Japanese Tonkatsu Pork Cutlet

Crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside, this Japanese pork cutlet recipe is a delicious bite of heaven!  Unlike traditional tonkatsu breading, this low carb version will give you all the flavor without worrying about the carbs.

Once you try this Japanese pork tonkatsu recipe, you will never go back to the original.  It has so much more flavor and crunch, I promise you will be a fan!

Japanese tonkatsu crispy pork cutlet served over a bed of cabbage with a wedge of lemon and Japanese tonkatsu sauce being picked with a pair of chopsticks.

What is Japanese Pork Cutlet Tonkatsu?

Traditionally Japanese tonkatsu uses pork chops or pork loin that’s been dredged in all purpose flour, egg and panko breadcrumbs then deep fried.

This recipe for pork katsu is a little different because it uses a low carb, keto friendly breading using crushed pork rinds.  It is usually accompanied by tonkatsu sauce and a side of fresh shredded cabbage.

Is tonkatsu and pork cutlet the same?

Tonkatsu in Japanese is the name for a deep fried pork cutlet so it’s the same meaning as a pork cutlet.

What is the difference between tonkatsu and katsu?

The word “ton” in Japanese translates to pork and the word katsu” means cutlet.  Katsu often refers to deep fried meat. So when you hear chicken katsu, or pork katsu, it means it’s breaded and fried.

What cut of pork do I use to make tonkatsu?

Use pork top loin chops cut no more than 1/2 inch thick.

Japanese tonkatsu crispy pork cutlet served over a bed of cabbage with a wedge of lemon and Japanese tonkatsu sauce being picked with a pair of chopsticks.

What ingredients do I need and how do you make Japanese pork tonkatsu?

Pork

  • Pork Cutlet – use boneless pork loin or pork chops not more than 1/2 inch thick.  Most Japanese markets will have this cut of pork pre-packaged and ready to go.
  • Salt – table salt or sea salt.
  • Black Pepper – fresh or pre-ground.
  • Shredded Cabbage – use a mandolin to slice the cabbage very thin.
  • Lemon (optional) – garnish.
  • Almond Flour (or flour of choice) – you can use all purpose flour or for a low carb option, you can use almond flour sold in most supermarkets.
  • Eggs – beaten and used for coating.
  • Unflavored Pork Rinds – you can find unflavored pork rinds in most supermarkets or purchase pre-ground pork rinds from Pork Panko or other brands. For the traditional method, use panko purchased from Japanese supermarkets.

Optional Brine

  • Water – brining makes pork extra juicy and flavorful but it’s not necessary.
  • Salt – use regular table salt or kosher salt.

Sauce

  • Ketchup – you can use regular ketchup or sugar-free ketchup.
  • Worcestershire Sauce – found in most supermarkets, Worchestershire sauce gives the tonkatsu sauce its depth.
  • Oyster Sauce – found in most Asian supermarkets, oyster sauce gives the tonkatsu sauce a sweet umami flavor.
  • Sweetener – to keep this recipe sugar-free, we use a monkfruit erythritol blend.  It is low carb, keto friendly and has 0 calories.  Feel free to use your preferred sweetener or regular cane sugar.

Sprinkle salt and pepper on dried pork loins.  In this order, dip and coat each pork chop, almond flour > eggs > panko.

Deep fry flipping once until internal temperature reaches 145 F.  Dip in tonkatsu sauce and serve with a side of shredded cabbage.

What is the nutrition information for this pork katsu recipe?

  • 860 Calories
  • 20g Carbohydrates
  • 14g Fiber
  • 47g Protein
  • 68g Fat
  • 286mg Cholesterol
  • 612mg Sodium
  • 477mg Potassium
  • 207mg Calcium
  • 5mg Iron
  • 327ui Vitamin A
  • 33mg Vitamin C

Japanese tonkatsu crispy pork cutlet served over a bed of cabbage with a wedge of lemon and Japanese tonkatsu sauce being picked with a pair of chopsticks.

Looking for other pork recipes?

Now, let’s get making this Japanese Tonkatsu Pork Cutlet recipe!

  • Prepping Time 15M
  • Optional Brine Time 1H
  • Cook Time 5M
  • Total Time 20M
  • Net Carb/Serv ~6g
  • Servings 2

Ingredients

Pork Crust

  • 3/4 lbs Boneless Pork Top Loin
  • 1/8 tsp Salt
  • 1/8 tsp Black Pepper
  • 2 Cup Shredded Cabbage
  • Wedge of Lemon (optional)
  • 1 Cup Almond Flour (or flour of choice)
  • 2 Eggs
  • 3 oz Unflavored Pork Rinds (1/3 cup if using Pork Panko or bread panko)

Optional Brine

  • 2 Cups of Water
  • 1 tbsp Salt

Sauce

Directions

1) Gather all the ingredients.

Keto Tonkatsu Recipe (1)

2) Add 2 cups of water and 1 tbsp salt into a large mixing bowl.  Add pork to start brine process and brine for 1 hour.  Note – you can skip this step if desired.

Keto Tonkatsu Recipe (20)

3) Pat pork dry with a paper towel.  Once dried, sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides.  Note – if you did the brine, omit salt.

Keto Tonkatsu Recipe (21)

4) Shred cabbage with a shredder and cut the optional wedge of lemon.  Transfer 1 cup of shredded cabbage and lemon wedge per serving.

Keto Tonkatsu Recipe (22)

5) In a small mixing bowl, combine Sugar Free Ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, Oyster Sauce and sweetener.  Mix well and set aside.

Keto Tonkatsu Recipe (23)

Keto Tonkatsu Recipe (24)

Keto Tonkatsu Recipe (12)

6) Pour Unflavored Pork Rinds into a food processor and pulse until ground into very fine crumbs.  You can also use your hands to crush the pork rinds if you don’t have a food processor.  Note – Skip this step if you are using Pork Panko or bread panko.

7) Fill 1 mixing bowl with Almond Flour, 1 mixing bowl with beaten eggs, 1 mixing bowl with crushed Unflavored Pork Rinds.

8) In this order, dip and coat each pork chop: Almond Flour > eggs > crushed Unflavored Pork Rinds.  Once coated, place on holding a plate.

Keto Chaffle Katsu Sandwich Recipe (38)

9) Add enough oil to cover about 1/2 inch from the bottom of the pan and heat up to 375F.

10) Once the oil is ready, place heat to medium and carefully place 2-4 pork pieces at a time.   Cook time will depend on the thickness, but for the thin ones, it takes about 1 – 1.5 minutes where as the thicker ones will be around 2.5 – 3 minutes.  Flip and repeat until internal temp reaches 145F.

11) Transfer to a drying rack.  If you do not have a drying rack, use a plate with a paper towel to soak up oil.

12) Once dried, slice the pork cutlet into 1/2 inch slices and plate onto of bed of cabbage.  Enjoy with drizzled sauce and optional squeeze of lemon!

Keto Tonkatsu Recipe (25)

Enjoy your Japanese Tonkatsu Pork Cutlet!

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Japanese tonkatsu crispy pork cutlet served over a bed of cabbage with a wedge of lemon and Japanese tonkatsu sauce being picked with a pair of chopsticks.

Japanese Tonkatsu Pork Cutlet

Crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside, this Japanese pork cutlet recipe is a delicious bite of heaven! Unlike traditional tonkatsu breading, this low carb version will give you all the flavor without worrying about the carbs.
5 from 6 votes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: Japanese pork cutlet, pork tonkatsu, recipe for pork katsu, what pork for tonkatsu
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Optional Brine: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 2
Print Recipe
Calories: 860kcal

Ingredients

Pork

  • 3/4 lbs Pork Top Loin thin slices, boneless
  • 1/8 tsp Salt
  • 1/8 tsp Black Pepper
  • 2 Cups Cabbage shredded
  • 1 Wedge Lemon optional
  • 1 Cup Almond Flour or flour of choice
  • 2 Eggs
  • 3 oz Pork Rinds unflavored, 1/3 cup if using pork panko, or bread panko

Optional Brine

  • 2 Cups Water
  • 1 tbsp Salt

Sauce

  • 1 tbsp Sugar Free Ketchup
  • 2 1/2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp Oyster Sauce
  • 1/2 tsp Sweetener monkfruit erythritol blend, sugar or sweetener of choice

Instructions

  • Gather all the ingredients.
  • Add 2 cups of water and 1 tbsp salt into a large mixing bowl. Add pork to start brine process and brine for 1 hour. Note - you can skip this step if desired.
  • Pat pork dry with a paper towel. Once dried, sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides. Note - if you did the brine, omit salt.
  • Shred cabbage with a shredder and cut the optional wedge of lemon. Transfer 1 cup of shredded cabbage and lemon wedge per serving.
  • In a small mixing bowl, combine Sugar Free Ketchup, worcestershire sauce, Oyster Sauce and sweetener. Mix well and set aside.
  • Pour Unflavored Pork Rinds into a food processor and pulse until ground into very fine crumbs. You can also use your hands to crush the pork rinds if you don't have a food processor. Note - Skip this step if you are using Pork Panko or regular Panko.
  • Fill 1 mixing bowl with Almond Flour, 1 mixing bowl with beaten eggs, 1 mixing bowl with crushed Unflavored Pork Rinds.
  • In this order, dip and coat each pork chop: Almond Flour > eggs > crushed Unflavored Pork Rinds. Once coated, place on holding a plate.
  • Add enough oil to cover about 1/2 inch from the bottom of the pan and heat up to 375F.
  • Once the oil is ready, place heat to medium and carefully place 2-4 pork pieces at a time. Cook time will depend on the thickness, but for the thin ones, it takes about 1 - 1.5 minutes where as the thicker ones will be around 2.5 - 3 minutes. Flip and repeat until internal temp reaches 145F.
  • Transfer to a drying rack. If you do not have a drying rack, use a plate with a paper towel to soak up oil.
  • Once dried, slice the pork cutlet into 1/2 inch slices and plate onto of bed of cabbage. Enjoy with drizzled sauce and optional squeeze of lemon!

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 860kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 47g | Fat: 68g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 18g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 286mg | Sodium: 612mg | Potassium: 744mg | Fiber: 14g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 327IU | Vitamin C: 33mg | Calcium: 207mg | Iron: 5mg
*Values Based Per Serving
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2 Comments

  1. Great ketofied recipe. It even works with bone in pork chops. I think it is even better than the normal breadcrumb recipe. Thanks!

    • LowCarbingAsian

      Hey Judy! You are very welcome and we think this version is better than the classic one as well! Check back soon as we do have a great chicken katsu version in the works as well!

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