In the tradition of Japan, these pork cutlets are first dredged in flour, then dipped in beaten egg and finally rolled in panko breadcrumbs before being cooked. Although tonkatsu are usually deep-fried, our version is baked to cut down on fat.
- 5 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 2 each tangy-sweet apples, such as Braeburn, chopped
- 2 cup thinly sliced red cabbage
- 1 each small red onion, thinly sliced
- 2 tsp. minced fresh thyme
- 2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
- 1 Tbsp. cider vinegar
- 1/4 tsp. salt, plus more to taste
- 1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper, plus more to taste
- 1 lb. center-cut boneless pork loin chops, 1/2 inch thick, trimmed of fat
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 each large egg, lightly beaten
- 2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
- 1 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs (see Ingredient note)
Preheat oven to 475°F. Set a wire rack on a foil-lined baking sheet and coat with cooking spray.
Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add apples, cabbage, onion and thyme and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture begins to soften, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in maple syrup and vinegar. Reduce heat to low and cook until the cabbage is tender, about 5 minutes more. Remove from heat, cover and keep warm.
Meanwhile, place each pork chop between 2 pieces of plastic wrap. Pound with the smooth side of a meat mallet or a heavy saucepan until 1/4 inch thick. Season the pork on both sides with 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Place flour on a large plate. Whisk egg and mustard in a shallow dish. Mix panko and 1 tablespoon oil in another shallow dish. Dredge the pork in the flour, dip in the egg mixture, then dredge in the panko. Place on the wire rack. Coat both sides with cooking spray.
Bake the pork until cooked through and the breadcrumbs are just beginning to color, about 10 minutes. Season the cabbage mixture with salt and pepper to taste and serve with the cutlets.
Ingredient note: Panko breadcrumbs, also known as Japanese breadcrumbs or bread flakes, are coarser than other dried breadcrumbs. Found in the Asian section of large supermarkets and in Asian specialty markets, they produce a crispy crust and are less likely to become soggy.