Cheese Tonkatsu. Lately, in Seoul, mom-and-pop shops are serving these beautifully fried cheese tonkatsu. They roll-thinly pounded cuts of pork over a thick block of mozzarella cheese, fry them up perfectly and cut them right down the middle.
Getting hungry, yet?
The shop near my house serves them with a delicious rosé or a creamy carbonara sauce. And let me tell you… it makes for a wonderful combination. A nice 1-2 punch.
Making Tonkatsu is very easy. We made the original version (here). So the takeaway for this recipe is how to get the cheese into the cutlet and serve it beautifully. If you have kids… this is a no brainer (They’ll love it!)
When making this cheese tonkatsu, make sure to pound-out the meat very thin. That way – as you fold the meat over the cheese – it doesn’t become too thick.
For the cheese, we recommend mozzarella. Cut off a piece that’s approximately the width of your thumb. (The length you can trim off depending on the length of your pork roll). This should give you plenty of cheese action when you cut it open!
(If you like blue cheese, I imagine sprinkling a few crumbles into the mozzarella would result in a bigger smile.)
If you don’t have good quality mozzarella in your area (like Korea), you can also use string cheese! Simply trim off the ends of the stick as it may be a bit long.
After frying, if you cut the roll open and see a little bit of pink – that’s ok! It’s completely safe to eat. I write this here as some people panic when they see a little bit of pink in their pork.
If you have kids, make a lot at one time. Make the rolls, bread them and wrap them in plastic wrap. Then store in the freezer. Take them out and fry them-up whenever the kids are whining for fast food (heh!)
Enjoy ya’ll and if you make it… tag us in IG.
-Daniel out 🕺
- 100-150 grams Pork Tenderloin (Or Pork Loin, Or Boneless Pork Chops)
- Few shakes of Salt
- Few shakes of Black Pepper
- Few sticks of Mozzarella Cheese (Ok to use String Cheese too)
- 1 cup Flour
- 2-3 Eggs
- 1 cup Breadcrumbs (Or Use Panko)
- Choose a meat tenderizer, the back of your knife or a frying pan. Then pound out each piece of pork. Try to pound them out at thin as you can without ripping the meat.
- Then season each side with salt and black pepper.
- Measure and cut off a piece of mozzarella so that it fits snug into your pork piece. (Cut off a big piece to make it extra-cheesy). Place the cheese block at one end of the pork piece, tuck in the ends and wrap it up. Repeat for each piece.
- Then cut off a piece of plastic wrap. Roll the rolled pork into the plastic wrap. Twist off the ends like a candy wrapper (reference video). Then place in the freezer for 10 minutes so that it can firm up. In the meanwhile, prep the flour, eggs and breadcrumbs.
Bread pieces & fry
- Place flour, beaten eggs and breadcrumbs into 3 separate pans. (Note: Make sure to beat the eggs well so you don't get globs). Take the meat pieces out of the freezer and unwrap them from the plastic wrap. Dip each meat roll into the flour first, then into the beaten eggs and then finally into the breadcrumbs. (If you will meal prep, at this stage, wrap them back up in plastic wrap and place in the freezer... then cook whenever you want)
- Heat vegetable oil to 350 F (175 C), and deep-fry each pork roll. You can check the temperature by dropping a bread crumb. If it comes up to the surface right after it's dropped, it's good.
- Fry until the pieces turns a nice golden brown. Let it rest for a few minutes before cutting down the middle.
- Serve with a small side of rice, thinly sliced cabbage and a side of your favorite marinara sauce. Bon Appetit!