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Tonkatsu (Breaded Pork Cutlet) with a Pomegranate Molasses Tonkatsu Sauce

Tonkatsu (Breaded Pork Cutlet) with a Pomegranate Molasses Tonkatsu Sauce

Makes 4 servings

Recipe Notes: The tonkatsu sauce should be prepared ahead of time.  If you’re worried about the cutlets getting cold after frying them, keep them in an oven preheated to 180 degrees Fahrenheit until you are ready to serve them.  If cooked at the proper temperature, the cutlets should not be oily.

4 boneless pork chops, each about 1-inch thick
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, for seasoning
All-purpose flour for dredging
1 beaten egg, thinned with 2 teaspoons cold water
Panko (Japanese bread crumbs), for coating
vegetable oil, for deep-frying

2 cups very finely shredded cabbage
1/2 cup fresh pomegranate arils
lemon wedges
Pomegranate Molasses Tonkatsu Sauce (recipe below)
Steamed Japanese rice

1. Place a pork chop between two layers of plastic wrap and pound it with the flat side of a meat tenderizer until it is about 1/3 inch thick. Season both sides with salt and pepper. Repeat the process with the remaining pork chops.

2. Heat 2 inches of vegetable oil in a deep-fryer, stockpot, or large wok until the oil reaches 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

3. While the oil is heating, lightly dust the seasoned pork chops in the flour. Dip them, one at a time, in the egg wash, then coat each of them well with the panko.

4. When the oil is at temperature, fry the chops, two at a time, for about 3 minutes. Then turn them and fry them for another 3 or 4 minutes, until they are a deep golden brown and cooked through. Place them on a wire rack to drain and repeat with the remaining chops.

5. Slice the cutlets across their width into 1/2-inch strips. Serve with a mound of shredded cabbage sprinkled with pomegranate arils. Serve with pomegranate tonkatsu sauce and steamed Japanese rice.

Pomegranate Tonkatsu Sauce

Makes about 1 cup

Recipe Notes: This sauce will keep for up to 1 month in the refrigerator and is very versatile.  It’s delicious combined with barbecue sauce, or in place of barbecue sauce.  It also makes a fabulous glaze for broiled or grilled foods.  My girls even like dipping steamed veggies in it!

1/3 cup ketchup
1/4 cup pomegranate molasses
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons prepared hot mustard
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Whisk together the ingredients in a small bowl and refrigerate until ready to use.

Pomegranate Molasses

Makes about 1 1/2 cups

Recipe Notes: This molasses can be made and stored in the refrigerator for up to 6 months, so it’s worth making a larger amount if you’re going to go to the work of making it at all!

6 cups 100% pomegranate juice
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice

1. In a large saucepan, heat the pomegranate juice, sugar, and lemon juice over medium high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has completely dissolved and the juice has come to a simmer.

2. Reduce the heat to medium-low (or just high enough to maintain a simmer). Simmer until the juice has a syrupy consistency and has reduced to approximately 1 1/4 cups, about 1 hour.

3. Allow the molasses to cool slightly, then pour into a glass jar and allow it to cool completely before covering it and storing it in the refrigerator.