Crunchy on the outside, juicy on the inside, try our Tonkatsu recipe from Grass Roots guest chef Philip Schaaf. Serve with pickled vegetables to balance the richness of the pork.
Grass Roots Tonkatsu Pork Sando
This little sandwich is magical. Everything about it screams delicious. Our crispy pork cutlets are stacked with cabbage and pickles on soft milk bread with mayo and savory tonkatsu sauce. It’s no wonder that it’s a staple in Japanese cuisine.
Here’s what you need:
¼ head of napa or green cabbage
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp chili flake
4 Grass Roots pork cutlets, pounded thin
1 cup flour
1 cup panko bread crumb
2 eggs, beaten
2 tsp salt
½ cup neutral oil
8 slices of soft white milk or buttermilk bread, thick sliced
mayo, (Kewpie brand is preferred)
Tonkatsu Sauce (Bulldog brand is the best)
Various Japanese style pickles (daikon, cucumber, kimchi, radish)
1. Slice and salt cabbage, leaving for a few hours over night in the fridge to tenderize. Add a pinch of chili flakes if you like heat. Once cabbage is tender, drain excess brine and set aside.
2. Set up a breading station using three shallow dishes. Put flour in the first dish, beaten egg in the second, and panko in the third.
3. Season the pork cutlets on both sides with salt. While breading the pork, use one hand for dry ingredients and the other for the egg. Trust me, it makes a difference.
4. One at a time, place a cutlet in flour coating the entire surface. Remove from the flour and tap off excess before dunking it into the beaten egg. Remove from egg letting excess drip off before pressing it into the panko. Get an even coat of panko on both sides of the cutlet. Set it aside on a platter and continue this process until all cutlets are breaded.
5. Heat the oil in a cast iron or frying pan on medium to medium-high heat. Don't overheat the oil or your panko will burn before the cutlet is cooked through. Once the oil is at the perfect temp, place the cutlets into the pan one at a time without overcrowding for even cooking. Anticipate about 4 minutes on each side for a golden brown crust.
6. Once your cutlets are done, dress the bread with mayo. Place a cutlet on your bread and sauce it up with tonkatsu sauce. Pile cabbage and pickles on top of the sauced cutlet and top this mountain of flavor with the second slice of bread.
Pair with simple Miso soup, or your favorite chips and a crisp pilsner.