Oven Baked Tonkatsu is a healthy version of my Tonkatsu recipe. The amount of oil consumed in Oven Baked Tonkatsu is less than ⅓ (close to ¼), compared to the conventional method of deep-frying a piece of crumbed pork. Even with such a small amount of oil, the crumbs are crunchy and the meat is tender just like deep-fried Tonkatsu.
It is not possible to make the breadcrumbs golden without overcooking the pork inside when you are baking tokatsu in the oven. So, I toasted the breadcrumbs to lightly brown them first.
This is a technique I borrowed from Nagi’s recipe, Truly Crispy Oven Baked Chicken Tenderloin. But to differentiate my method from Nagi’s, I pan-toasted the breadcrumbs, then mixed a small amount of oil into them. I was very happy with the results.
What’s in My Oven Baked Tonkatsu
The ingredients are identical to my Tonkatsu recipe. It’s just that the quantity of oil required is very small. I usually don’t specify the quantity of each ingredient in this section, but just to compare the ingredients with the Tonkatsu recipe, I added the quantity below.
- 2 pork loin steaks, 150-200g/5.3-7.1oz each, 1.5-2cm/⅝-¾” thick
- 1½ tbsp flour
- 1 egg
- ⅔–1 cup breadcrumb
- 1-1⅓ tbsp oil
In the case of deep-fried tonkatsu, about 10% of the weight of the pork is absorbed into the tonkatsu, which equates to 30-40g/1.1-2.8oz of oil. By baking tonkatsu in the oven on the other hand, 1 tablespoon of oil is 13g/0.5oz and you actually use about ⅔ of the total oil.
How to make Oven Baked Tonkatsu (see the video)
The method of coating the pork steaks with flour, egg, and breadcrumbs is exactly the same as the Tonkatsu recipe.
- Toast the breadcrumbs in a frying pan without oil until lightly browned.
- Mix oil into the toasted breadcrumbs.
- Coat each piece of pork with flour, egg, then breadcrumbs.
- Place a rack on a tray and put the crumbed pork on the rack.
- Bake at 230°C/446°F for about 13 minutes.
Prior to step 3, you need to prepare your pork as per my Tonkatsu recipe, i.e. you need to cut the tough connecting tissue to prevent the meat from curling and shrinking. As demonstrated in the video, you can use either a knife or a pair of scissors to cut the connecting tissue.
Depending on the thickness of your pork, the amount of time to bake it varies. If your oven cannot reach as high as 230°C/446°F, set it to the max temperature and cook the pork for a bit longer.
Two Methods of Toasting Breadcrumbs
I used a frying pan to toast the breadcrumbs instead of toasting them in the oven, which is how Nagi did it in her Oven Baked Chicken Tenderloin recipe. I also mixed oil into the toasted breadcrumbs, instead of spraying oil over the crumbed pork pieces.
There are two reasons for this:
- Many Japanese household don’t have oven, so pan-toasting method is more commonly used.
- I wanted to show you a way of making nicely browned crunchy Oven Baked Tonkatsu that was different from Nagi’s method, so that you have options.
There is something special about a deep-fried crumbed dish. The aroma of browned breadcrumbs combined with the oil is so good. I have quite a few deep-fried crumbed dishes in my recipe collection – Korokke, Tonkatsu, Chicken Cutlet, Menchi Katsu, Creamy Shrimp Croquettes, Pumpkin Croquettes, Aji Fry, Kaki Fry.
But if you have to watch for calories, Oven Baked Tonkatsu is a great alternative. It’s not quite the same, but it is as good and tasty as it can be.
Watch How To Make It
Oven Baked Tonkatsu is a healthy version of my Tonkatsu recipe. The amount of oil consumed in Oven Baked Tonkatsu is less than ⅓ (close to ¼), compared to the conventional method of deep-frying a piece of crumbed pork. See the video.
Don't forget to see the section 'MEAL IDEAS' below the recipe card! It gives you a list of dishes that I have already posted and this recipe that can make up a complete meal. I hope it is of help to you.
- 2x 150-200g /5.3-7.1oz pork loin steaks (note 1)
- 2 pinches of salt
- 2 pinches of pepper
- 1½ tbsp flour
- 1 egg beaten
- ⅔-1 cup breadcrumb (note 2)
- 1 tbsp oil
- shredded cabbage
- 2 sprigs watercress (or parsley)
- Tonkatsu sauce (note 3)
Heat a frying pan over medium heat without oil. Put the breadcrumbs into the pan and toast them, mixing the crumbs regularly (note 4).
When about ¾ of the breadcrumbs changed the colour to light brown (note 5), remove from the heat and transfer to a plate or a tray, which will be used to coat the pork pieces in the breadcrumbs.
Pour oil over the crumbs and mix well so that breadcrumbs are lightly coated in oil. You should feel the breadcrumbs are slightly wet. Let them cool.
Pre-heat oven to 230°C/446°F (note 6).
Using a knife or a pair of scissors, cut the connecting tissues of the pork steaks along the band of fat and between the different kinds of meat (note 7). This will prevent the meat from curling and shrinking.
Sprinkle salt and pepper on the pork steaks.
Thoroughly coat each pork steak in flour, dip it in egg, then coat it with breadcrumbs.
Place a rack on a tray and put the crumbed pork pieces on the rack (note 8).
Bake in the oven for about 13 minutes (note 9).
Remove from the oven and cut each tonkatsu into 2cm/¾” wide strips.
Serve with shredded cabbage and tonkatsu sauce.
1. I used pork loin today, which weighed about 150g/5.3oz each. You can use other cuts of pork that are suitable for steak.
2. It will only require ⅔ cups of breadcrumbs to coat two pieces of pork. But I used 1 cup of breadcrumbs because having excess breadcrumbs makes it easier to coat the pork steak.
3. I used Bulldog brand tonkatsu sauce. It is thick and fruity. Thin and spicier sauces such as Worcestershire sauce can also work. Some people even eat tonkatsu with soy sauce instead of sauce.
4. The smaller bits of the breadcrumbs, which tend to be at the bottom of the pan, start browning faster than the large bits. So, you need to turn them over regularly to avoid the small bits from getting over-roasted.
5. Do not toast the breadcrumbs to become completely brown, as they continue to cook because of the residue of the heat from the pan.
6. If your oven does not go as high as 230°C/446°F, set the oven to maximum.
7. Please refer to the section PREPARING PORK FOR TONKATSU in my post, Tonkatsu.
8. Instead of using a rack, you can place baking paper on a tray to put the crumbed pork on. The only downside of this method is that the bottom of the Tonkatsu becomes a little bit soggy.
9. Baking duration varies depending on the thickness of your pork. My pork steak was 1.7cm/11⁄16” thick and 13 minutes was just right.
If your oven is set to max and lower than 230°C/446°F, you will need to bake the Tonkatsu for a bit longer.
10. Nutrition per serving. It is assumed that flour, egg, and oiled breadcrumbs are 100% consumed. In reality, there will be leftovers and the calories are less than quoted below.
serving: 242g calories: 582kcal fat: 25g (38%) saturated fat: 4.3g (22%) trans fat: 0.1g polyunsaturated fat: 3.8g monounsaturated fat: 9.3g cholesterol: 189mg (63%) sodium: 634mg (26%) potassium: 685mg (20%) carbohydrates: 44g (15%) dietary fibre: 2.6g (10%) sugar: 3.5g protein: 43g vitamin a: 2.9% vitamin c: 0% calcium: 9.6% iron: 23%