Chicken Fried Tonkatsu

20 01 2010


I love pork. It’s no big secret, and it’s nothing new right? Everyone loves pork these days, it’s cool to like pork. But it’s actually a great thing that it is so hip to like pig because it means we can get amazing quality pork everywhere now.

One of my favorite things to make lately is a brined pork chop. A big thick hog chop brined over night and then pan seared and oven roasted. But you don’t always have time for all that nor do you always have a nice fat center cut chop just lying around. What you can find pretty much anytime anywhere are boneless shoulder and sirloin chops that are cheap and… usually terrible due to the large amount of connective tissue they contain. They just don’t cooperate – sear and sautee as you may, they always end up the texture of a twelve year old truck tire. Not any more. I’ve got the trick – beat it. Beat the shit out of that chop and then bread it and fry it or sear it or whatever you need to do to get it crispy – torch it, broil it(?) toast it, microwave it. I don’t think it matters… once it’s pounded and breaded you can do whatever you want with it – it’s gonna be good.

No no but in all seriousness – chicken fried steak, wiener schnitzel, milanesa, tonkatsu – every culture has their own version of breaded, fried, flat meat… it’s all good any way you fry it. Tonaktsu is usually just a piece of boneless pork breaded and fried. I like to take the chicken fried steak/schnitzel method to make sure it’s tender… you just pound it thin (around 1/4″), bread it and fry it. I’ve deep fried and I’ve pan fried… similar results. Pan frying obviously seems a little bit healthier. I’m not totally convinced that it is, but I’m no expert. You’re also essentially pounding out the meat in favor of having a much higher breading to meat ratio… so let’s be serious – the reason you eat fried food is for the breading so just give it up already.

I put a little bit of a Korean twist on this too… because German/Texan/Japanese just wasn’t enough. I spiked the breading mix with a healthy dose of korean chili flakes and garlic salt. Otherwise it’s just flour and an egg for dipping.

I pan-fried these until they were crispy and cooked and then tossed a little bit of the seasoned flour and a knob of butter into the pan for a quick roux. I poured in a splash of the Belgian style trippel I was drinking and simmered it for a minute to make gravy. Side note – beer makes great gravy. In many many cases, for whatever you’re cooking, you don’t have stock or broth but you do have beer – 90% of the time, if you’d be needing less than say… a cup of broth or stock – I’d say substitute away.


I ate the chicken fried pork steak with a soft-fried egg (like katsudon),beet greens (the tops left over from a bunch of beets that I pickled) and pickled daikon over 50/50 rice (half white, half brown).




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