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September 30, 2010

Tonkatsu (Pork Cutlet), praise to the pig, oink-oink!


Have you tried Japanese style pork cutlet, the Tonkatsu?
The crisp coating outside with tender and juicy meat inside, ummmmm....  For some reason I was craving this Tonkatsu the other night. Don't you just hate that the thought of food coming to your mind when you are ready to go to bed?...  Of course, when the sun rise on the east next morning I drove to my handy-dandy Korean market to get the supplies.  :p

As far as I know, Tonkatsu in Japan was originated from European's pork cutlet. "Ton" means pork and "Katsu" means cutlet. The sound of cutlet has transformed into " Katsules". They just dropped the "..les" sound and became "katsu" instead. While European's pork cutlet is coated with bread crumbs and pan fried with a little bit of butter, Japanese Katsu is deep fried in vegetable oil which yields irresistible crunch texture while keeping the meat so moist inside.

Anyway, this Tonkatsu was introduced in Korea via Japan a long time ago and became very popular among many Koreans.  We call it "Donkas, 돈가스". The sauce that goes with this Katsu is slightly different. Japanese use very condensed thick syrupy sauce that just drizzle over the cutlet, and Koreans use tomato based gravy over the top. I like them both but I am going to make Japanese version this time.

So, come on piggies of the world! Let's gather up to make this fabulous Piggy Katsu.

You will need; 
pork slices, salt and pepper, stake sauce, soysauce, Worcestershire sauce, corn syrup, canned pineapple, apple, and white bread.
 Of course, I always forget one or two ingredients as you know.
Please, add flour, egg, and onion to above.

 First, cut off the crust from the white bread slices.
You can use Panko crumbs instead but white bread will give you better texture.
Besides, a good way to get rid of those stale bread...

 Put them in the food processor and pulse a few times,

 until you get the coarse crumbs. Set aside.

Now, the pork slices. 
Give a few slits on the sides to prevent them from curling while frying.
I used pre-sliced and pounded pork loins. 
You can pound the slices yourselves with back of you knife. 
Make sure you don't stretch the meat too much.
The thickness is about 3/8".

 Season with salt and pepper.

 Prepare coatings in shallow bowls.
Flour, beaten eggs, and white bread crumbs.

Coat the pork slice with flour very lightly,

 coat with eggs,

and then gently press with bread crumbs all sides.
Remember! Make sure you keep one hand dry!

I got ya!

 Stack'em up on the plate,

 cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hr.
Cold coating makes crispier crust.
Good news-- you can make this ahead of time and keep in the fridge.

Meanwhile, let's make the Tonkatsu sauce .
You can make this ahead of time as well.
Chop half onion but don't cry!

 Chop apple of your choice. I use golden delicioso!

 In a sauce pot, combine onion, apple, and rest of the sauce ingredients.
 Bring to boil, and reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 20min,
uncovered, until the sauce gets thickened.

 Drain the syrupy sauce. Press down with spoon to get all the flavors out.

Here is the Tonkatsu sauce.
You can keep it in the fridge until ready to use.

It's dinner time and let's fry those piggies.
Where are you piggies? Oink-oink!

 Heat oil in the heavy pan over medium heat.
Test with bread crumbs.
If it floats right away and bubbles up, then the oil is ready.
About 170 C if you use deep fryer.

 Fry them, babe!

Until lightly golden, about 1-2 minutes on each side.
 I  usually like to deep fry twice to create real crisp texture.

 After the first frying, crisp but still some what soft in the middle.
Make sure you rest them on the rack, so they can keep their crispiness.

 After the second frying.
Only about 30 seconds on each side when frying.

Check it out.
It is out of the world, y'all...
so crispy outside and tender and juicy inside.

Drizzle some sauce over and bite into the world of Tonkatsu or Donkas...

"Dinner time!" I yelled from my tiny kitchen.
I served this piggy with my apple coleslaw and some rice.

Two words...
" Pig rules!"

(돈가스,  Japanese pork cutlet)

serves 3-4

3/4 lb pork cutlet slices, 3/8" thick each, gently pounded
salt and pepper to season
8 slices of white bread, or 2C Panko crumbs
1/2C flour
3 eggs
Oil for frying

Tonkatsu sauce:
1/3C soy sauce
1/4C steak sauce, I use Heinz 57
1/2 apple, chopped
1/2 small onion, chopped
1/2 can of 8 oz canned crushed pineapple and their juice
1T Worcestershire sauce
3T brown sugar
2T corn syrup

Season the pork slices with salt and pepper, set aside.
Cut off the crusts of white bread slices. Place them in the food processor and pulse a few times to get the coarse crumbs. Transfer the crumbs into shallow bowl.
Beat eggs in the shallow bowl and pour some flour into a plate as well.
Coat the pork slices with flour, egg, and bread crumbs. Stack them together on a plate and cover them with plastic wrap. Chill them for at least 1 hr.

For frying, Heat oil over medium heat, about 170C. Test with a piece of bread crumbs to see if it bubbles up right away. Drop the pork slices and fry for 1-2 minutes each side. Transfer the meat on to wire rack. Fry again for the second time, only 30 seconds to 1- minutes on each side until they get nicely browned all over. Rest them on the rack.
Drizzle with Tokatsu sauce over and serve immediately.

For the sauce, combine all the ingredients in a sauce pan over medium heat. Boil and simmer over low heat for about 20 minutes until it gets thickened and syrupy. Strain the sauce in the strainer pressing with spoon to get all the juice. Discard the filling and keep the sauce in the fridge until ready to use. Makes about 1/2C

Printable recipe

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September 27, 2010

Kimchee Bacon Fried Rice, embarrassingly simple

I am back! How are y'all doing?
I guess I was gone longer than I intended. Were you patiently waiting for my return? :)

I had a fabulous trip to Europe this summer but upon returning back to Hong Kong, we had to move back to U.S. Life itself is quite an adventure.

My yearning of food blogging came back after 3 months of absence.
I am happy to be back on blogging.

Today's recipe is Kimchee bacon fried rice. Almost embarrassed to say it as recipe. It is very simple.
Traditionally Koreans use pork to fry up with Kimchee. But I love bacon and bacon is pork as well, so why not? 
Use very fermented Kimchee on this dish rather than freshly made. If you have tons of leftover rice it's even better.

Let the show begin...

 My humble ingredients are;
Kimchee, bacon, rice, sesame oil, and sesame seeds, eggs.
Make sure your kimchee is very fermented.
The smellier, the better...  :)

 Chop these bacon brothers. Set aside.

 If you use the whole cabbage kimchee, you will see some stuffing in between the layers. 
Get rid of them.

 To remove the stuffing, 
hold the stem part of the cabbage and shake'em in the sink.
Be gentle though. 
You don't want kimchee juice all over you, do you?

 Chop your Kimchee any way you like...

Heat your pan and brown the bacon brothers
 until crisp.

 Set aside.

 You will see lots of bacon fat in the pan. Do we need it all?
Nah! Let's eat a little healthier.

 Grab a paper towel and wipe off half the fat in the pan.
Just half, okay!
You will need some fat to cook Kimchee with.

 Add the chopped Kimchee and saute them

 for about 5 minutes until they get nice and tender.

 Add heated leftover rice to the pan and mix with Kimchee well.

 Add some Kimchee juice to the pan. Mix well.

 Turn off the heat and add sesame oil,

reserved bacon pieces and sesame seeds. Mix them well.

Sprinkle some black pepper if you like...

You can fry some eggs. 
Sunny side up for me, please...

 Place the egg on top of the fried rice.
That's all.
So darn simple...

Ready to eat?
I am.

Kimchee Bacon Fried Rice
serves 2

1/4 head cabbage Kimchee, chopped, about 1 1/2C
4-6 bacon strips
2 C cooked rice heated
1-2T Kimchee juice
1t sesame oil
1t sesame seeds
dash black pepper
2 eggs
Some spring onion chopped for garnish, optional

Dice the bacon strips into small pieces, set aside.
Discard stuffing from the cabbage Kimchee and chop them into small pieces.

Brown the bacon pieces in the fry pan over medium heat until crisp. Remove from pan and set aside.
Using a paper towel remove half of bacon fat from the pan. Add the chopped Kimchee into the pan and saute them well until nice and tender, about 5 minutes.

Add rice and combine them well with Kimchee mixture over the medium heat. Add the reserved Kimchee juice to moisten the fried rice. Continue to stir until heated through.

Turn off the heat.Add sesame oil, sesame seeds, and the bacon pieces. Mix well.
Fry eggs into sunny side up and place on top of the fried rice.
Serve immediately.

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