Tonkatsu (Japanese schnitzel)

Adam Liaw
Schnitzel Japanese-style: Adam Liaw's pork tonkatsu.
Schnitzel Japanese-style: Adam Liaw's pork tonkatsu. Photo: William Meppem

The Japanese answer to schnitzel is one of the most popular dishes in Japan. This secret to the perfect tonkatsu was taught to me by the chef at my favourite tonkatsu place in Tokyo when I lived there. Dip the pork cutlet in a double coating of flour before covering in the breadcrumbs. It gives you a thicker, crisper coating and tender pork. You can buy bottled tonkatsu sauce at Asian supermarkets, but it's easy enough to make yourself.


1 1/2 cups plain flour

1 tsp salt

3 eggs, lightly beaten

4 pork cutlets, bone and rind removed (about 150g each)

3 cups panko breadcrumbs

1-2 litres vegetable oil, for deep frying

1/4 head cabbage, very finely shredded

fresh Asian herbs to serve

Tonkatsu sauce

1/2 cup tomato sauce

1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce

2 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp mirin

1 tsp castor sugar

1 tsp English mustard


1. Mix the flour and salt together in a small tray and dip each of the cutlets into the flour, then into egg, then back into the flour and back into the egg before coating with the panko breadcrumbs. Press the crumbs on gently; shake off any excess.

2. Heat the oil in a large frying pan to 160C. Fry the cutlets for about four minutes each side until the crumbs are golden brown. Rest for three minutes.

3. For the tonkatsu sauce, mix the ingredients together to a smooth sauce. Slice the tonkatsu and serve with a big pile of shredded cabbage, plenty of tonkatsu sauce and top with Asian herbs.