Taiwanese Pan-fried Crispy Pork Chops (Taiwanese Tonkatsu)
Flavorful, tender and juicy pork chop covered with a crispy and crunchy shell.
Servings: 4 Pork chop
- 4 piece ⅔ inch thick pork chop both bone in or boneless will work
- 4 tbsp soy sauce
- 5 clove garlic minced
- 1 tsp grated ginger
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp white pepper powder
- ¼ tsp five spice or thirteen spice powder optional
- ⅛ tsp cinnamon powder
- 1 tsp rice cooking wine or Shaoxing wine optional
- ½ tbsp sesame oil or other vegetable oil
- 1 egg beaten
- ¾ cup coarse tapioca /sweet potato starch
- high smoke point vegetable oil
Place a piece of pork chop in a Ziploc bag, pound both sides of the meat with a meat tenderizer from outside the bag until the pork chop becomes about double in size. If you don't have a meat tenderizer, use the back of a knife to "chop" all over the meat. Repeat the same for the rest of the pork chops.
Use a pair of scissors to make 2~3 cuts on the thick outer membrane on the edge of the pork chops (see the picture in the post) to prevent the meat from shrinking after cooking.
Place the pork chops in a container or gallon ziploc bag, add all the ingredients for the marinade and mix well. Make sure all sides of the pork chop are covered with the mixture.
Cover and store it in the fridge for 6 hours to overnight.
Put the tapioca / sweet potato starch on a plate and coat each piece of pork chop with it.
Press both sides of the pork chop into the starch to help them stick better. Set aside for about 10 minutes until the starch looks wet. (Refer to the picture in the post)
Cooking (see note)
Fill a frying pan ½" (1 cm) deep with vegetable oil and turn the heat to medium. Drop a pinch of starch into the oil. When the starch is bubbling and floats to the surface, then the oil is hot enough for cooking the pork chop.
Place one piece (or two if your pan can fit them) of pork chop in the pan carefully, cook until the bottom side is golden brown (about 3-5 minutes), and then flip to the other side and continue to cook until both sides became golden brown and become very crispy (around 2-3 minutes). Adjust the heat and add more oil if needed while you are cooking.
Place the cooked pork chop on a cooling rack, pat it with paper towel to absorb the excess oil and continue to cook the rest of the pork chops.
Sprinkle some white pepper powder and salt and serve right away.
The coarse starch makes the pork chop extra crunchy; however, you can replaced it with regular tapioca starch if the coarse kind is not available to you. Corn starch (or other kinds of starch) is not recommended for this recipe.
The marinade is base on my taste, you can adjust it based on your preference.
For the best texture, cook just the amount you are eating each time. You can also store the pork chop with the marinade in the freezer, separated with a piece of parchment paper, and just thaw the amount you want to cook each time.
If you want to achieve an extra crispy texture, you can pan-fry the pork chop a second time for a few minutes after it's done frying the first time. For the second round, simply pan-fry for around 30 seconds on each side. I usually pan-fry all the pork chops first before starting to pan fry each piece again after the last piece finishes the first round of frying.
You can also deep fry the pork chop if you prefer.