Wednesday, May 11, 2011


My dad is retired Navy; have I mentioned that before?  Not sure...anyway, because of this career choice a brief snippet of my early life was spent in Japan.  I was really too young to know any different but our time there was truly amazing.  That country is GORGEOUS and man, I can't wait to go back some day.

Don't be scared.  I don't bring this up to try and force a sushi recipe on you.  So far the sushi technique has escaped me, much like grilling.  I leave that up to Rob.  Instead I have an extremely simple and TASTY dish that I bet any mid-westerners will L-O-V-E:  tonkatsu (aka breaded and deep-fried pork chops).  With me now? ;)

Recipe from Allrecipes

4 eggs
2 tsp milk
1 tsp minced garlic
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil, for frying
8 thin cut boneless pork chops (about 1/4" thick OR LESS; this is NOT a recipe for the Big Bertha pork chops I know you Iowans love)
1 1/2 - 2 cups panko crumbs

1.  In a medium bowl, mix together the eggs, milk, garlic, salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Place the panko crumbs in a shallow bowl. 
I love adding more flavor to egg batters

2.  Dip pork chops in the egg mixture. Coat with panko crumbs, dip in the egg mixture again, then coat with another layer of panko crumbs (the double coating process is messy but oh-so-worth it!). Lay coated chops on a plate until the rest are finished. If you have time, let them set for about 10 minutes, and the coating will set very well. If you wish to freeze the chops (Ooo!  A Get Ahead opportunity!!), now is the time. 
Cute little pork chops...ready for freezer OR fryer!

3.  When the oil is very hot, place pork chops into the pan, and fry for about 3-5 minutes on each side, until golden brown.  
Drool-worthy golden color

I made some notes about this recipe...  
  • Depending on the size of pan you're using, the oil may not completely cover the chops and that's ok.  This is more like shallow frying than deep frying.  
  • The exact cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of the chops and how hot the oil is. If your chops are super thin, cook closer to 3 minutes per side. Remember, nobody likes a tough pork chop.  And contrary to popular belief, pork is NOT like can be a little pink inside.
  • ALWAYS make sure to let meat rest before eating!!  They will finish cooking while the juices redistribute.
  • Though fine on it's own, the BEST way to eat tonkatsu is with sauce.  The best one I've had is a sweet plum sauce.  There are a variety of recipes out there though that range from sweet to tangy to spicy.  Try whatever suits your tastes.  If you're crazy busy some weeknight though and happen to forget about putting a sauce together (like some absent-minded Mommy of almost 2 kids who I think we all know), steak sauce works well too.

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