Pork Tonkatsu with Watermelon and Cherry Tomato Salad

Adapted from Bon Appetit (July 2011)

A number of years ago, I visited Japan while my brother was living there. I remember having tonkatsu for the first time and enjoying its crunch. I was also surprised by how much Japanese food is fried! I thought it was going to be all raw or steamed. I don’t cook with pork very often, but this a good reason to bring out the other white meat. Predictably, my kids loved it.

  • 2 cups cubed, seeded watermelon
  • 2 cups mixed cherry tomatoes
  • 2 cups lightly packed baby arugula
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4-4 oz. boneless center cut pork chops, pounded very thin
  • Olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons Everyday Vinaigrette
  • Lemon wedges, for serving

  • In a large bowl, combine the watermelon, tomatoes and arugula. Set aside.
  • In a shallow bowl, whisk together the eggs and the Dijon mustard. On a large dinner plate, combine the panko with the salt and pepper. Lightly season both sides of the pork with salt and pepper. Dip pork into the egg mixture, then dredge in the panko. Press gently to help the breadcrumbs adhere.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. You will most likely need to work in batches given the size of the pounded out pork chops. Cook the pork chops in the skillet until the breading is crispy and golden, about 4 minutes. Turn and cook the other side for another 3 to 4 minutes, adding another few teaspoons of oil if the pan seems dry. When both sides are nicely browned and the meat is cooked through, set the pork chops on paper towels while you repeat the process with the remaining pork chops.
  • Just before serving, gently toss the watermelon-tomato mixture with enough vinaigrette to lightly dress it without weighing it down. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Serve the pork chop with the watermelon-tomato salad and lemon wedges on the side.
  • Quick Tips
  • 1. For color and variety, I used cherry tomatoes in a variety of shapes and colors – red, orange, yellow, teardrops, grape, etc.
  • 2. I am not a fan of pounding meat because it’s labor-intensive, a little messy and just a bit brutal. However, it’s essential that you make the chops very thin for this recipe in order for them to cook properly. The pounding was well-worth the effort.

Preparation time: 30 minute(s)

Cooking time: 15 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 4

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