Sunday, November 18, 2012

Tonkatsu - IMPROVED!

My original tonkatsu recipe has been tested many times, and I've learned a few things. Mainly I have improved the salad dressing. Also I include a more detailed description of how to make the cutlet.

Not pictured: mochi ice cream. Ganbatte!

Improved Salad Dressing

The key to the improved salad dressing is the miso. Hint: even if you are using the pre-packaged instant miso soup, you can repurpose one of the packets for the salad dressing.

2 Tbsp. white miso
2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. light soy sauce
1 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger
1 dash roasted sesame oil
1 Tbsp. roasted sesame seeds

Combine all ingredients and toss with lettuce and finely julienned carrots, daikon, and red onion. Sprinkle with roasted sesame seeds. I like to let it rest while I'm cooking the other things so that the veggies marinate a bit.

Grated Daikon

This forms the bed for the cutlet. I have found that if you grate the daikon, then squeeze out the water, sprinkle with 1 tsp. salt, then in a few minutes squeeze out more water, you get the best result. The salt miraculously cancels out any bitterness. You can also use finely slivered napa cabbage.

Pork Cutlet

Could also be made with chicken or turkey. You can use any oil that tolerates heat well, but peanut gives it a nice flavor. You can use half peanut and half something else.

4-6 thin-cut pork chops
2 Tbsp. salt
1/2 c. flour
3 eggs
3/4 c. panko breading crumbs
3-4 c. peanut oil

Trim the chops so that only meat remains. Pound flat into cutlets ~1/4" thick. Sprinkle both sides with salt. Heat the oil to 350°F. Place the oven on warm and ready a platter with paper towels to drain the cooked cutlets as you work. Beat the eggs together until smooth.

Arrange 3 shallow pans (ie pie tins) in a row next to the stove for the dredging operation. Place flour in one, beaten eggs in the next, and then panko crumbs in the last. Dredge each cutlet in flour, then dip in egg, and last in panko before placing in the hot oil. Take care not to overcrowd the oil--you will likely only be able to fry one cutlet at a time. Fry each cutlet for 2-3 minutes on the first side, then 1-2 minutes on the second side, or until they are golden brown and crisp. Keep the cutlets warm and crisp in the oven. Chop into narrow strips (for easy chopsticking) just before serving. Drizzle with tonkatsu sosu or "Bulldog Fruit and Vegetable Sauce". It is essentially a sweetened, more mild Worcestershire sauce.
Made with real bulldogs!

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