Layered pork katsu is an amazing feat of culinary engineering! I made a delicious pork katsu with cheese recipe that will absolutely satisfy your cravings! I make a layered katsu filled with garlic, green onion, and cheese for an amazing flavor explosion! If you were looking for the ULTIMATE pork tonkatsu with cheese recipe, then your search is over!
What is pork katsu?
You may have heard of tonkatsu, which are pork cutlets, or even just the general word of “katsu”, which refers to all cutlets. Typically in Japan, a slice or pork, whether it be a pork chop or from a different part of the hog, is coated in a batter of flour, eggs, and panko, or Japanese-style bread crumbs.
The katsu is then fried to golden brown perfection and served various ways. In most restaurants, you will find it served with rice, miso soup, a side of cabbage salad, and the ubiquitous “Tonkatsu sauce”.
You can also find these Japanese pork cutlets served in a sandwich (be sure to check out my upcoming pork cultlet sandwich recipe!). These are called “Tonkatsu sando” and is deliciousness on the go!
What is layered pork katsu?
This is my twist on the typical formula for pork katsu! In short, I take thin slices of pork and layer them with something in between, then I batter and fry them so you get an amazing crunchy crust on the outside, and flavorful pork on the inside; the hallmark of all great katsu!
I originally got the idea for this recipe from my mother-in-law. Nancy has told me about her mom’s legendary tonkatsu with layers of garlic in between. One day, I tried it and instantly fell in love!
Being the American that I am, I saw an opportunity to add that classic all-American food group: cheese! By layering garlic, green onion, and shredded cheese in between thin slices of pork, then battering and frying it like a normal katsu, you get something absolutely AMAZING!
Can I substitute pork for chicken?
Absolutely! I totally encourage experimentation and this layered pork katsu recipe would work fantastically with chicken as well! You’d end up with something similar to a chicken cordon bleu, but then you get to pour tasty katsu sauce all over it!
I also recommend that you try out my delicious karaage don recipe! I use a triple-fry technique to make really delicious crunchy Japanese fried chicken, then lay them on top of a bowl of rice! It’s absolutely delicious!
Ingredients for layered pork katsu
The ingredients are super simple and you can get almost everything you need at your local grocery store!
- Thinly sliced pork (I’ll talk more about this below)
- Green onions
- Shredded cheese
- White bread
3 SUPER tips for making perfect
Layered Pork Katsu!
1. Smash That Pork!
In Japan, it is quite easy to find super thinly sliced pork chops. The ones I used in my recipe are about half a centimeter in thickness. Depending on where you live, you might not be able to find anything similar. In that case, I recommend you do the following:
- Buy the thinnest sliced pork that you can find
- Place it between two sheets of plastic wrap or in a resealable plastic bag
- Using something heavy like a pan, give the pork a good ol’ WHACK to flatten it down!
- Get it as thin as you can, then cut the pork in half so you end up with two slices that are of similar size
2. Make your own panko!
You may think that you have to go to the store to buy panko, but in Japan, a lot of tonkatsu restaurants use “nama panko”, or fresh panko bread crumbs. You can make your own by cutting your choice of bread into cubes and pulsing it in a food processor until you get breadcrumbs that look like the kind you get in a bag.
3. Monitor your oil temperature!
I really believe frying should be treated like baking: the temperature is of utmost importance! If you’re frying blind without knowing how hot your oil is, you’re doing it wrong! I highly recommend using a good kitchen thermometer like this one so you can easily monitor your frying temperature and get consistent, delicious results!
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Layered Pork Katsu
- 8 layers thinly sliced pork chop approx. 1/2cm thickness*
- Garlic 2 cloves, thinly sliced
- Green onion 1 stalk, finely sliced
- Shredded cheese 1/2 cup
- Oil for frying
- Egg 1, beaten
- White bread 3 slices
- Lay out a slice of pork and layer it with sliced garlic and cheese.
- Add another layer of pork and top it with green onion and cheese.
- Add another layer of pork and top it with a final layer of sliced garlic and cheese. Lay a final slice of pork on top.
- Season the surface of the layered pork katsu with salt and pepper.
- Repeat steps 1 - 4 with the remaining slices of pork.
- Cut the bread into cubes and place into a food processor. Pulse until you get crumbs a little larger than standard panko crumb size.
- Coat the pork katsu in flour on both sides, and shake off the excess. Add the katsu into the egg and coat both sides. Finally, add the katsu into the panko bread crumbs and cover the pork completely. Lightly press the crumbs onto the pork, then place the katsu aside. Repeat with the remaining katsu.
- In a large pot, heat cooking oil to 340F. When you add the katsu, the temperature will drop. Adjust the heat to bring the oil to a stable 325F. As the oil is heating up, allow the katsu to cook for 2 - 3 minutes, then flip. Cook for another 2 - 3 minutes, then remove to a draining rack.
- Allow the katsu to cool, then slice into 5 - 6 pieces. Serve with sliced cabbage, miso soup, and rice.