This is my version of Japanese Tonkatsu Curry. Crispy panko-coated pork with a delicious sweet and tangy sauce. A really tasty meal that’s a little bit different (but in a really good way!) ready in under 30 minutes.

Tonkatsu pork curry on a dark plate with rice and cabbage
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Tonkatsu (Ton meaning ‘pork’ and Katsu being a shortened version of ‘katsuretsu’ meaning ‘cutlet’) originated in Japan in the 19th century.

Usually the pork is deep-fried (I shallow-fry mine and finish it in the oven), then served with rice, cabbage and a thick, spicy sauce.

There are many variations of Tonkatsu sauce.
Namiko – creator of Just One Cookbook (a fantastic site that focuses on authentic and modern Japanese recipes) describes the from scratch sauce as being made from vegetables and fruits such as tomatoes, prunes, dates, apples, lemon juice, carrots, onions, and celery, plus more than 10 kinds of spices along with soy sauce, vinegar, and sugar.

Mine is definately a shortcut sauce which is strong, tangy and sweet, but delicious.  Taste it straight from the pan and you may pucker your lips a little and think it’ll be too strong. However, once it’s drizzled on the pork it tastes fabulous.  

The whole lot is always polished off in minutes by me, Chris and the kids (even the sauce-drizzled raw cabbage is consumed without argument!).

A really tasty meal that’s a little bit different (but in a really good way!) ready in under 30 minutes.

📋 What do we need for the Tonkatsu?

Ingredients for Tonkatsu on a wooden table

Tonkatsu Sauce Ingredients

Ingredients for spicy curry sauce for Tonkatsu on a wooden table

🔪 How to make it

Full recipe with detailed steps in the recipe card at the end of this post.

  • We start by dredging pork loin steaks through flour, then egg and then panko breadcrumbs.
  • Fry in oil for a few minutes each side until golden, then place in the oven to finish cooking whilst you make the sauce.
  • An unusual-sounding combination of ketchup, white wine, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, curry powder, mirin and sugar! It all gets placed in a pan, mixed together, then simmered for 5 minutes.
  • Slice up the crispy-coated pork and place on top of a waiting pile of boiled rice and finely sliced raw white cabbage.

Then pour on that tangy sauce……

Tonkatsu curry sauce being poured onto pork katsu

👩‍🍳PRO TIP Check the pork is done by slicing the thickest pork steak and ensuring it’s piping hot and no longer pink in the middle.

🍽️ What to serve it with

but if you wanted to change it up, why not serve it with:

Sprinkle with a few spring onions and you’re ready to eat.

Tonkatsu pork curry on a plate with rice and cabbage. Spring onions sprinkled on top.

📺 Watch how to make it

YouTube video

🍲 More recipes with Pork

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4.63 from 8 votes

Tonkatsu Pork Recipe

Tonkatsu Pork – crispy coated sliced pork with a delicious sweet and tangy sauce.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 28 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Japanese



  • 2 eggs lightly whisked
  • 4 tbsp flour
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 75 g (1 1/2 cups) panko breadcrumbs
  • 4 pork loin steaks excess fat removed
  • vegetable oil for frying

Tonkatsu sauce:

  • 120 ml (1/2 cup) tomato ketchup
  • 60 ml (1/4 cup) white wine
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 garlic clove peeled and minced
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tbsp mirin
  • 1 tbsp sugar

To Serve:

  • boiled rice
  • ½ white cabbage finely shredded
  • 3 spring onions/scallions chopped
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  • Preheat the oven to 200C/400F (fan).
  • Place the eggs in a shallow bowl, the flour, salt and pepper in a second bowl (mix it together) and the panko breadcrumbs in a third bowl.
    2 eggs, 4 tbsp flour, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp black pepper, 75 g (1 1/2 cups) panko breadcrumbs
  • Coat one of the pork steaks in the flour, then dip in the egg and finally coat in the breadcrumbs. Place on a plate and repeat with the other pork steaks.
    4 pork loin steaks
  • Heat the oil in a large frying pan and fry the pork steaks on a medium heat for 2-4 minutes on each side until golden brown.
    vegetable oil for frying
  • Then place on a baking tray and finish off in the oven for 7-10 minutes until the pork is no longer pink in the middle.
  • Whilst the pork is cooking, place all of the tonkatsu sauce ingredients in a small pan, mix and bring to the boil.
    120 ml (1/2 cup) tomato ketchup, 60 ml (1/4 cup) white wine, 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce, 2 tbsp dark soy sauce, 1 garlic clove, 1/4 tsp ground ginger, 1 tsp curry powder, 1 tbsp mirin, 1 tbsp sugar
  • Turn down the heat and simmer for 5 minutes, then turn off the heat (the sauce is nice served warm but not hot).
  • When the pork steaks are ready, take them out of the oven and slice them into strips.
  • Place on top of four bowls of rice. Serve with sliced raw cabbage, and drizzle with the tonkatsu sauce. Sprinkle chopped spring onions on top and serve with the rest of the tonkatsu sauce.
    1/2 white cabbage, 3 spring onions/scallions, boiled rice


YouTube video


Recipe Source
This recipe is based one one I got the recipe from the good old Hairy Bikers (love those guys).  I made a few small changes (used wine instead of sake, dried ginger instead of fresh, missed out the mustard powder, added a little curry powder and finished the pork off in the oven).
What does tonkatsu sauce taste like?
It’s a sweet and tangy sauce with a little bit of spice. It cuts through the fried crispy pork perfectly!
Can I make it ahead?
I believe it tastes better freshly made, but yes, you can make the pork and sauce ahead. Fully cook them both, then cool and cover (keep the sauce separate from the pork) for up to a day. Then reheat the pork in the oven, uncovered, for 10-15 minutes at 190C/380F, until piping hot throughout. Reheat the sauce in a pan until piping hot.
Can I freeze it?
Yes. Cook and cool, then cover and freeze (freeze the sauce separately from the pork). Defrost in the refrigerator overnight, then reheat the pork in the oven, uncovered, for 10-15 minutes at 190C/380F, until piping hot throughout. Reheat the sauce in a pan until piping hot.
Can I make it gluten free?
Yes, you can use gluten-free plain flour blend instead of the regular flour, and gluten-free breadcrumbs instead of the panko. You’ll need to replace the soy sauce with tamari.
Also, check you tomato ketchup, Worcestershire sauce and mirin are gluten-free versions.
Do I have to fry it first, or can I just cook it in the oven?
It’s a little more juice and crispy when frying first and finishing in the oven. However, you can just cook it in the oven. For this, I would suggest adding 2 tbsp of olive oil to the panko and mixing it together until the breadcrumbs are evenly covered. This will help the panko to turn golden when cooking in the oven.
Cook the panko-crusted pork in the oven for about 15 minutes until piping hot and no longer pink in the middle.
Can I make it with chicken instead?
Yes. Use a rolling pin or tenderiser to flatten the chicken breast out, then cook in the same way as the pork (you may need to cook for a couple of minutes longer in the oven to ensure it’s not longer pink in the middle).
Nutritional Information is per serving, without the serving suggestion of boiled rice.


Calories: 518kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 164mg | Sodium: 1288mg | Potassium: 960mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 475IU | Vitamin C: 45.8mg | Calcium: 119mg | Iron: 3.9mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

This recipe was first published in October 2015. Updated January 2019 and April 2021 with new photos, step-by-step images, video and tips.

Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links – which means if you buy the product I get a small commission (at no extra cost to you). If you do buy, then thank you! That’s what helps us to keep Kitchen Sanctuary running. The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary depending on several factors. For more information please see our Terms & Conditions.





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  1. Samus says:

    Really enjoyed this recipe! Due to a tomato allergy, I used Jufran banana sauce (banana ketchup) to sub tomato ketchup, leaving out the sugar and adding a touch of ACV to compensate the differences. It was a hit withy household and I’ll most likely make it again 🙂

    I think I may play around with the sauce recipe a little bit, it feels like there’s something missing, but I’m not sure what (btw I added a little bit of tomato ketchup to a ramekin of sauce to see if that’s the something I’m looking for, but I concluded tomato wasn’t that note). The banana sauce gives it a little bit of a kick though which is neat. Not to disparage the OG sauce, it is very tasty.

  2. Shawn says:

    5 stars
    Super delicious. We like a bit more spice so added a few shakes of dried chili flakes. Husband does not like cabbage so used cucumber and julienned carrots. The carrots with the sauce are amazing. Will make this again.

  3. alimak says:

    5 stars
    That sauce!!!!!!! So, so good. Fairly new to your blog and have been looking at this for a few days and made it last night!!
    (Good to see a NZ wine in the ingredients showcase too, lol, I used Villa Maria pinot gris as it’s my favourite tipple!)

  4. Mrs Karen Keegan says:

    HI Nicky

    Firstly, I would like to add that I think I am a huge fan of your website !!!

    I love cooking and after cooking probably 75% of your recipes and continually sharing your website with friends, I will continue to try your new and existing dishes again

    Just a small thought that I wanted to check with you as my partner and I love your food we would very much appreciate a health section of your recipes as I am sure if anyone can make health food taste really good it would be you.

    Many thanks

    1. Nicky Corbishley says:

      Thanks Karen, so happy you like the recipes 🙂
      Most of our readers come for the slightly more calorific comfort food, so we tend to cater towards that, but we do have a lighter sections here: