). Tomatoes, lettuce, and radishes must all be washed and dried thoroughly. If you have to do it, cut it. Arrange the broccoli so that it appears attractive in the bento box.

Tonkatsu in a double decker bento box | Lunch Box Cooking Tips : Today's bento recipe | Experience By Japan Crate

What is traditionally in a bento box?

A bento is a single-serving boxed meal that typically consists of a carbohydrate (typically rice or noodles), a protein (typically meat or fish), and an assortment of pickled or cooked vegetables.

Bento boxes save time because the food is already divided and, in most cases, does not require re-heating. This dish contains a specific type of meat, fish, and rice or noodles. Also included are cooked vegetables.

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Here's the ingredients you'll need to make your pork tankatsu at home:


  • 2 boneless pork loin chops

  • ½ tsp kosher salt

  • ⅛ tsp freshly ground black pepper

  • 3 cups neutral-flavored oil

  • For the Tonkatsu Breading

    Japanese Fried Pork Cutlet (Tonkatsu) Recipe | Experience By Japan Crate

For Breading

  • 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour

  • 1 large egg

  • ½ Tbsp neutral-flavored oil

  • ½ cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)

    Tonkatsu | Experience By Japan Crate

For Serving

  • ¼ head green cabbage

  • 1 Persian or Japanese cucumber

  • 2 Tbsp Japanese sesame dressing

     Cabbage | Experience By Japan Crate

For Sauce

  • 1 Tbsp toasted white sesame seeds (optional)

  • 1 Tbsp toasted black sesame seeds (optional)

  • 4 Tbsp tonkatsu sauce

    Tonkatsu Sauce Recipe : Katsu Curry | Experience By Japan Crate

Here's the step-by-step procedure on how to make pork tonkatsu at home:


  1. Prepare shredded cabbage

    • You can always slice the cabbage very thinly with a sharp knife. Place the cabbage and cucumber in a bowl and combine them.

  2. Make sesame tonkatsu sauce

    • To grind the toasted white and black sesame seeds, employ a Japanese pestle and mortar. For texture, leave some whole seeds.

    • Serve 1 tablespoon of the ground sesame seeds over the tonkatsu sauce on each small plate or bowl. Each person can mix it when they are ready to eat.

  3. Make fresh panko

    • Put store-bought dry panko in a deep dish and mist it with water until wet (I use this mister). Allow the panko to rest for 15 minutes or until soft and tender. You can also use a food processor to make fresh panko from shokupan (Japanese Pullman bread).

  4. Preparing the pork

    • Remove excess fat and use a sharp knife to score the connective tissue (the white portion) between the meat and the fat. Fat and red meat have different levels of elasticity, so they shrink and expand at different rates during cooking. With these cuts, the tonkatsu will remain flat and not curl when deep-fried.

    • Cut several slits into the connective tissue on the opposite side of the meat.

    • Use the blade's back or a meat tenderizer/mallet to pound the meat on both sides.

    • Use your hands to reshape the meat into its original form.

    • Add salt and pepper to the meat on both sides.

  5. Breading the pork

    • In a deep dish, break the egg and combine it with the oil. Stir until everything is thoroughly combined. By adding oil, the meat and breading will not separate during deep-frying, and the juices and flavor of the meat will not easily escape. Additionally, prepare a deep dish for the flour.

    • Flour the pork and shake off any excess flour. Too much flour will prevent the egg mixture from adhering to the pork by forming a coating. Then, thoroughly coat the pork with the egg mixture.

    • Panko-coat the pork by gently pressing the panko onto the pork. Then, shake the pork pieces gently to remove any extra panko. Since panko will "puff up" when fried, they are not required to be fluffy at this time. Leave it alone for 5–10 minutes to harden the breading.

  6. Deep fry

    • Add the oil to the pot until it reaches 340oF over medium heat (170oC). If you don't have a thermometer, put a chopstick in the oil and watch to see if small bubbles start to form around the tip.

    • Place one pork chop in the oil carefully and cook for one minute (without flipping). For thirty seconds, avoid touching the pork. When the pork is added, the bubbles should be large. Ensure the oil temperature does not exceed 340 degrees Fahrenheit (170oC). If this occurs, the pork will be undercooked, and the coating will darken too quickly.

    • After one minute, flip the pork and cook for an additional minute.

    • Remove the pork from the pot and allow it to drain by holding it vertically over it for a few seconds. Allow the food to rest on a wire rack or paper towel for four minutes. As the meat rests, the exterior hot oil will continue slowly cooking it.

    • Remove fried crumbs from the oil using a fine-mesh strainer after briefly turning off the heat. Keeping the oil clean and free of crumbs is essential, so that charred crumbs do not make the oil darker and dirtier. Reheat the oil to 340°F (170°C) by increasing the temperature.

    • Flip and cook for an additional minute, then remove the pork and, as before, drain the excess oil in a paper towels. Place it on a wire rack and cook in the residual heat for four minutes. Utilize a fine-mesh strainer to remove and discard the fried crumbs from the oil.

    • The first piece of pork should be prepared for a second fry in the pan. Bring the oil to 355oF (180oC), and fry the pork for 30 seconds on each side. Take the cutlet out of the pot and hold it vertically over a wire rack or paper towel for 2 minutes to drain the oil. This prevents one side of the breading from becoming excessively moist.

    • Remove the fried crumbs from the oil and discard them, then continue to cook the second cutlet. As before, remove the pot and drain the extra oil.

  7. Serve

    • Cut the golden brown tonkatsu into 2-centimeter-wide (about 3/4-inch) pieces.

    • Place on a plate and serve with shredded cabbage and cucumber, sesame dressing in a small cup, and sesame tonkatsu dipping sauce on the side.

      Japanese Fried Pork Chops w/ Shredded Cabbage (Tonkatsu) Recipe | Japanese Food


Take note that you can buy ingredients in the Asian grocery stores or Japanese grocery store. Here's a compiled cooking tips for a better result in making your pork tonkatsu bento:

  • Packing cooked white rice into a bento box when it is still warm or hot is easiest.

  • If you prefer, substitute chicken or fish fillet for the pork.

  • Moisten panko.

  • Cut slits into the pork's meaty portions.

  • Double fry.

  • Between each batch, the oil should be cleaned.

    Ultimate meal prep : wide strips tonkatsu recipes

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This holds for homemade bento boxes as well. A container contains rice and several small portions of various foods. Every effort is made to create a nutritious, well-balanced meal when preparing a bento box. This Japanese staple pairs well with a flavorful tonkatsu sauce, which can be purchased pre-made and in bottles at Japanese and other Asian markets.

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Every day, millions of Japanese use the Bento Box as their primary method of food preparation. The Japanese exert great effort to create delicious bento. Traditional Japanese cuisine frequently serves finely shredded green cabbage with pork tonkatsu. Tonkatsu sauce is frequently applied to cabbage.

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