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Pork Tonkatsu and a Moment of Silence for Japan

Pork Tonkatsu

I am completely homesick!!!

Not homesick for my home town in Michigan, but for my second home- JAPAN. This week please take a moment to reflect and send some positive energies to those that are still suffering in Japan after the one year anniversary of the tragic tsunami and Fukushima nuclear incident. Japan you are still in our thoughts and prayers.

We lived in Yokohama, Japan for a period of time and these were some of the happiest and bizzare moments of my life. We lived in Nakaodi and it has some of the narrowest roads in the whole world.

Pork Tonkatsu

There are streets in which you wonder is this a pedestrian walkway or and actual road? The roads are so narrow that you have to rotate your side view mirrors in to avoid them from from hitting the cement walls around the turns. I drove in Japan once, for about 100 metres, then promptly got out of the car, handed the keys to my hubby and never took our car out of the underground batcave carpark again. From that day forward, we named our car, "The Costco Car" as we only used this car to go on big grocery hauls to and from this bulk foods store.  So now my life revolved around trains and walking everywhere.

Pork Tonkatsu

Walking is a lovely way to get to know a new city. It gives you a different perspective on the feel for the life of the people. Unlike driving in a car, you can get the chance to look up and see the many stores and restaurants in the levels above the ground level. There is one restaurant that comes to mind but I do not know if it is there any more.  However, after you get off the Ishikawacho Eki (train station) you turn right, go through a back alley and there is little 3 table mom and pop restaurant. Great home cooked Japanese Fare and the best Pork Tonkatsu I have ever had. Hanging on the side of the restaurant all neat and orderly is everyone's Kasa's (umbrellas). I do not even know if this restaurant has a sign in English but once you see the umbrellas you know you are there. Japan is an amazing place, even after this devastation it just keeps on going and everyone just keep putting one foot in front of the other...

Pork Tonkatsu

While living in Japan, I used to participate in cooking classes and enjoyed them immensely. However, now my favorite source for all Japanese cooking is my dear friend and fellow blogger Nami-san  http://justonecookbook.com/blog. Please visit her blog and you will be amazed at her attention to detail and her delicious Japanese dishes. Without further delay, here is my version of pork tonkatsu that my teenage boys just love.

Pork Tonkatsu トンカツ

Recipe adapted from my Japanese Sensei

Serves 4 adults or 2 hungry teenagers

  • 4 boneless pork chops
  • 2 large egg, beaten
  • 1/2 - 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 head cabbage, finely shredded and soaked in cold water
  • salt and pepper
  • flour for coating
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • Tonkatsu sauce (my teenagers like Bulldog brand but you can make your own homemade sauce by adding the following ingredients together; 1/2 cup worchestire sauce, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup soy sauce, 1/4 cup ketchup, 1 tablespoon french yellow mustard, 1/2 teaspoon ground all spice and place in a little pot and heat over medium heat for about 10-15 minutes, cool and serve)
  • cooked white rice- short grain
Step 1: Remove fat from pork chops and pound flat.

Step 2: Salt and pepper pork chops

Step 3: Dip pork chops in egg and then into the flour mixture, remove excess flour.

Step 4: Dip the floured pork chop back into the egg and then into the panko bread crumbs until well coated. Set aside

Step 5: Heat a large skillet with about 1/2 inch of oil until hot. Lay 1 or 2 cutlets in the hot oil. Fry until golden brown, about 5 to 7 minutes, turning them once or twice. Drain the cutlets on paper towels and cut the pork into bite-size strips. (Alternatively you can cut down the fat: Heat about 1- 2 tablespoons oil in frying pan and cook on medium heat on each side until golden brown.)

Step 6: Drain cabbage and dry. (traditionally the cabbage is served plain on the side however if you wish you can drizzle a little sesame oil, rice vinegar, dash of sugar, dash of salt and some white pepper and mix it is super yummy)

Step 7: Serve pork tonkatsu with cabbage, rice and drizzled with tonkatsu sauce on top.

LESS THAN 30 MINUTE DINNERS

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Pork Tonkatsu and a Moment of Silence for Japan

By HWC Magazine  , ,   

March 14, 2012

  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Yields: 4 Adults or 1 Hungry Teenager

Ingredients

pork chop -

egg -

panko breadcrumbs -

tonkatsu sauce -

rice -

green onions -

cabbage -

00:00
  • {Main St. Cuisine}

    Firstly, this pork dish sounds just wonderful and if your teenage sons enjoy it, I bet my younger boys will love it as well. I think I’ll take your recommendation on the cabbage and seasoning with the the sesame oil, etc…that sounds really good.

    It sounds like your time living with Japan was not only interesting, but truly life-changing. I will be sending the positive energy to those still suffering. My sister-in-law is from Japan and she, my brother and nephew were there in December checking in on her family and the family home which had been partially destroyed. I know she will be headed there again this summer.

    Thanks for the recipe and the great photos too!

    • Thanks for stopping by. Kids love tonkatsu cut up into the thin slices, easy for dipping in the special sauce and eating.
      Japan has been through so much. However, what is astounding is how the people hold it all together, remain calm and work together. I hope your family and their homestead is okay. I know this has been a difficult time for many. Take care, BAM

  • Sending lots of love and positive energy.
    🙂 Mandy

    • Thanks Mandy, they need all the positive thoughts and support they can get. Did you hear they just had another pretty big quake just this week almost on the anniversary of the last big one? Take Care, BAM

  • It is hard to imagine what the people of Japan are going through. I chuckled about your driving experience. When we were in Europe there were many times the mirrors had to be folded in and the garage parking spaces are a real challenge. Sometimes they are so tight, it is impossible to get out of the car. I’m happy to have the sauce recipe as we panfry pork chops like you do.

    • Oh Karen, I am so glad to hear that I am not the only one to fear the driving in certain places. In Japan, we had one of those “car elevator parking spots” where you had to push a button and the floor would raise up and you needed to back your car very squarely into the spot and then push the button again and the car would go back down into the “bat cave” One inch one way or the other and it was perilous 3 story drop. ( Oh the horror of it all)

      The pan sauce is pretty similar to the bulldog tonkatsu sauce. I know it is difficult to find Asian products everywhere so this is a good alternative. Take Care, BAM

  • Update: I just received news from one of my friends on that just a bit ago today that Japan was hit with another 6.8 earthquake. Please keep them in your prayers. http://www.timescolonist.com/news/Japan+small+tsunami+after+quake/6299769/story.html

    • Love the Japanese for all the resilience they have shown over the years. A lot is to be learnt from them!

      • Dear Shumaila, I think many countries could learn from Japan’s ability to adapt and stay strong in difficult natural disaster situations. I know if this happened anywhere else it would have been absolute mania but they kept it together, helped each other, and moved on the best they could. Very strong beautiful people.

  • Looks so tasty! I’m a huge fan of dishes like this! I’m praying for your friend!

    • Thanks Jen. Tonkatsu is a great 30 minutes or less weekday dish! I have checked in on my dear friends in Japan and everyone is okay but a bit shaken, no pun intended, after this last quake this week.

  • What a lovely recipe! The narrowest streets I’ve ever seen have been in Assisi 🙂

    • Thanks Tandy. I will keep Assisi in mind if ever traveling and be sure not to rent a car. Take care, BAM

  • Walking does give you a sense of place that driving does not. I never drive when I am out of the US, I guess I am used to huge slow moving roads. Your food looks lovely and I love your kind sentiment.

    • Thank you. In regards to driving, I am the same way. Actually about a couple of years ago in the winter, we went back to Michigan for a visit and I opted to walk somewhere instead of drive. During my 10 minute walk to the market, 4 people stopped to ask if my car broke down and if I needed a lift. I felt like a foreigner in my own home country. Why don’t people walk to the market? LOL Take Care, BAM

      • I don’t know why people don’t walk more. We all need to, that’s for sure. On a side note, people in Michigan sound real nice!

  • I absolutely adore Tonkatsu. Bobbi you are so amazing, always whipping up food of various cuisines! Love it!

    • Thanks Jasline for your kind words. I hope you are doing well. Take Care, BAM

  • Great story! My prayers go out to the people of Japan!

    This looks absolutely delicious and makes me super hungry and I have more than an hour till lunch! 😀

    • Hello Sibella and thanks for sending prayers over to Japan. Take care, BAM

  • Japan is a great place, and I love pork tonkatsu! I need to make it soon, I’ve never actually made it myself.

    • Hello Joanne, you should give Tonkatsu a try in less than 30 minutes or less, from start to finish, its on the table. Great weeknight quick after work meal. Take care, BAM

  • I have never tried Pork Tonkatsu. Looks amazing, I have to try it!

    • Its a super easy dish that you can have on the table in less than 30 minutes and kids love it. Thanks for stopping by. BAM

  • Bam, thank you for this wonderful post for “our” country. I didn’t know you live near 石川町 sta. I used to go to that area a lot for swimming lesson in YMCA (near the stadium). I lived near Mitsuzawa Shimocho sta.(subway) that time. Now my home is in Center Minami (same subway). It’s hard to believe 1 year has passed…I’m going there next month (although worrying about still-going-on earthquakes) as my last trip which was scheduled in April got cancelled right after tsunami/earthquake. Your tonkatsu look really delicious! Hope the restaurant is still there. “The costco car” made me laugh. 🙂 Thank you also for the kind mention. You are so sweet! 🙂

    • Dear Nami-san,
      Do Itshimashita. It is a very small world. Actually this street is just around the corner from where I lived, near Negeishi Shirin Koen. My closest station was 山手 Eki. I know exactly where your area was near YMCA as my son went to school near the Kannai eki.
      I hope that things settle down again in Japan soon as you have heard that they have been having some earthquakes this week. However, everyone is okay. Safe travels and take care. Ja Mata, BAM

  • Japan needs as many positive vibes as possible. The beautiful nation does not deserve all this. Keeping them in my thoughts my friend, stay strong.

    Choc Chip Uru

    • Thanks Choc Chip Uru! Some positive vibes and some chocolate goodness from your kitchen is all anyone needs for recovery.

  • thank you for sharing a some special memories and lovely photos. It’s heard to think it was only a year ago.
    the recipe sounds delicious, and I like the sound of the sauce, I haven’t heard of it before, so thank you I’ve learned something new, and I will make it one day soon

    • Please give this recipe a try, its so easy and even the kids will love it. That gets all my votes on a recipe that hits the regular menu in our home. Take Care, BAM

  • I simply love a great pork dish and this pork dish is one I would actually love to try. Thanks for sharing this recipe with us

    • Thanks Kay, it is super crispy with the panko bread crumbs.

  • This looks so tasty! And I will definitely take a moment to think about Japan – my bestie is an ex-pat in Yokohama (sp?) right now. 🙂

    • Hello Courtney, thanks for your kind comments. It is such a small world I might even know your friend from Yokohama. I hope she is doing okay as they having some more quakes and aftershocks this week.

  • How do you get to live in all these cool places?? I love Japan, and your tonkatsu looks AMAZING!!!

  • Jo-Lyn

    My brother-in-law in in the navy and is stationed in Japan. He is at sea right now so isn’t there at the moment, but anyway… will be thinking of you and your family and praying for you and those affected by this. This dish looks/sounds yummy!! Thanks for sharing!

    P.S. I thought you were still in Japan?

    • Dear Jo-Lyn, I am living in Hong Kong now. However, 2.5 years ago I lived in Japan. Japan was my first international assignment and will always will have a special place in my heart. Hoping that your brother in law stays safe in Japan.

  • Thinking of those in Japan. Never tasted this dish but it looks and sounds great…and easy, too! Will check out your friend’s site right now.

    • You are going to love Nami-san’s website. It has everything I love and miss about Japan at your fingertips. Take Care, BAM

  • Another earthquake? I didn’t hear that in the news here.. what an awful reminder just when they’re rebuilding after such devastation. Your blog is a moving tribute to their country and how wonderful to have posted the perfect recipe for it!

    • Yes another earthquake. Not as big but still very high 6.8 and then as far as Tokyo/Yokohama are feeling the quakes and aftershocks. I hope that the earth’s core and crust settle down so that Japan can rest their weary hearts. Take care, BAM

  • What a lovely post and so true that when you walk a city, you really get to know it. My heart aches for those that live in Japan or have lived there. I will say my prayers for the people and let them be a motivation for me to live through life’s little bumps in the road without bitterness or whining.

    • Hello Geni, thanks for keeping Japan in your prayers. Japan is a great motivator for us all to stay stoic and strong during difficult natural disasters or even the small things that seem to disrupt our day. Take care, BAM

  • A little prayer is being sent their way…lovely post and I found it so interesting to hear about city life in Japan. Love the little Costco car 🙂 and even more so this pork recipe. My daughter will just love it!!

  • Thanks for your Japan Well Wishes! I think your daughter will love this recipe. Be sure to cut the Tonkotsu up in strips which are perfect for dipping in the sauce. A kids favorite…

  • Prayers to your friends and all of the Japanese who suffered loss. Your recipe is beautiful as is your compassion.

  • Lisa

    I remember very well how sick I felt when the tsanami hit Japan – just watching the videos was horrible. I donated and made some matcha entremets to help get others to donate. I felt so helpless, you know? Still praying for all of those who lost so much.

    That said, I always order Tonkatsu while everyone is chowing down on sushi and miso soup lol My favorite Japanese restaurant places a poached egg on top of the pork slices..so good! Yours looks just like theirs, now I need to make it!

    • We housed some friends here in our apartment in HK who were living in Japan until things settled down in Japan just after the tsunami. It was and still is a difficult time for most. It was amazing how the world came together and gave support. Restorations efforts are still in place. Take Care, BAM

  • Bam, I love the way you immerse yourself in a culture wherever you live. And walking is the best way to get to know a community, as I well know. Another inspiring, delicious-sounding recipe.

    • Thanks Kathleen. People, no matter where you are in the world, are proud of their culture, heritage and food. Understanding these things first is a gateway to friendships all over the world. I just saw your version of the fish sandwich with the yummy avocados on pin interest. I am on my way to your site now. Take care, BAM

  • Hola Bam, thanks to share JAPAN with us, it was tragic what happened one year ago…………..about your recipe it is just delicious….we love pork Tonkatsu:)

  • I would love to visit Japan!

  • I love Tonkatsu, it’s delicious. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and memories and photos from Japan.

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