Pork Katsu - CopyKat Recipes (2024)

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The best Japanese Pork Katsu with sauce is easy to make with this step-by-step recipe. Tender, juicy pork loin cutlets with crispy Panko crust and thick Tonkatsu sauce served over rice make a wonderful dinner.

Pork Katsu - CopyKat Recipes (1)

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Pork katsu (also known as pork tonkatsu) is a crispy, pan-fried Japanese pork cutlet coated in panko bread crumbs and topped with a delicious sauce called tonkatsu sauce. This is a Japanese dish that is satisfyingly crispy on the outside and deliciously moist on the inside. This pork katsu recipe is easy to make at home.

The pork katsu sauce, called tonkatsu sauce, that it’s served with gives this dish a jolt of tangy flavor. This tonkatsu sauce recipe is made with ketchup, soy sauce, brown sugar, mirin, Worcestershire sauce, fresh ginger, and garlic.

Table of Contents

Can You Use Already Prepared Tonkatsu Sauce?

Of course, you can use a brand of pork katsu sauce if you wish, and there are many brands to choose from. To help you pick the best tonkatsu sauce, here’s a fascinating article describing the Great Tonkatsu Sauce Shootout in Hawaii, where there are many people of Japanese descent.

Katsu Pork Tips and Tricks

  • Season the pork slices with salt beforehand and leave them in your refrigerator for at least one hour. If you leave them longer (two to four hours), this allows the salt to penetrate the pork, making it super flavorful and tender throughout.
  • Panko (Japanese breadcrumbs) is the only option for breading! These breadcrumbs add a crisp factor that any other type of breadcrumbs can’t match. You can even make your own panko.
  • Note that coarse panko comes with a longer “grain.” This gives the katsu that highly desired coarse golden brown texture. You can use the finer stuff, but you will need to pack it on more.
  • Gluten-Free Pork Katsu – You can buy gluten-free panko (e.g., the Kikkomann brand). You can also use gluten-free all-purpose flour.

Can You Make Katsu With a Different Meat?

Katsu is short for katsuretsu, which means cutlet in Japanese. Tonkatsu combines ton (meaningpork)and katsu(a shortened version of katsuretsu). Katsu describes any kind of cutlet (meat or seafood) fried in a crispy Japanese panko breadcrumb coating.

  • ChickenKatsu – Pounded chicken katsu is delicious.
  • Steak– Made with beef, this dish is called gyukatsu and is eaten rare. You need a good-quality, tender piece of meat.
  • Salmon– Use a salmon steak – it does not need to be pounded. Also, salmon will take considerably less cooking time.
  • Tofu– If you’re looking for a vegetarian katsu, using tofu would be a delicious option. Use an egg substitute such as Aquafaba.

How to Store Pork Katsu

Pork katsu will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. However, keep in mind that the breading will no longer be crispy.

There’s no easy way to reheat katsu so it comes out crisp and juicy. However, in Japan, there are tons of dishes that begin with crisply fried food that then gets doused in a soup or sauce that kills its crispness dead. So here’s a link that invites you to embrace the sogginess of leftovers.

Tonkatsu pork can be frozen uncooked. You can take it straight from the freezer, though the cooking will take a little longer. Freeze the pork katsu sauce in a separate container.

What to Serve With Pork Katsu

  • Miso soup as a starter.
  • Serve it the traditional Japanese way with steamed white rice and finely shredded cabbage. The cabbage adds a texture contrast and a refreshing taste to the savory fried pork katsu while also serving as a palate cleanser. As you pick up a piece of katsu pork with your chopsticks, make sure to include a serving of sliced cabbage in the same bite. It’s the best!
  • You can julienne the cabbage finely by hand if you have good knife skills and a sharp blade, or, to make it easier, use a mandolin slicer. This link contains a description of how to shred cabbage in three different ways.

    After shredding the cabbage, soak it in a large bowl of iced water for about 5minutes to crisp it up. Drain, place in a plastic food bag and refrigerate until ready to serve.

    If you don’t like cabbage, you could substitute finely shredded carrots.

  • Serve your pork katsu with pickled cucumbers (tsukemono) on the side (see recipe below).

Recipe Ingredients

Here’s a list of what you need:

  • Pork loin
  • Salt
  • All-purpose flour
  • Eggs
  • Water
  • Panko breadcrumbs
  • Vegetable oil
  • Ketchup
  • Soy sauce
  • Brown sugar
  • Mirin
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Fresh ginger
  • Garlic
Pork Katsu - CopyKat Recipes (2)

How to Make Pork Katsu

  1. Place ketchup, soy sauce, brown sugar, mirin, Worcestershire sauce, ginger, and garlic in a small bowl. Stir to combine.
    Pork Katsu - CopyKat Recipes (3)
  2. Thinly slice the pork loin.
  3. Place each pork loin slice between plastic wrap and gently pound it out to be ¼-inch thick.
  4. Sprinkle salt on the pork slices, cover, and place them in the refrigerator for an hour.
  5. Set up a breading station with three bowls.
  6. Place the all-purpose flour into one bowl.
  7. Beat the eggs and water together very well, and pour into a second bowl.
  8. Place panko breadcrumbs into the third bowl.
  9. Place the pork slices in the flour then shake off any excess.
  10. Dip them into the egg wash, coat well, and then shake off any excess.
  11. Dredge them in panko breadcrumbs.
  12. Place the coated pork slices on a wire rack.
  13. Heat oil in an iron skillet or a stainless steel pan to 350 degrees.
  14. Add the pork slices to the pan and cook for 1 to 2 minutes on each side, until the crust sets and is golden brown.
    Pork Katsu - CopyKat Recipes (4)
  15. Remove the pork slices from the pan and place them on a clean wire rack, to drain off excess oil.
  16. Place the pork in a 200-degree oven for 8 to 10 minutes.
  17. When the pork is fully cooked, cut it into thin strips that you can pick up with chopsticks.
  18. Serve with rice, tonkatsu sauce, or your favorite brown sauce.
Pork Katsu - CopyKat Recipes (5)

Love Japanese food? Try these recipes!

  • Air Fryer Tempura
  • Chicken Katsu
  • Hibachi Steak Recipe
  • Japanese Mustard Sauce
  • Shrimp Tempura
  • Tempura Batter Mix
  • Yum Yum Sauce

Favorite Pork Recipes

  • Cheesy Pork Chops
  • Chinese Pork Ribs
  • Oven Roasted Pork Loin
  • Pork Chili Verde
  • Pork Chops and Gravy
  • Pork Guisada

Check out more of my easy pork recipes and the best Asian recipes here on CopyKat!

Pork Katsu

You can make delicious and crispy pork katsu and tonkatsu sauce with this easy recipe.

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Course: Main Course

Cuisine: Japanese

Keyword: Pork Katsu, Tonkatsu

Prep Time: 15 minutes minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes minutes

Servings: 4

Calories: 602kcal

Author: Stephanie Manley



  • 1 pound pork loin cut into thin slices
  • salt
  • cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 eggs beaten
  • tablespoons water
  • 3 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • vegetable oil for cooking

Tonkatsu Sauce

  • ½ cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon mirin
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon finely minced garlic


Tonkatsu Sauce

  • In a small bowl combine ketchup, soy sauce, brown sugar, mirin, Worcestershire sauce, ginger, and finely minced garlic. Stir to combine. It is best if you let the sauce rest at least 30 minutes before serving.

Katsu Pork Preparation

  • Cut the pork loin into thin slices.

  • Place each pork loin slice between some plastic wrap and gently pound out the slice. You want it to be about ¼ inch thick.

  • Sprinkle salt on the pork slices, cover, and place them in the refrigerator for about 1 hour. This will help the pork break down and become super juicy. You could omit this step, but the pork will come out better if you let the pork rest.

  • Set up a breading station with three bowls.

  • Place the all-purpose flour into one bowl.

  • Beat the eggs and 1 1/2 tablespoons of water together very well, and pour into a second bowl.

  • Place panko breadcrumbs into the third bowl.

  • Place the pork slices in the flour and coat the entire surface then shake off any excess.

  • Dip them into the egg wash, coat well, then shake off any excess.

  • Dredge them in panko breadcrumbs.

  • Place the coated pork slices on a wire rack.

  • Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.

  • Add enough vegetable oil to coat the bottom ½ inch of either an iron skillet or a stainless steel pan and heat to 350 degrees. Your pan should be large enough not to overcrowd the pork.

  • Add the pork to the pan and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, just until the crust sets. Flip over and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes. Continue cooking the pork and flipping it over until it is golden brown on both sides.

  • Remove the cooked pork slices from the pan and place them on a clean wire rack, to drain off excess oil.

  • Then place them into the preheated oven to finish cooking. The pork is still rare at this point, so you should place it into the oven for 8 to 10 minutes so it finishes cooking.

  • When the pork is fully cooked, cut it into thin strips that you can pick up with chopsticks.

  • Serve with rice, tonkatsu sauce, or your favorite brown sauce.


Calories: 602kcal | Carbohydrates: 81g | Protein: 42g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 194mg | Sodium: 1271mg | Potassium: 751mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 335IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 127mg | Iron: 6mg

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home, and CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Ian

    Could you use boneless pork chops for this, or would they end up too tough?


    • Stephanie Manley

      I think this would work just fine!


      • Ian

        Pork Katsu - CopyKat Recipes (7)
        So I’ve made this twice now. Great recipe! I do have to edit it a little bit just because I use pork chops instead of pork loin. The chops are slightly thicker, so I don’t need as much coating material and I need to cook them longer in the oven, typically 45 minutes covered and another 15 uncovered. The sauce is great and using panko instead of traditional breadcrumbs makes it much crispier!

      • Stephanie Manley

        So glad you enjoy this! I love panko on pork, it’s so crispy.

  2. Bernie

    Pork Katsu - CopyKat Recipes (8)
    I read recipe three times, there is NO chicken. Your proof reader goofed


    • J. Carrera

      It’s PORK Katsu!


Leave a Reply

Pork Katsu - CopyKat Recipes (2024)


What cut of pork is best for katsu? ›

There are two main cuts of pork used for tonkatsu: hire-katsu meaning “pork fillet”, and rosu-katsu, meaning “pork roast”. Hire-katsu is made with a lean pork tenderloin, while rosu-katsu uses a richer cut of pork that comes with a strip of fat along the side.

What is pork katsu served with? ›

This Pork Katsu recipe is a crispy, pan-fried pork cutlet that is dipped in panko brad crumbs and topped with tonkatsu sauce. This Japanese dish is so crispy on the outside and delicious and moist on the inside. I like to serve it like the lunch plate served in Hawaii, with a scoop of mac salad, rice and a side salad.

What is the difference between pork cutlet and pork katsu? ›

First, katsu must be made with panko crumbs (as opposed to European-style breaded cutlets, where panko may occasionally be called for but is not a requirement). And second, it must be served with katsu sauce.

What oil to fry tonkatsu in? ›

Several kinds of oils are used to make the frying oil, such as vegetable oil, lard, sesame oil, and olive oil. The amount of oil must be sufficient to completely submerge the meat. This is one of the secrets of frying, as it is this amount of oil which makes the tonkatsu so crispy, yet juicy inside.

What is the 3 most popular cuts of pork? ›

This is your guide to getting better acquainted with the five most popular cuts of pork: chops, tenderloin, loin roast, spareribs, and shoulder.

Which cut of pork is more tender? ›

Speaking of the loin region, the tenderloin cut also comes from this area. The tenderloin is the most tender meat found on the pig and is exceptionally versatile. Tenderloins are boneless, making them easy to cook whole or break down into pieces. Tenderloins can overcook easily, so ensure you have your thermometer.

Is pork katsu healthy? ›

Katsu is a tasty dish but has plenty of calories. You can make small changes to make your meals healthier. For example, instead of using the pork loin to make this dish, use the fillet. This makes it healthier since the fillet has less fat.

What is the difference between katsu and tonkatsu? ›

Tonkatsu comes from the same pig character ton (豚) and katsu is short for katsuretsu, which is how “cutlets” is pronounced in Japanese. Tonkatsu, or pork cutlets, is made by seasoning and breading pork chops and then deep frying them. They are usually placed on a bed of shredded green cabbage.

What does katsu mean? ›

In Japanese language and culture, "katsu" (カツ) typically refers to a breaded and deep-fried cutlet of meat, such as chicken or pork, known as "tonkatsu" (豚カツ) or "chicken katsu" (チキンカツ). This dish is a popular comfort food in Japan and can be served on its own or as a topping for rice or noodles.

Why are my pork cutlets tough? ›

Because pork chops are such a lean cut, they are relatively quick-cooking and prone to overcooking. When they're cooked for even a few minutes too long, whether it's in the oven or on the stovetop or grill, they're quick to dry out, and — you guessed it — become tough, chewy, and less than appealing.

What does pork katsu taste like? ›

What does pork katsu taste like? If you can imagine the most juicy, crunchy bite of pan-fried pork cutlet, laced with subtle flavors of garlic (in my version) – then your mind has wandered in the right direction. Each bite features juicy, succulent insides and a shatteringly crunchy exterior.

What is a substitute for tonkatsu sauce? ›

Can you substitute tonkatsu sauce? Yes. If you don't have all the ingredients to make your own, you can substitute with tomato, Worcestershire or barbecue sauce. Otherwise, you could also shake things up by using other Japanese sauces such as takoyaki, okonomiyaki or yakisoba sauce instead.

Is cornstarch or flour better for tonkatsu? ›

Cornstarch Vs Flour

Both will work! I have made tonkatsu with both, and I prefer cornstarch because I feel that it clings to the pork better and yields a crispier crunch.

Is it better to pan fry pork chops in butter or oil? ›

I use both! At the same time! The butter helps achieve that golden brown color and adds more flavor, but you need the oil, too, because it has a higher smoke point and keeps the butter from burning. How long do you cook pork chops in a frying pan?

Can I shallow fry tonkatsu? ›

Pour enough oil into a large non-stick frying pan to shallow fry the steaks and place the pan over a medium heat. Add the steaks and fry until golden brown on both sides. They will probably take about 4 minutes on each side but check that they are cooked through before serving.

Can i use pork shoulder for tonkatsu? ›

Classic Tonkatsu Ingredients (Pork Katsu)

Pork loin or pork shoulder is ideal for this recipe, though you can use your favorite cuts. Salt and Pepper. For Breading. Flour, Eggs, Panko Bread Crumbs.

What meat is katsu made of? ›

By Kay Chun. Linda Xiao for The New York Times. Food stylist: Monica Pierini. Katsu, a popular Japanese comfort food of breaded cutlets, is commonly made with chicken or pork.

Which part of pork is best for pork chop? ›

Loin: The area between the shoulder and back legs is the leanest, most tender part of the animal. Rib and loin chops are cut from this area, as are pork loin roasts and tenderloin roasts.

Which is better pork tenderloin or pork loin? ›

While pork loin offers a larger size, robust flavor, and versatility in cooking methods, pork tenderloin boasts tenderness, lean meat, and a milder taste.


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