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Japanese Tonkatsu and Katsutori (Fried pork and Chicken
Most visitors to Japan can find Soba-ya (Noodle or ramen) and Yakitori-ya (Char-grilled chicken, pork or beef skewers. "Ya" means restaurant) stands on almost every corner. But when visiting restaurants, two of the most popular dishes ordered areTonkatsu (fried pork cutlet) and Katsutori (Fried Chicken Brest fillet). These great tasting dishes are easy to prepare and will be a new favorite of your family once they have an opportunity to enjoy them. The dishes are similar in preparation and are usually accompanied with the same simple side dishes.
Although these dishes may be accompanied by a bowl of Miso (Japanese soup made from bean curd with dried seaweed, leeks and tofu) and a side of Japanese pickles, they are always served with a bowl of rice and shredded cabbage. While visiting Japan I loved these dishes and the “Bull Dog Sauce” served drizzled over the meat.
When I returned to the states, I occasionally received shipments of the Bull dog sauce from my friends in Japan, but fortunately found the American twin to it with the Kikkoman Asian Bar-b-Que sauce. After a brief stop at our local Asian market for Panko Bread Crumbs, the Bar-B-Que sauce and an Asian Pear-Apple, it was down to our favorite Grocer for the Jasmine rice, pork and Chicken.
2lbs Chicken Breast Fillets
2lbs Pork cutlets
1 cup milk (reduced fat is substitutable)
2 cups Jasmine rice (White rice is ok)
3 cups panko Bread crumbs
1-cup corn starch
½ lbs. cabbage
1 medium Pear-Apple
Asian Bar-B-Que Sauce
3 cups water
3 cups ice water
Start by pouring three cups water into a medium sauce pan (2qt) place over high heat and cover. Now take the cabbage and slice it into very thin strips, and put in a bowl with the ice water. Let the cabbage soak while you prepare the rest of the meal. Pour 1 cup cooking oil in a large skillet and turn heat on high as well. When the water has reached it’s boiling point, add the rice and water stirring to prevent initial sticking. Cover and reduce heat to very low simmer. Set timer for 11 minutes.
Take the meats and rinse them separately in the sink to remove any residual blood and possible glazing. Rinse the pork first and put on plate or dish by itself. Discard the packaging immediately for food safety. Now follow the same steps with the chicken breast. Once the breasts are rinsed, cut them into quarters for ease of cooking and serving. Now clean and sanitize the sink area where you prepared the raw meats. Remember food safety is paramount when cooking with raw meats, therefore wash every time before and after your hands come in contact with the meat.
In a 4-cup glass bowl or measuring cup, pour in the milk, the eggs, and beat well. In a separate bowl, pour in 1 cup of corn starch. Take another bowl and pour in about 2 cups of the breadcrumbs. Place the three bowls next to each other with the breadcrumbs closest to the skillet, then the egg/milk mixture and the cornstarch on the outside. Once the oil has come to temperature, you are ready to start cooking.
If you have decided to add a pear-apple, rinse and peal, then slice into thin slices to serve with the meal, and set aside.
Start with the pork; place a culet in the cornstarch and cover both sides evenly. Then dip into egg milk mixture and place into the breadcrumbs. Now place the cutlet carefully into the oil, being cautious not to s[platter the hot oil onto yourself. Once the meat has a nice golden brown color, turn and cook the other side. When the meat has finished cooking, place on the wire rack to drain. Repeat this being careful not to crowd the pan. Continue until all the meat is cooked. When the rice timer has finished, allow to sit for 5 minutes. Then, remove the cover and stir. Recover and finish preparing the rest of the meal.
Slice the cutlets into ¾” strips; place on individual plates and drizzle with Asian bar-B-Que sauce. Place a serving of rice and the shredded cabbage alongside, add the sliced pear-apple and serv. Be it Tonkatsu or Katsutori, serve with hot rice and cabbage for a delicious meal and change of taste.