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Tonkatsu Sandos with Shaved Cabbage

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
brining time 8 hours
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4


  • 4 cups water
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 clementine
  • 1 lime
  • 4 cloves garlic smashed
  • 2 dried chilies
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tsp whole allspice berries
  • 4 boneless loin pork chops
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 8 slices shokupan or white sandwich bread lightly toasted
  • 1/2 head cabbage sliced thin
  • kewpie mayo
  • katsu sauce


  • Pour the water, sugar and kosher salt into a saucepan. Slice the clementine in half and squeeze the juice into the water mixture. Drop the rind into the saucepan. Repeat with the lime. 
  • Add the garlic, cinnamon sticks, chilies, and allspice berries to the pot and place over high heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Let simmer for 15 minutes. Take the brine off of the heat and let cool completely.
  • Place the pork chops in a large bowl and pour the cooled brine over top. Cover and transfer to the fridge. Leave the pork chops to brine for at least 8 hours or overnight.
  • Take the pork chops out of the brine and pat them dry with paper towels. Place the chops between two pieces of parchment paper. Using a meat mallet, pound the chops until flattened. Set aside. 
  •  In a wide shallow bowl, whisk to combine the panko crumbs and the salt. Dip the pork chops in the eggs until completely coated. Place the chops in the panko mixture and dredge until fully encrusted. Set aside.
  • Heat the oil in a large skillet until shimmering. Add the pork chops, 2 at a time, and fry on both sides until golden. About 5 minutes a side. Transfer the finished chops to a plate lined with paper towel and repeat with the remaining two chops. 
  • To build the sandwiches, squirt kewpie mayo on two pieces of shokupan. Cover one piece with the shredded cabbage and place a piece of tonkatsu on top. Drizzle the surface of the tonkatsu with katsu sauce and place the other piece of shokupan on top. Cut the sandwich in half and repeat with the remaining pieces of tonkatsu and pieces of bread.
  • When all the sandwiches are assembled, serve immediately with a round of cold beer.