Saturday, December 12, 2009

Tonkatsu aka How to make a frozen cutlet into a nice meal

UPDATE! Here is an improved salad dressing recipe and a detailed description of making the cutlet from scratch. The dressing below is still good, but not quite as good as the miso style!

Technically tonkatsu is a breaded pork cutlet, but you can make chicken-katsu or veal-catsu or chickenmcnugget-katsu (as pictured). It's traditionally served as a full meal with rice, shredded cabbage, miso soup, and some pickles. The cutlet is generally sliced so that it can be eaten with chopsticks and dressed with Japanese-style Worcestershire sauce ('sosu').

I forgot to take a picture of rice, so don't forget to include it!

For the meal pictured I used salad with ginger vinaigrette instead of the cabbage. Here's how to put together the meal:

Make the Sosu:
1/2 c. catsup
1/4 c. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 c. rice wine
3 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. ginger, minced
1 Tbsp. garlic, minced

Combine all ingredients and simmer for 20 minutes.

Rice:
Make some short-grained white rice. Place in a bowl before serving.

Salad with Ginger Vinaigrette:
If making a salad, combine lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, red onions, and daikon. Dress with:

1/4 c. rice vinegar
3 Tbsp. salad oil
1 Tbsp. sesame oil
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. light soy sauce
1 green onion, minced
1 Tbsp. ginger, minced
1/2 tsp white pepper

Tonkatsu:
Bread and fry the cutlet any way you like, or just cook up some frozen ones. Slice into bite sized pieces before serving. You can top these with the sosu or leave it on the side. Here's a tonkatsu recipe if you're making it from scratch.

Miso Soup:
Make some miso soup. Add tofu and wakame seaweed if you like. Place into bowls and garnish with fresh green onions.

Cabbage:
Slice a couple handfuls of cabbage very thin (if using individual leaves, roll them up tightly before slicing). Soak in cold water for 5 minutes, then drain well.

* * *

Arrange all the components attractively, or heck just put them on a plate. Cut up some pickles (such as the daikon takuan pictured) and put them on the side. Dig in!

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