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    Pork Tonkatsu (Japanese Pork Nuggets With Barbecue Sauce)

    Almost every culture around the world has a version of pounded, breaded, and fried meat. In Italy they call it milanese, in Germany and Austria they call it schnitzel, and in Japan they call it tonkatsu, to name a few. Today we will explore crispy “oven-fried” Pork Tonkatsu with a sweet, tangy, and slightly spicy sauce. If you’re timid about trying global cuisine, you can think of this recipe as pork nuggets with a kicked up barbecue sauce.

    Ingredients
    1 pound boneless pork loin cutlets, pounded to ¼-inch-thick
    ¾ cup flour
    2 eggs, beaten
    1½ cup panko breadcrumbs
    1 teaspoon salt, divided
    ½ teaspoon black pepper, divided
    2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
    Nonstick spray
    ¼ cup Worcestershire Sauce
    ¼ cup ketchup
    1 teaspoon gochujang (Alternatively: ½ teaspoon of your favorite hot sauce plus ½ teaspoon sugar)
    ¼ cup chicken stock
    1 tablespoon mirin
    Pinch of cinnamon

    Directions
    Preheat an oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and place a cooling rack in a foil-lined sheet pan.

    Set up 3 shallow bowls; the first with flour, the second with beaten eggs, and the third with the panko breadcrumbs. Add half of the salt and pepper to the flour and half to the panko breadcrumbs. Sprinkle and mix the toasted sesame seeds into the breadcrumbs.

    Dust the pork cutlets with flour, on both sides. Shake off excess flour and dip the pork into the egg wash before coating with the panko flakes. Press the pork on both sides to help panko flakes adhere. Place the breaded pork cutlets on the cooling rack that’s set into the sheet pan.

    Spray both sides of the breaded cutlets with a short burst of the nonstick spray then place the sheet pan into the oven for 15 minutes.

    Meanwhile, prepare the sauce by mixing together the Worcestershire Sauce, ketchup, gochujang (or hot sauce and sugar combination), chicken stock, mirin, and cinnamon. Pour the sauce into a small sauce pot and bring to a boil for 1 minute. Alternatively, mix the sauce ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl and cook on high for 90 seconds.

    Slice the cutlets into strips and serve with the dipping sauce.

    This recipe makes about 6 servings.

    Pork Tonkatsu shown here with sautéed kale with sesame oil and bell peppers.
    Pork Tonkatsu shown here with sautéed kale with sesame oil and bell peppers.
    Kerry Stantonhttp://chefkerrystanton.com
    Kerry Stanton is a recipe writer, culinary instructor, and restaurant consultant. She writes for Dirty Water Media and the Boston Herald.“I will not settle for anything less than exceptional food at every meal. This doesn’t mean that I demand excessive extravagance or prized ingredients for breakfast, lunch and dinner - I just want well-cooked, properly seasoned food, presented beautifully. I think we all deserve this much.”

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