Japanese-Style Crispy Pork

I think I’ve mentioned multiple times that I have a bit of an addiction to cookbooks.  Well, on top of that, I also have a bit of an addiction to magazine subscriptions, and most of those are food related.  I saw this recipe for Japanese-Style Crispy Pork in Food Network Magazine, and knew I had to give it a try.  This is a great weeknight dinner!  It’s a rare occasion when all three of us eat all of our dinner, and this one made all of us happy.  The toddler loved dipping his pork chops in the tonkatsu sauce (which was delicious!!), and he even ate quite a few cucumber spears.  The husband and I gobbled this down as well.  We had no leftovers.

Japanese-Style Crispy Pork

1 pound thin-cut boneless pork chops or cutlets, trimmed
Kosher salt
2 tablespoons Chinese rice wine, sake or sherry
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
2 medium cucumbers
1/2 to 1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 large eggs
2 cups panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
3/4 cup cornstarch
Olive oil, for frying
1/4 cup tonkatsu sauce (a sweet-spicy Japanese dipping sauce, sold near the soy sauce; or make your own by mixing 2 tablespoons each ketchup, Worcestershire sauce and sugar with 1 tablespoon water.)

Season the pork with salt. Mix the rice wine and 1 teaspoon ginger and spread on the pork.  Stack the pork and set aside.

Peel, quarter and seed the cucumbers; cut into 4-inch spears.  Toss with the sugar and vinegar.  Toast the pepper flakes with 1 tablespoon salt in a skillet over medium heat, about 4 minutes; set aside.

Beat the eggs with 1/2 cup water in a shallow bowl.  Put the panko and cornstarch in 2 separate shallow bowls.  Dredge each piece of pork in cornstarch, dip in egg, then coat with the panko.  Heat 1/4 inch of peanut oil in a large skillet over high heat.  Fry the pork in batches until golden, 3 to 4 minutes per side.  Drain on a paper-towel-lined plate.

Sprinkle the cucumbers with some of the spiced salt.  Mix the tonkatsu sauce and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon ginger in a bowl.  Serve the pork with the cucumbers and sauce.

Source:  Adapted from Food Network Magazine

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