Ahhh, breathe easy. This is the last stop on our week of Asian culinary delights and of course the whole imaginary trip isn't complete until we stop in Japan. I dare say, sushi would have been delightful but there's no way I'm tackling that from home unless I learn how to make it in advance from a sushi master, so here we are with a quick and easy substitute.
To quote epicurious.com, "tonkatsu --deep fried breaded pork, is a European inspired dish that evolved during the late 19th century in Japan." It is simply pork that is pounded to within a quarter inch thickness, seasoned with salt and pepper, breaded in panko crumbs and pan fried. You've likely made it a b'zillion times and just didn't know it had a name, right?
It's tender, crispy on the outside and fabulous sliced as I have it here, or even slapped between two slices of good bread in a sandwich. The bonus is that it's just as delicious cold as it is hot which helped last night because we ate in shifts. The big guy had a meeting after work and wasn't home until 8 bells and of course I was hungry at 6 so this suited both of our schedules mighty finely.
Now, about the cold Soba Noodle Salad, we've had versions of this before on this site and every time I make it I wonder why we don't have it more often. Soba, made from buckwheat flour, take to a veggie filled cold salad like a hand to a glove and just get better and better with time. They cook quickly in just five minutes and in this case joined shredded carrot, julienne sticks of zucchini and slices of green onion in a honey ginger garlic vinaigrette. I think you'll agree this is a great week night dinner with a potential for fabulous lunch leftovers.
Pork Katsu with Soba Noodle Salad
2 4 ounce boneless center cut pork chops, trimmed of fat
1 large egg
1 tablespoon water
1 cup panko crumbs
3 to 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
Place pork chop inside large zip top bag, leaving bag open and pound to a 1/4 inch thickness. Season both sides lightly with salt and pepper. Beat egg with water. Coat chop with egg/water mixture then dip in panko crumbs, pressing crumbs onto pork. Heat oil in large non stick skillet over medium high heat. Cook chops approximately 4 to 5 minutes total until golden on each side and just barely cooked through. Drain on paper towels. Slice and serve.
Soba Noodle Salad:
4 ounces soba noodles cooked per package directions and well drained
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1 small zucchini, cut into julienne strips
2 green onions, sliced
Combine ingredients below in a screw top jar and shake until well mixed.
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1-1/2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon honey
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon Asian chili sauce (sambel olek) optional