|Do you know what this is?|
|A new base of operations.|
Yesterday, I got off work (still kind of full of hot soup) and went home. Almost immediately, I saw a text from PVL: "Are you coming over tonight?" I wanted to, but I had to cook! But, he was all alone in that whole apartment. What a dilemma. So, I did the only thing that made sense. I took all my cooking materials to his dorm. Pork chops. Check. Panko and flour. Soy sauce, ketchup, and vegetable oil. Black pepper and salt. An egg wrapped in a paper towel. Check check check.
Have you guessed what I'm making? Well, maybe you have an idea, you just don't have the exact name. Here it is: Tonkatsu, or Pork Katsu, a Japanese pork dish. It's basically fried pork chops with a delicious sauce. And I have been craving it for oh so long.
It is also, just like everything I seem to make, so easy! I know I had to buy panko for it, but panko is just the best kind of bread crumb that exists. If you ever plan to make anything of pure goodness involving coating with bread crumbs and frying, you should buy some right now! I'm sure you get it at regular grocery stores (I got it at Chinatown).
However, tonkatsu is generally deep-fried, and I am not a deep frying kind of person. Luckily, I found a recipe online for katsu from Amy at Nook & Pantry, who is apparently not a deep frying person either! It was great. I only changed it a very little, mainly to cut it down to size for my lovely, extra thin, boneless pork chops. Where she tenderized her meat with the spiky side of a waffle iron and then a pan, I battered mine with a plastic fork. I mean - it was mostly for stress relief, do those little chops even need tenderizing? Regardless, it was fun.
|And then after frying pork chops, I fried the egg used for dredging...and ate it.|
So, that is why, after getting off from work at 9:15, after finishing writing my blog by around 11 (there was a lot of talking and Food Network-ing alongside), I made pork katsu, and we ate it for an almost-midnight snack. I split two of the chops with RG, and one with PVL (basically I am a little piggie sometimes), and that is how I ended up with no pork katsu lunch for the next day. But it's OK, because it was so good that of course none would be left over. It doesn't seem heavy, because the pieces are so small and it doesn't taste oily at all. The panko is crisp, the pork stayed moist and tender, and the katsu sauce...that sweet tanginess just brought everything together. It made me feel warm and full and good. Which is especially important on a night that ended up looking like this.
|More Snow. Ah well.|
Adapted from Nook & Pantry
Serves 3 (or the same number as the thin, boneless, pork chops you use - if you multiply, make sure to multiply the flour and panko amounts)
For the Frying:
3 Thin, Boneless Pork Chops (If you have fatter pork chops: you will have to debone them, and you will have to tenderize them more- See Nook & Pantry for details)
1/8 cup Flour
1 Egg, Beaten
3/4 cup Panko
First, trim the excess fat off the pork chops. Tenderize them by hitting them with the flat side of whatever utensil you have on hand, on both sides until they are flattened to about 1/4 in. Sprinkle a very little salt and pepper on both sides of the chops, rubbing them in. Then, lay out a frying line: put the flour in one deep plate, the egg in another, and the panko in the last. First, place the first pork chop in the plate of flour, turn it to cover both sides, and then shake off the excess. Next, put the chop in the egg, turning it to cover both sides, and letting the excess drip off. Lastly, put it in the plate with the panko, dropping panko onto the top-side to cover it as well. Don't shake, you want as much panko to stick as possible. Set aside and do the same for the other chops. Then, heat 1/4 in of oil in a large frying pan at medium heat. Once it is hot, put the pork chops in. Let them cook for about 3-5 minutes, then flip them, and cook them for 3-5 minutes on the other side, until both sides are golden brown. Place on a paper towel after they are fried, and pat them dry, so they are rid of excess oil. Cut into strips, and serve drizzled with Katsu Sauce!
For the Sauce:
1/4 cup Ketchup
2 tbsp Soy Sauce
1 1/2 tbsp Honey
2 tbsp Teriyaki Sauce
1 tsp Sugar
In a medium bowl, mix the ketchup, soy sauce, honey, teriyaki sauce, and sugar thoroughly. Drizzle onto pork. Now, try to eat slowly.
This is my own version of Katsu sauce because I didn't have the worcestershire sauce or mustard Nook & Pantry's recipe called for. Feel free to use hers or experiment by adding whatever else you would like!