Saturday, January 04, 2014
Recipe: "Classic Tonkatsu" from from "Japanese Soul Cooking" by Tadashi Ono & Harris Salat
Status: Made twice.
Nijiya Market) sold pork loin specifically cut to the right thickness for tonkatsu (the label says "pork loin (for tonkatsu / cutlet)"), though many meat counters at American supermarkets can cut off filets (about 3/4 inch thick, no thicker) for you from the large hunks of pork shoulder or pork loin in their display cases. Pieces with lots of fat and marbling work taste best as tonkatsu, since lean pieces become dry. Don't cut off the excess fat, even if it looks like a lot.
The green cabbage should be very thinly sliced (it is a bit too thick in the picture above).
Don't forget the dab of Japanese mustard on the side--dabbing a small bit of mustard on the pork is especially nice.
The recipe is available in the following book except.
Status: Made once.
If you make extra tonkatsu, then you can make katsudon with the leftovers which is a type of comforting Japanese one-dish meal (a donburi with tonkatsu), with rice, egg, and a sauce made from dashi, soy sauce, mirin, sake, and onion. The recipe, which is also from "Japanese Soul Cooking" by Tadashi Ono & Harris Salat, is available here.
If you refrigerated your leftover tonkatsu, then first warm it up for a few minutes in an un-oiled pan (the fried crust of the tonkatsu should have enough oil in it to keep it from sticking) heated on medium before beginning the recipe.
I used a 10-inch pan instead of the 6-inch pan recommended by the recipe. The larger pan works just fine if you have a very wide bowl to serve it in, though it will make a thinner omelet (and the egg probably won't cover the entire pan).
Instead of garnishing with mitsuba as the recipe recommended, I used some shredded cabbage left over from the previous night's tonkatsu, and also some daikon radish sprouts seasoned with some ponzu sauce. Another possible susubtition for the mitsuba that is easier to find in American supermakets is scallions, though I haven't tried this yet. I also added a dab of Japanese mustard on the side of the bowl.
If you love tonkatsu sauce (e.g. Bulldog brand tonkatsu sauce), then another optional variation is to drizzle a very small amount of the sauce directly over the tonkatsu. Since the tonkatsu sauce tends to overwhelm the other flavors, use only a very small amount of sauce; I prefer the donburi without any tonkatsu sauce so that the donburi sauce is the focus.