Growing up, my mom would pack away smothered pork chop sandwiches from leftovers from the night before for my school lunch. As I got older and experimented more with cooking while in high school, I would make my own lunches—but with fried pork cutlets on white bread with yellow mustard and bread-and-butter pickles. When I moved to New York, I discovered Tonkatsu sandwiches, which offered a different crunch from Panko crumbs that my palate was not use to. I now regularly use the two influences (Cajun roots and Japanese technique) to create a Tonkatsu sandwich that is completely unique.
You Will Need
For the brine:
- 6 boneless wild hog chops, about 1 inch thick
- 1 gal. water
- ¼ gal. cider vinegar
- ½ lb. kosher salt
- ¼ lb. sugar
- ¼ lb. dark brown sugar
- 6 bay leaves
- ¼ bunch of thyme
- 1 1/2 oz. black peppercorns
- 4 garlic cloves
- 2 cloves
For the frying:
- 1 Tbsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups flour
- 3 whole eggs, beaten
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- Beef tallow, lard, or peanut oil for frying
For the sandwiches:
- White bread
- ½ cup hoisin sauce
- ½ cup yellow mustard
- ¼ cup Sriracha sauce
- One cucumber, thinly sliced
- Pickled carrots, thinly sliced
- Brine the chops: Combine all of the ingredients, except the chops, and stir vigorously for about 5 minutes to thoroughly dissolve all of the seasonings. Add the chops, and let them brine for 12 to 24 hours.
- Remove the chops and discard the brine. Heat the deep-frying oil to 350 degrees.
- Meanwhile, prep the dredging station: Put the flour in one bowl, the eggs in another, and the breadcrumbs in a third.
- Make small cuts all over the chops with the tip of a knife. Season both sides of the meat with pepper. Coat the meat with flour, dip in the eggs, then cover with the breadcrumbs.
- Working in batches, fry the chops until the color turns golden brown and the meat floats in the oil, about 5 to 8 minutes, turning the meat once or twice. Remove the chops, and set on a cooling rack to rest.
- Build the sandwiches: Make the spicy hoisin mustard by mixing the hoisin, mustard, and Sriracha together, and spread some onto two slices of white bread. Place the fried chop on to the bottom slice of bread, add cucumber and pickled carrots, and finish with the top slice of bread.