Deep-fried pork cutlet/chop is a very popular dish in Asia. There are varies ways of preparing or serving this dish across different countries or regions. Tonkatsu is a widely known Japanese version of this dish. The breaded and deep-fried pork cutlet is typically served with raw shredded cabbage and tonkatsu sauce in Japan.
About this recipe
This deep-fried pork cutlet recipe I am going to share is slightly different than the traditional Japanese tonkatsu. The pork loin has a cheese filling in the middle, the cheese melts after deep-frying and adds another layer of flavor to the pork. When you take a bite, you hit the crispy breading on the outside, then tender pork meat and finally the gooey melted cheese. Very satisfying!
To make this dish, we’ll need a thick cut of pork loin (at least half-inch thick). Thicker pork cuts will retain moisture better and less easily to be over-cooked.
To fill the pork loin with cheese, it needs to be cut crosswise (also called butterfly). Laying the pork loin on a cutting board, holding the knife parallel to the board. Place the non-dominant hand on top of the pork, while carefully slice the pork in half along its length by cutting between your hand and the cutting board. Remember to stop when it’s almost to the other edge to make sure it’s not cut all the way through.
After “unfolding” the pork, I seasoned the meat with salt, pepper and cooking wine. And placed half a slice American slice on both sides. American slice has a low melting point, it’s flavor complement well with the pork meat. But it’s okay to substitute with a different type of cheese.
Tips to make deep-fried pork cutlet at home
There are a few simple tricks we can do to make tender on the inside and crispy on the outside deep-fried pork cutlet at home!
Tip No.1: Pound the meat
Pounding helps to soften the meat by breaking up the connective tissues, and make it extra tender. No meat mallet? Don’t sweat! Many common household items can help. For example, a rolling pin, a cast iron pan or even a heavy dictionary. Just remember to place a piece of plastic wrap between the pork and the tool to avoid direct contact. For me, I used the back of my knife.
Tip No.2: Double fry
Double fry is a “secret weapon” a lot of the chefs use to make fried food crispy. Frying the pork loin not just once, but twice at a higher temperature; helps to get the perfect crust on the outside.
For a simple and quick meal, I like to add vegetable such as broccoli to this dish and serve it with rice. To make enjoying easier, the pork cutlet is usually cut into 1-inch thick slices before serving. I hope you enjoy making this deep-fried pork cutlet with cheese recipe. Thank you for stopping by!
- Cut the pork loins crosswise by laying them on a cutting board, holding the knife parallel to the board. Place the non-dominant hand on top of the pork, while carefully slice the pork in half along its length by cutting between your hand and the cutting board. Stop when it's almost to the other edge.
- Open the cut meat and lay flat, place a piece of plastic wrap on top and pound the meat with a mallet.
- Season the unfold-side with salt, black pepper and cooking wine for 15 minutes and place half slice of American slice on each side.
- Carefully fold the pork and mold the meat back into shape with your hands.
- Dredge each filled pork loin in flour and shake off any excess flour.
- Dip into eggs and then coat with Panko bread crumbs.
- Heat oil in a pot until the oil reaches 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). If you don't have a thermometer, to test if the oil is ready, insert a wooden spoon or a chopstick into the oil, if the oil bubbles around the stick, it's ready for frying (make sure it doesn't go over 375 degrees, otherwise it will burn)
- Gently slide the pork into the oil and fry 2 minutes on each side until golden brown.
- Remove the pork with kitchen tongs, and drain on a paper towel-lined plate, let sit for 3-4 minutes.
- Scoop up fried crumbs in the oil with a mesh strainer while waiting. You can also blanch some vegetable to add to the dish later.
- Bring the the oil back to 350 degrees F and deep fry for 30 seconds each side.
- Remove the pork from oil and drain on a new paper tower.
- Cut into 1-inch thick slices, transfer to a plate and serve hot.
- I add blanched broccoli on the side, ketchup on top and served with rice to make it into a simple meal.
2. Japanese breadcrumbs, called panko, have large flakes rather than crumbs which lead to much crispier breading with a lighter texture.
3. Oils with higher smoke points such as peanut oil are ideal for deep frying.
4. The oil temperature is very important for deep frying, around 180 degrees F is ideal, too low, the food gets greasy, too high, the food will burn.