Pork Tonkatsu Recipe

0Pork tonkatsu! (Plating and photo creds to Chris C.)

Last week, I bought about a million pounds of sliced pork tenderloin from Costco. On top of the usual Costco bulk discount, there was a “manager’s special” which brought the price down an additional ~20%! I wasn’t exactly sure what I was going to do with twelve huge hunks of pork loin, but there was one thing I did know: pork tonkatsu was definitely on the menu this week!

Tonkatsu is a Japanese food where pieces of meat (usually pork, but I’ve also seen chicken) are breaded and fried. It is key to use panko (bread crumbs), which are Japanese style bread crumbs. They give a delicate and very satisfying crispy crunch. The tonkatsu is usually served with tonkatsu sauce, which totally makes the dish, so be sure to pick some up before making this!

Once you’ve made it once or twice, the dish is surprisingly quick and easy to make. Take this past Thursday, for example. The plan was to get home by 5:30pm and have dinner ready by 6:15pm. Instead, I found myself calling my husband at 5:45pm to start the rice, and I got home just a little before 6:15pm. Still, dinner was hot and ready on the table by 6:30pm! This feat was accomplished partly thanks to Ben’s help in washing and trimming the veggies and getting the rice ready, and largely thanks to this SUPER quick, easy, and delicious pork tonkatsu recipe I’m sharing below!

When I got home, I just threw some flour in a bowl, eggs in another, and some panko crumbs in a third bowl. This is also known as a breading station.

breading station

I seasoned each bowl with a little salt and pepper, breaded my pork, and threw ‘em onto the hot oil.


Mere minutes later, I was turning over beautiful, golden-browned crisped pieces of tonkatsu that made our mouths water. It also made my clothes reek of fried food (worth it). We had a friend staying over this week, and she plated her food nicely and snapped a photo before diving in (see first photo). When she kept asking specifics of how I made it– “You just bread it?” (Yep!) “Did you season the pork itself?” (Nope!) “That was fast!” (Yep!), it confirmed the share-worthiness of this recipe!

A note on breading:

Breading just means I coated a cutlet in flour, then dipped it into the eggs, then coated it with panko crumbs. One tip for breading: designate one hand as your “dry hand” and one hand as your “wet hand.” When coating with dry ingredients (flour and panko), only use your dry hand. When dipping into the wet ingredients (egg), only use your wet hand. This way, you won’t end up breading your own hand in a gunky mess (which A. B. refers to as “club hands.”).

To further prevent club hands, I like to press some flour (or panko) onto a section of the wet surface of the cutlet to give my dry thumb a “safe” surface to hold onto while flipping and pressing the cutlet into the coating:

breading pork cleanly

A note on brown rice:

I had also served this to my parents a couple weeks ago, and to my delight, they loved it! They were also particularly interested in the brown rice I served it on. It was light and fluffy and delicious and brown. So in case you’ve been on the hunt for a yummy, fluffy brown rice, we love our Nishiki brown rice. It does take a little longer to cook, but the result is a taste as close to white rice as we’ve found (while being a little healthier). My mother in law actually recommended it to us, after her friend recommended it to her. Apparently, her friend’s family had taste-tested their way through several varieties of brown rice before settling on this one, which was kid- and parent-approved! I got my 15-lb bag for about $17 at Ranch 99.

Back to tonkatsu:

I think this is a great dish to serve up when you need something quick and easy. If you’re new to breading, it will feel messy and like a bit of a hassle the first couple times, but once you’ve got the hang of it, it really is quick work. If you’ve never tried tonkatsu, give this a go! It is every bit as tasty and delicious as it looks!


Pork Tonkatsu Recipe
Makes 4


  • 4 slices pork loin, each about 1/2 inch thick
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup panko crumbs
  • vegetable or peanut oil
  • salt and pepper
  • tonkatsu sauce


1. Set up your breading station (see image above). Set out 3 wide bowls and then a plate, all in a row. Fill the first bowl with flour, the second with beaten eggs, the third with panko. Season each of the bowls with salt and pepper and mix to combine. The plate is to hold your breaded cutlets before pan-frying.

2. Cook: Heat a large skillet with about 1/2 inch of oil until hot. Carefully lay breaded cutlets in the hot oil, being careful not to crowd the pan too much. Fry until golden-brown, about 3-5, minutes, then turn and fry for another 3-5 minutes until cooked through. Drain the cooked cutlets on a plate lined with paper towels.

3. Serve: Cut each cutlet into strips and drizzle with tonkatsu, or have a small bowl of tonkatsu on the side for dipping. Serve with rice and vegetables.


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My Favorite Food Cheats

I have a confession to make.

I use box mix for brownies. It’s true.


IMG_0549Ghirardelli Triple Chocolate Brownie Mix

I’ve made a lottttt of batches of brownies from scratch, but once I gave Ghirardelli’s Triple Chocolate Brownie Mix a try, there was no turning back. It’s seriously delicious. One time I brought it to school, and Ms. M asked me for the recipe, because it was “the best brownie [she’d] ever had!” I felt a little guilty admitting it was a box mix, but any guilt disappeared once she reported back that she went and bought that Ghirardelli goodness right away and loved it! :) Share the happy! Now I’m sharing with you!

The brownies are moist and chewy and chocolatey with that thin crackly layer on the top. There are big chunks of chocolate, and the edges are satisfyingly edgy, for you edge-lovers out there. They’re pretty much perfect, and at $10/6-pack from Costco… you can’t really ask for more from boxed goods…

Golden Coin Almond Jello Mix

…Unless if you’re making almond jello, in which case Golden Coin’s almond jello takes the cake jello. Continue reading

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The urgent hand waving in the air won her attention, and eventually, everyone else’s. After a series of similar interruptions, she soon lost the interest of all of the students and spent the rest of the lesson struggling to get it back (unsuccessfully). It was a disaster. Continue reading

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You are not alone. I have a whole lot of friends right around that stage as I type. I literally have TEN close friends who are expecting in 2015– and that’s only getting us up to September! (And those are just the ones who have told me– I know there are more of you out there…!) Well, friends, here are some things you will want to think about before your baby comes. Some are to help you as you prepare the nursery and gear up, while others are just things you’ll probably wish you had thought about before you were constantly sleep-deprived and bleary-minded. Continue reading

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Note: My post does contain affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, you won’t pay a penny more, but I’ll get a small commission. Thanks!

Chapter books

School Story
(9-10 yrs)

While Frindle is probably Andrew Clements’s most well-known book (and for good reason), I am always itching to share this book with my students. You find yourself rooting for Natalie, laughing at the feisty and lovable Zoe, and wishing you could read School Story II (sorry, does not exist) as soon as the book ends. Clements is master of Continue reading

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I made him cards. They were creative and thoughtful and full of mushy sentiment. I spent a lot of time perfecting the details, and couldn’t wait to hear the love in his voice when he received it.

He hugged me. Fierce and tight, to the point where I had to push him away sometimes, “UUF… too tight!! Whyyy why do you hug me so tightly?!” I said, half-jokingly… half-annoyed.

I planned dates for us. Outings where we could spend time together and make memories and just be together.

He took my car for an oil change and filled the car up with gas.

Although I appreciated the sentiment behind the hugs and the conveniences with the car, I still had complaints. The kind of complaints I kept to myself, because voicing them would make any ensuing response seem less special: Why doesn’t he write me mushy cards? Why doesn’t he plan romantic dates? 

Now, nearly a decade later, I know that his methods were “not wrong– just different,” to quote Mr. Eggerichs (whose DVD series on marriage, btw, is FANTASTIC). Ben’s way of communicating love and care to me involved hugs and acts of service, while my sentiments came in the form of encouraging words and quality time. On the surface, these may seem like stereotypical gender differences (which they aren’t), but there’s a lot more to unpack about each one. Continue reading

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how to make chain links for a quiet book

This will be my last post about quiet books for a while! Thanks for your patience, friends. I know you’re not all rearing little ones, but… yanno… it was a big project for me so I’m still excited about it :D. But really. Last one. For a long time.

Chain links for quiet book instructions

So I made 16 sets of this page. They are felt chain links that can be snapped together to form a rainbow chain. Kids can (quietly) practice their rainbow colors while getting some fine-motor skill practice in! Nice, right? The most annoying part was learning how to apply the snaps. It wasn’t hard to do, but I had to do some research to figure out the easiest and least expensive way to apply the button snaps, since I had (16 x 8 x 2) = 256 of them to do!!


Although it took a lot of time, I had fun making these pages! Continue reading

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I walked in from the garage, groceries weighing down my shoulders. He grabbed the bags and helped put the milk in the fridge while I took out the frozen fruit. We continued putting things away while our baby girl crawled around us until finally, everything was put away. I turned to get some water when I saw him shoot a sidelong glance and something between a smirk and disappointment flashed across his face.

“What?” I said, reaching for the water faucet.

“…Nothing,” he said, turning away from me.

I sighed. After eight years of marriage, I knew exactly what he was looking for.

He wanted me to appreciate him. Continue reading

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Earlier this week, I shared about the quiet book I made with some friends. (Er, the fourteen quiet books we made together.) It was a fun and very satisfying project! If you have a baby or young child to care for, consider organizing some other crafty mama friends to make your own! It will be a treasured item for the years to come, and a must-bring item when you head for a plane ride, car ride, church service, or visit to grandma’s! Continue reading

I Can’t Keep Quiet About My Quiet Book!

Quiet Book Project

Parents, have you ever heard of a Quiet Book? Also known as a Busy Book? It is a cloth book filled with fun activities that your child can play with… quietly!

Baby LOVES her quiet book!

My baby girl LOVES her quiet book!

BRILLIANT isn’t it? From making different Mr. Potato Head combinations to counting cupcake sprinkles to buttoning buttons to building sandcastles, quiet books help children hone their fine motor skills, review educational concepts, and encourages creative thinking all while keeping your child busy and quiet.

Quiet book page ideas

Um. Yes, please. (Go HERE to make your own!) Continue reading