Tonkatsu, or breaded pork cutlets, are traditionally deep-fried, but here we use an air fryer for a healthier take on the traditional Japanese dish. To save time, you can purchase pre-shredded coleslaw mix, usually a combination of red and green cabbage and carrots, which is available alongside the bagged salad greens at many grocery stores. If your store doesn’t stock pork cutlets, buy boneless pork chops, cut them in half and use a meat mallet to flatten them to an even thickness of about 1/2 inch (12 mm).
Air-Fried Tonkatsu with Ginger Cabbage Slaw
For the ginger cabbage slaw:
- 1/2 head red or green cabbage, or a mixture, cored and shredded (about 1 lb./500 g)
- 1 carrot, peeled and shredded
- 1-inch (2.5-cm) piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
- 1 Tbs. minced pickled ginger
- 1 1/2 Tbs. rice wine vinegar
- 3 Tbs. grapeseed oil
- 1 1/2 tsp. Asian sesame oil
- 1 tsp. firmly packed brown sugar
- Kosher salt
For the tonkatsu:
- 1 cup (5 oz./155 g) all-purpose flour
- 2 eggs
- 1 package Sesame Panko Breadcrumbs
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
- 2 lb. (1 kg) boneless pork cutlets, each about 1/2 inch (12 mm) thick
Tonkatsu sauce for serving
1. To make the slaw, in a large mixing bowl, toss together the cabbage and carrot. In a small bowl, whisk together the fresh ginger, pickled ginger, vinegar, grapeseed oil, sesame oil and brown sugar. Pour the dressing over the cabbage mixture and toss to combine. Season with salt, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
2. Preheat a Philips air fryer to 360°F (182°C). Preheat an oven to 200°F (95°C) and place a wire rack on top of a baking sheet.
3. To make the tonkatsu, place the flour, eggs and sesame panko in separate shallow bowls. Stir the salt and pepper into the flour. Working with one pork cutlet at a time, dip a cutlet into the flour, coating it evenly and shaking off any excess flour, then dip it into the eggs, coating it evenly and allowing the excess egg to drip off. Finally, coat evenly with the panko mix. Transfer to a plate and repeat with the remaining cutlets.
4. Place half of the cutlets in a single layer in the fry basket and insert into the air fryer. Cook for 8 minutes, then open the basket and use tongs to turn the cutlets. Close the basket, increase the temperature to 400°F (200°C) and cook for 5 minutes more. Transfer the cooked cutlets to the wire rack on the baking sheet and transfer to the oven to keep warm. Reduce the temperature of the air fryer to 360°F (182°C) and repeat to cook the remaining cutlets.
5. While the second batch of cutlets are cooking, drain the coleslaw, discarding the liquid.
6. To serve, cut each cutlet into strips about 1 inch (2.5) wide and divide evenly among 4 plates. Spoon the slaw next to the cutlets. Serve immediately, passing the tonkatsu sauce alongside for dipping. Serves 4.
Williams Sonoma Test Kitchen