JAPANESE PORK KATSU WITH QUICK CARROT PICKLES (for 2)
“Tonkatsu — deep fried breaded pork — is a European-inspired dish (said to have been brought to the islands by the Dutch) that evolved during the late 19th century in Japan.”
For the carrots:
3 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon sugar
2 large carrots
2 scallions, very thinly sliced diagonally
For the tonkatsu sauce:
1 tablespoon ketchup
2-1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1-1/2 teaspoons oyster sauce
1-1/8 teaspoons sugar
For the pork:
1 large egg
1 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
1 pork tenderloin, trimmed of any membranes and cut crosswise, at a slant, into 4 pieces
3 to 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
- Pickle the carrots. Whisk together vinegar, water, sugar, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper in a large bowl. Using a vegetable peeler, shave as many ribbons as possible from carrots. Toss carrots and scallions with dressing.
- Make the tonkatsu sauce. Combine the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until well blended. Adjust seasoning to taste.
- Pan-fry the pork cutlets. Lightly beat egg in a shallow bowl. Combine panko, ¼ teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper on a large plate.
- Pound pork ¼ to 1/8 inch thick between 2 sheets of waxed paper with a meat pounder or rolling pin. Season both sides with 1/8 teaspoon each of salt and pepper (total).
- Coat with egg, letting excess drip off, then with panko, pressing to help it adhere. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a 12 inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Cook chops (in batches if necessary), turning once, until golden and just cooked through, about 4 minutes total, adding remaining tablespoon oil if necessary. Drain briefly on paper towels and serve with carrot pickles and tonkatsu sauce.
adapted from Gourmet Magazine, April, 2009