Think of pork katsu sandwiches as a handheld schnitzel. 

By Margaret Eby
July 16, 2019
Photo: Caitlin Bensel; Prop Styling: Christina Daley; Food Styling: Sarah Epperson  

Pork chops are a great American classic, whether they're served grilled with peaches or seared on a cast iron pan and dolloped with apple sauce. But unless you've had them in a sandwich, perfectly breaded and crisp, you're missing out. A pork katsu sandwich has long been a popular treat in Japan, and lately it's enjoyed a surge of popularity in America. If you make one, you'll see why.

Breading pork chops in light panko crumbs gives the crust extra crunch, and ensures that every bite of the sandwich has a bit of that outer crispness. Then there's tonkatsu sauce, a sweet-and-savory, tangy condiment that's similar to a steak sauce. The acid and salt in it cut through the fattiness of the fried pork nicely, and pair particularly well with the loose cabbage slaw. And it's all wrapped in the kind of white bread that you could easily squish together into a solid ball. In Japan, that bread is Shokupan, or milk bread, but for our purposes white sandwich bread will do just fine. 

Because the sandwich is so simple—bread, meat, sauce, and slaw—you'll want to be careful to season the meat and slaw until it's to your liking. Bread and frying the pork well is particularly important, which means you can use a few tricks. Put your panko, flour, and your egg mixture into shallow containers, like quarter-sheet pans or a shallow dishes, for optimal dredging. Once you dip your pork into the egg and the panko, make sure to press the crumbs lightly into the meat. Look for any bare spots, and if you find them, put the pork back into the egg and panko to patch them up.  

Watch: 7 Ways to Deep Fry Without a Deep Fryer

Once you've fried the pork and mixed together the sauce and slaw, the assembly is pretty simple. Cut the crusts off slices of white sandwich bread and put one pork chop down on each slice. Top with sauce and slaw and another slice of white bread, before cutting it in half. It should look like a tea sandwich and, hopefully, taste like the pork chop dinner you've been dreaming about all summer.

Get the recipe for Pork Katsu Sandwiches.

 

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