Thursday, July 29, 2010

Super Simple Tonkatsu

If there's one thing I know I'm going to miss from the States, it would have to be fried chicken. Good ol' southern, crispy, fried chicken. Don't get me wrong, I'm kind of happy that I won't have the usual greasy chicken and cheeseburgers knocking at my door like they do in the states. I should eat a little healthier. Really good(I mean bad for you) cheeseburgers here in Paris are few and far between... and fried chicken? Well, I haven't even heard the words "fried chicken" since I've been here. Tear.

So yesterday, I was on my own, as Quentin went to Saint-Germain-en-Laye and Bougival to do some job stuff and grab my tripod from his parent's place(I want better pictures, damn it!). As I sipped my morning... okay, who am I kidding... afternoon coffee I read through a few of the newest food blogs I'm following. A post I happened to stumble upon from Tasty Colours caught my interest. I knew I could get recipe inspiration from following all these food blogs, never had it occurred to me that I could also get advice on the best "food" places to go in Paris(duh, Katrina). As I read through the post, I came across La Grand Epicerie de Paris. La Grande Epicerie is like the Louis Vuitton of grocery stores. Very high-end, unique, and exquisite quality products. Their website sells hedgehog-shaped sugar cubes, molecular gastronomy kits, black salt from Hawaii... just to name a few. To make it even better... it's two stops from the closest metro. Weeeee!!! I'm there.

I felt like I was going to freaking Disney World. I walked inside, and it literally took my breath away. This place is huge. As you walk in, the first thing you come across(and you can't miss it) is the absolutely perfect display of desserts. Macarons, éclairs, fruit tarts... oh how I wish I had extra money to throw around. I was a little hesitant to take pictures in there with my big camera, so I'll try to go back with my little point and shoot to get some photos of this place.

I took my time, and walked through every aisle. They had an entire aisle dedicated just to salts, one just to oils, and so on. I was in culinary heaven. Even though everything in there is ridiculously expensive, their produce is what I was I was there to buy. It's still fairly pricey, but when you're only buying for one or two people, the quality is worth the price. I bought one eggplant(to re-make my awesomely drunken fusili with roasted eggplant), some fresh apricots, two celery ribs(you can buy them by the rib, an individual portion of the celery stalk, which is perfect when you only need one or two), a head of broccoli, and two small pork chops. I really only knew what I was going to do with the eggplant, the rest I figured I'd improvise. I spent a total of 9.68 euros and got the hell out of there before I could do any more damage.

So back to the whole fried chicken bit(sorry, I got a bit carried away back there), I was trying to figure out what I was going to do with the pork chops I bought from La Grande Epicerie. Pork chops in themselves are pretty easy to mess up, if you overcook them they become dry and tough. The ones I bought were small and very thin, so I wanted a way to make sure I didn't overcook them. Since I've been craving fried anything since I got here, I figured the best way to cook these little chops would be tonkatsu style.

Tonkatsu is a breaded, deep-fried pork cutlet that is usually served with shredded cabbage. Typically, very thin pork cutlets are used for this dish, since quickly frying them in oil prevents them from drying out. Another important ingredient is the breadcrumbs. Japanese panko breadcrumbs are the best to use for tonkatsu, and will yield a light, and super crispy crust. Perfect for me, since I had two thin little pork chops, and while rummaging through the cupboards found some breadcrumbs and flour. Instead of serving this with shredded cabbage, I made it with rice and steamed broccoli.

Super Simple Tonkatsu

2 thin pork cutlets or chops, about 1/3 of an inch thick
1/3 cup of flour
1 egg, lightly beaten
3/4 cup of panko breadcrumbs
vegetable oil, for frying
salt and pepper, to taste

Add about 1/4 inch deep amount of vegetable oil to a large frying pan. Heat vegetable oil on medium high until nice and hot. I like to test that the oil is ready by flicking a drop of water on the oil, if it crackles and pops, it is ready. You can also be more precise with a thermometer and heat the oil to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a shallow bowl, add flour, and salt and pepper to taste. In another bowl, add the egg, and gently whisk with a fork. In the last bowl, add the breadcrumbs. Take each pork chop and first dredge in the flour mixture until fully covered, then into the egg mixture, and lastly into the breadcrumbs. I like to sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the pork and pat them into the chop, so the crust adheres to the egg mixture. Once both chops are completely breaded, gently place in the hot oil and fry until browned on each side(for my small chops it took 2 minutes on each side, if you have larger chops, it may take longer).

Once browned, place on a paper towel to absorb any extra oil, and allow to rest for 3-5 minutes. Serve this either with tonkatsu sauce, or in my case, I only had worcestershire sauce, which is equally as delicious. Serves 2.


  1. looks like you came up with a gorgeous pork chop!! great looking plate too! good luck with your quest for fried chicken, you may have to resort to the colonel!

  2. Yes thank you! I was juicy and crispy... everything I could ask for. I don't know if could resort to KFC... I could always just make my own! Thanks!

  3. Do you have a recipe for the sauce?

  4. I didn't have the ingredients for tonkatsu sauce, I just used worcestershire sauce, but I know there are many recipes on the internet!