I almost always order pork katsu or ramen when I visit Japanese restaurants. Ramen for the delicious broth, and pork katsu for the crunchy coating. The texture of pork katsu is like biting into a pad of potato chips. As someone who really enjoys stepping on dead leaves in the Fall, eating crunchy food satisfies a similar corner in my heart.
This pork katsu sits on top a bed of savory Japanese gravy, which I conveniently picked up from the grocery store. You can also make your own gravy at home, but the packaged one comes already with some potatoes and carrots inside so all you have to do is boil the entire package for a few minutes before serving. For the crunchy cover, I used some plain bread crumbs with eggs to stick the bread crumbs onto the floured pork surface. In the past I’ve also tried this recipe using the Italian seasoning bread crumbs, but find that those are a little bit salty when paired with the curry sauce.
When making the pork katsu, it’s fastest if you set up a station going from left to right as pictured in the step-by-step below, with the meat, flour, egg wash, and crumbs so you don’t drip reaching from one bowel to another. Once it’s set up you can do many pieces of katsu at once. I found that with the ingredient amounts listed in the recipe I had enough to do at least 1-2 more pieces of katsu if I had the extra pork loin. The actual frying part depends on the size of your pot, and I recommend using a flat pot with a large diameter so you can put as many pieces as possible completely flat. This way all the sides get equally browned and you can flip them together. The curry can be made at the end, either while you are doing the second side of the katsu or after you are done with the katsu all together and waiting for the oil to drip onto a paper towel after. The beauty of packaged curry is you can boil the whole package in some water, so there isn’t much “watching” you have to do for the curry.
- 3 thin slices (0.5 lbs) of pork loin cutlet*
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- ½ cup all purpose flour
- ¾ cup - 1 cup plan bread crumbs
- 1 egg beaten, with a pinch of salt
- 3 cups canola oil
- Packaged curry sauce
- Rinse the pork cutlet and squeeze dry.
- Sprinkle each cutlet with a pinch of salt and a pinch (or 2-3 grinds if using a grinder) of black pepper. I used approximately 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper total.
- Coat both sides of the pork cutlet with all purpose flour by pressing each side into the flour. Don't forget the sides!
- Dip flour-coated pork cutlet in the beaten egg.
- Dip egg-and-flour coated cutlet in bread crumbs, making sure to coat well. This is what makes it crunchy!
- Heat up 3 cups of canola oil (or enough to cover the bottom of your pot by 1 inch, till hot and bubbling (when you dip a pork cutlet in, it should bubble and sizzle around the pork).
- Add the pork cutlets to the oil, making sure to keep them flat. I fit three small-sized pork cutlets in my 10 inch pot. Fry until both sides are golden brown. This takes 10-12 minutes on medium high heat total. Flip the pork cutlet every couple minutes with a pair of tongs once the side facing the oil is as brown as you like.
- When you are on your second flip of port cutlet, boil some water in a separate pot and follow the package directions to heat up the gravy directly in its bag.
- When the pork is done frying, remove it from the pot and let rest on some paper towels to soak up extra oil.
- Scoop rice, top with gravy, and place crispy pork cutlet on top. Enjoy!