I intend to spend 4 weeks in Japan for my trip in 2019, which means I have to explore Japanese food more, otherwise I’m going to be very hungry when I arrive in Japan. I’m a fussy eater, so I’ve therefore challenged myself to make one Japanese dish each week, will not only expand my cooking skills, but also my taste buds. Remember I’m a typical Englishman and 2 veg, meat and spuds are a dream dinner…hardly exotic! I’m now over 40, so its time to expand the mind, reduce the waistline and excite the taste buds.
Week one I wanted to try something straightforward, which I could ease myself into and found a recipe for Tonkatsu is breaded pork, which comes with a sauce made from tomato ketchup and the fire of ginger and mustard (well it does in this easy Japanese recipe, developed by the Hairy Bikers!). It takes less than 30 minutes to prepare, 10-30 minutes to cook and the recipe below feeds up to 4 people.
So if you wish to join me, here’s the recipe you need…
For the tonkatsu sauce
- 125g/4½oz tomato ketchup (you can get Japanese ketchup, but any brand will do)
- 75ml/2½fl oz sake
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce (Japanese is available if you can get it)
- 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
- 1 garlic clove, finely grated
- 1 tsp finely grated fresh root ginger
- 1 tsp Japanese mustard or Dijon (Japanese mustard tastes like a mixture of Dijon and English mustard)
- 2 tsp mirin (or more to taste)
- 1 tbsp sugar
For the pork
- 4 tbsp plain flour
- 2 free-range eggs, beaten
- 75g/2½oz Japanese panko breadcrumbs
- pinch of salt and pepper
- 4 thick pork loin steaks
- vegetable or groundnut oil, for frying
For the sauce, mix all the ingredients together in a small saucepan. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for five minutes, or until the garlic and ginger are soft. You want the sauce to reach a good pouring consistency.
Strain the sauce through a fine sieve into a small bowl. It will be served at room temperature (so do not place in the fridge). Set to one side until ready to use
For the pork, place the flour, beaten egg and breadcrumbs in three individual dishes. Season the flour well with salt and pepper.
Coat each steak by first dipping into the flour, then the egg and finally the breadcrumbs. Re-dip each steak into the egg and breadcrumbs again – this creates an extra crisp coating.
Heat up a non-stick frying pan and pour the oil in for frying.
Shallow fry the cutlets on a medium heat until golden-brown on both sides and cooked all the way through – be careful when turning the cutlets to avoid splashing the hot fat.
Serve the pork with the tonkatsu sauce and raw the finely shredded Chinese cabbage and sliced spring onions.
Fantastic! The pork was delicious and when eaten with the cabbage and spring onion, it felt a fresh, yet fulfilling meal. Week one has got off to a great start, so I’m busy looking for new recipes please leave a comment and I’ll see if I can cook it.