Tonkatsu Recipe

Tonkatsu is a Japanese dish that consists of a breaded, deep-fried/tempura pork cutlet. I use chicken instead of pork in my tonkatsu recipe. My mom and grandmas use to make this for me and my siblings. My kids love making and eating it. Below is my chicken (you can use pork if you prefer) tonkatsu recipe, enjoy!


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My recipe feeds my family of five and there is typically some leftover too. You’ll need the following tools:

  • Cutting board
  • Hand towel
  • Glad Press n’ Seal wrap
  • Meat pounder (see below)
  • Bowl
  • Fork
  • Plates
  • Frying pan or deep fryer
  • Kitchen tongs

You’ll need the following ingredients:

  • 2.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs (or pork cutlets)
  • 4 eggs (I use free range organic eggs)
  • 1 bag panko (a type of breadcrumb, see below)
  • Cooking oil (frying the tonkatsu)
  • Ketchup
  • Soy sauce (see below)
  • Sriracha sauce (see below)

We usually use the following brands:

Kikkoman soy sauce –

Panko – Shirakiku brand –

Huy Fong Sriracha sauce –

Step 1: Pounding the chicken

You’ll want to start by pounding the chicken thighs on both sides, but I would recommend covering chicken with Glad Press n’ Seal wrap before you pound it. The wrap keeps chicken particles from flying all over your counter tops when you pound the chicken.

You’ll want to pound the chicken on the thin side, otherwise the panko to meat ratio will be off and it won’t taste as good as it can. Also, I put a hand towel under the cutting board to absorb the pounding.

I would recommend buying a quality and slightly heavier meat pounder (aka tenderizer). Some of the cheaper meat pounders fall apart and the aluminium/steel pounders can be too light.

If pounder is too light, then your hand and wrist can get fatigued if you’re cooking for a large family like I do. I had an aluminum pounder initially, but my hands started hurting and getting fatigued. A heavier pounder in the picture above does the work for you using its weight versus using your muscle. For more information and a review of my meat pounder: OXO Meat Tenderizer Review. Or, you can buy at the link below:

OXO Meat Tenderizer –

Step 2: Breading

After pounding the chicken, crack and mix the eggs in a bowl. Pour some panko onto a flat plate. Set up an assembly line, see picture below of my kids preparing the tonkatsu using an assembly line. Dip the pounded chicken into the eggs, then into the panko, then place on a clean plate.

Step 3: Frying

After you’ve done all of the chicken, then you’ll want to heat up some oil in a pan. If you have a deep fryer like we do, you can use your fryer, it will usually fry the chicken faster and move evenly. If you don’t have a fryer, you can use a regular pan, it just takes longer. See my review: T-fal Deep Fryer Review. Or, you can purchase at link below:

T-Fal Deep Fryer –

After tonkatsu is cooked, plate with rice (brown and white mix), veggies and a piece of fruit, then enjoy!

Step 4: Sauce

Before you start eating, you’ll want to make the tonkatsu sauce. You’ll just mix 1 part ketchup with 1 part soy sauce. You can add sriracha sauce if you like it to be a little spicy. My kids prefer it without sriracha sauce, but my wife and I like it a bit spicy. Enjoy your tonkatsu!

See some of my other easy recipes:

Breakfast Burrito Recipe

Sushi Roll Recipe

Spam Musubi (Sushi) Recipe

Fried Rice Recipe

Country Skillet Recipe

Chicken Taco Recipe (Low Carb)

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