Tonkatsu Japanese Fried Pork

Tonkatsu Japanese fried pork on a plate with shredded green cabbage

The Spruce Eats / Christine Ma

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 25 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
731 Calories
40g Fat
48g Carbs
46g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 731
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 40g 51%
Saturated Fat 9g 44%
Cholesterol 149mg 50%
Sodium 419mg 18%
Total Carbohydrate 48g 18%
Dietary Fiber 4g 13%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 46g
Vitamin C 30mg 148%
Calcium 114mg 9%
Iron 4mg 22%
Potassium 768mg 16%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Tonkatsu, or pork cutlet, is a Japanese dish of pork filet that is breaded with panko breadcrumbs and deep-fried. It is traditionally served with a dark, savory tonkatsu sauce and shredded green cabbage.

Pork tonkatsu is often found on the menus of Japanese restaurants and is also a very popular bento (boxed lunch) item. It is also a popular ingredient in katsu donburi (donburi is a one-dish meal of ingredients served over rice), which is tonkatsu served with cooked egg and a savory-sweet sauce. 

Tonkatsu is served with a savory tonkatsu sauce that is conveniently sold premade and is available in bottles on the shelves of Japanese and other Asian grocery stores. A popular brand of Japanese tonkatsu sauce is Bull Dog Tonkatsu Sauce; it's made with a mixture of fruits and vegetables to create a dark and savory sauce that is perfect for tonkatsu.

Traditionally, pork tonkatsu is served alongside a generous portion of finely shredded green cabbage. Often, tonkatsu sauce is drizzled on the cabbage as well. 


Watch Now: Japanese Fried Pork (Tonkatsu) Recipe


  • 4 boneless pork chops

  • Kosher salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1 large egg, beaten

  • 1/2 to 1 cup panko breadcrumbs

  • 1 cup canola oil, for frying

  • 1/4 head green cabbage, shredded, for garnish

  • Tonkatsu sauce (bottled), for garnish

  • Karashi (hot Japanese mustard), optional

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Tonkatsu Japanese fried pork ingredients gathered

    The Spruce Eats / Christine Ma

  2. Cut the edge of the pork chops in several places. Season with salt and pepper.

    Pork chops with salt and pepper on a cutting board

    The Spruce Eats / Christine Ma

  3. Set up a breading station with 3 shallow dishes. Place flour in the first dish, lightly beaten egg in the second dish, and panko breadcrumbs in the third dish. 

    Bowls of flour, egg, and breadcrumbs for Japanese pork tonkatsu

    The Spruce Eats / Christine Ma

  4. Coat each pork chop generously with flour, shaking any excess off.

    Pork chops coated with flour on a cutting board

    The Spruce Eats / Christine Ma

  5. Dip pork into beaten egg.

    Flour-coated pork cutlet dipped in egg in a bowl

    The Spruce Eats / Christine Ma

  6. Coat pork with panko breadcrumbs and set aside on a platter.

    Pork cutlets coated in panko breadcrumbs on a white plate

    The Spruce Eats / Christine Ma

  7. In a deep pan, heat the canola oil to around 340 F as measured on a frying thermometer.

    Canola oil in a pot for frying with a deep-fry thermometer

    The Spruce Eats / Christine Ma

  8. Deep-fry breaded pork for 5 to 6 minutes.

    Two breaded pork cutlets frying in a pot with canola oil

    The Spruce Eats / Christine Ma

  9. Turn pork over and fry about 5 more minutes or until cooked through and browned. 

    Pork cutlets fried on one side in a pot with canola oil

    The Spruce Eats / Christine Ma

  10. Remove pork from oil and drain on paper towels.

    Fried pork cutlets draining on paper towels on a rimmed baking sheet

    The Spruce Eats / Christine Ma

  11. While pork is resting, finely shred green cabbage and soak in ice-cold water.

    Shredded green cabbage soaking in a bowl of cold water

    The Spruce Eats / Christine Ma

  12. Drain shredded cabbage well.

    Shredded cabbage drained through a sieve over a bowl

    The Spruce Eats / Christine Ma

  13. Cut each tonkatsu lengthwise into small pieces and serve on plates with a side of the shredded cabbage. Drizzle some of the tonkatsu sauce over tonkatsu before eating. Serve karashi (hot Japanese mustard) on the side if you prefer. Enjoy.

    Pork tonkatsu served with tonkatsu sauce and shredded cabbage

    The Spruce Eats / Christine Ma

What Is the Difference Between Tonkatsu and Tonkotsu?

Although the names of these two dishes sound similar, they are different. Tonkatsu refers to fried pork cutlets as described in this recipe, but tonkotsu is a broth made with pork bones, often used in a pork-based ramen dish.


Variations of pork tonkatsu are made with chicken filets instead of pork and known as chicken katsu.

You can also make this dish without gluten by choosing gluten-free breadcrumbs and potato starch instead of flour (or a gluten-free flour blend).

How to Store and Freeze Pork Tonkatsu

This dish will keep in the refrigerator for up to three or four days. Reheat on a baking sheet in a hot oven (400 F) for a few minutes, loosely tented in foil, which will protect the pork from drying out but also crisp it up. You can also freeze pork, individually wrapped in plastic or foil and then stored in zip-close freezer bags, for up to three months.