Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Tonkatsu Sandwich Bento

tonkatsu bento
I made my favourite tonkatsu sandwich for lunch again today. This time, I actually remembered to season the meat with salt and pepper first (which I strangely forget to do). It's pan-fried in light olive oil, so it's not as "bad" as a deep fried version. I decided to make this week's bento theme a floral one, so the mashed potato in the potato salad is supposed to be (a strange 5-petaled) flower. 

This tonkatsu sandwich looks a lot better than my previous attempt. For one, I didn't cut it up into strips which made for a strange-looking sandwich. I also ditched buttering one side of the bread - I figured the oil content was already way too high!

Continue reading for the Tonkatsu Sandwich recipe...

Tonkatsu Sandwich

Thinly sliced pork chops (deboned is preferable, but if you can only find boned ones, just cut away the bone.
Sandwich bread
Tonkatsu sauce (Store bought is fine. eg. Bulldog brand Tonkatsu Sauce)
1 egg, beaten
flour to coat pork chops
breadcrumbs (preferably Japanese panko breadcrumbs)
Salt & pepper
  1. Trim away any fat on the pork chops and cut away the bones (if you have a boned pork chop). If your pork chop is thick, pound it gently to flatten it to around 0.5cm). 
  2. Season the pork chops with a little salt and pepper.
  3. Lay out 3 separate plates/bowls with the flour, beaten egg and breadcrumbs on each plate/bowl. 
  4. Coat each pork chop with flour, then dip it into beaten egg, and finally roll it in the breadcrumbs. You can use your hands, but I like using chopsticks or tongs as it is less messy.
  5. Heat up a small, non-stick frying pan with some oil (I use 1 -2 Tbsp light olive oil) on medium heat. 
  6. Fry the pork chops a few at a time (depending on the size of your pan) until golden brown (around 2 minutes). As the pork is thin, it will cook quite quickly. To test, lightly press the pork chop - if it is firm, it should be cooked. Remove from the heat and make a small cut in the centre to check the meat is no longer pink. 
  7. Continue frying the rest of the pork chops, adding a bit more oil into the pan each time if necessary. Set aside to cool on paper towels to soak up the oil.
  8. Take 2 slices of sandwich bread and remove the crust. Lay the cooled tonkatsu pork chop on one slice. Depending on the size of your pork chop, you may need to use 1.5 or 2 pork chops to cover the bread. 
  9. Spread some tonkatsu sauce on the other slice and lay it on top of the pork. 
  10. With a serrated knife, cut the sandwich up and pack it into your bento. (Make sure your tonkatsu is cool before packing it, otherwise the bread will get soggy.)

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