Pork Tonkatsu

It’s hard not to love crispy breaded pork with a deliciously sweet and tangy sauce. That’s why this Japanese-inspired Pork Tonkatsu is a family favourite! What’s more, it comes together quickly using budget-friendly pork and regular pantry ingredients. Much of the work can be done in advance, so that all you have to do when it’s time for dinner is cook the pork. In Japan, Pork Tonkatsu is usually served with steamed rice and crisp shredded cabbage on the side, and that’s how we like it. However, you could accompany yours with any vegetables you like.

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Pork Tonkatsu

Pork Tonkatsu

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  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x




  • 8 pork loin steaks (approximately 1 cm or under 1/2″ in thickness, approximately 500 g/1 lb total weight)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp cracked black pepper
  • ½ cup (60 g) plain/all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups (120 g) panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs, whisked
  • Oil, for frying (see note 1)

Tonkatsu Sauce 

  • ½ cup (120 g) ketchup
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce (see note 2)
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp brown sugar

To serve 

  • Steamed rice
  • ¼ green cabbage, finely shredded


  1. Lay the pork loin steaks flat on a chopping board and cover with a sheet of baking paper. Use a mallet or rolling pin to pound the pork into an even thickness if required (to approximately 1 cm or just less than 1/2″ thick).
  2. Sprinkle the pork with salt and pepper.
  3. Spread the flour out on a large piece of baking paper, spread the panko breadcrumbs out on a separate large piece of baking paper, then have the whisked egg ready in a large shallow bowl.
  4. Press both sides of the pork into the flour, followed by the egg (allowing any excess to drip off), then lastly press the pork into the panko breadcrumbs, ensuring all sides are evenly coated. Transfer to a plate.
  5. Repeat the process with the remaining pieces of pork. Use the baking paper to help shuffle the flour and panko breadcrumbs into the centre of the baking paper, ready for the next piece of pork.
  6. Heat the oil on medium-high heat. Once hot, cook the pork in batches (I normally need to do two batches) for 5-6 minutes until crisp, golden and cooked through, turning every few minutes while cooking. Set aside on a plate lined with paper towel.

Tonkatsu Sauce

  1. Mix the ingredients in a small bowl until well combined.

To serve

  1. Serve the pork with steamed rice, a side of finely shredded cabbage and a generous drizzle of the tonkatsu sauce.


Note 1 –  Deep frying is the best way to achieve a crispy golden crust on the pork coating. A high smoke point, neutral oil such as canola or vegetable oil is best. You will need enough oil so that the base of the pan is fully covered and at least 3 cm or 1 and 1/4″ deep. This is a video on how you can clean your oil and reuse it although I usually skip this step, strain the oil and keep it in a jar, refrigerated, until I need to use it again.


To shallow fry in olive oil, use enough oil so that the base of the pan is covered. The schnitzel will take between 6-8 minutes to cook. Turn the schnitzel once halfway through. This method will produce a crumb that is more uneven in colour.


To air fry, spray the schnitzels thoroughly with olive oil, preheat the air fryer to 190°C/375°F and lay the schnitzels flat so they are not overlapping. Cook for 8-9 minutes, or until cooked through and golden, turning once halfway through.


Note 2 – The Worcestershire sauce gives the tonkatsu sauce a spicy kick. Add it 1 teaspoon at a time if you would prefer a milder sauce, tasting it as you go.


Pork – Follow the recipe up until step 5. Refrigerate the crumbed/breaded pork for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw completely in the fridge overnight prior to cooking as per the recipe.


Tonkatsu Sauce – Prepare and refrigerate for up to 2 days.


Pork Tonkatsu is best enjoyed right away, however, you can refrigerate the cooked pork for up to 3 days.

  • Author: Nicole
  • Prep Time: 8 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes