Tonkatsu Bento Box
with rice / edamame / cucumber salad
Smarts #1: Don’t forget to season the pork well with salt and pepper before coating it in breading. That’s the only stage where it will be seasoned.
Smarts #2: We wanted to fill the bento box with plenty of delicious options, but don't hesitate to skip one or more components if you prefer to simplify the meal.
- Rice, uncooked white or brown - 1 cup
- Pork chops, boneless - 4
- Flour, all-purpose - 3/4 cup
- Eggs - 2, whisked
- Panko breadcrumbs - 1 1/2 cups
- Oil, cooking - 3 Tbsp
- Ketchup - 4 Tbsp
- Oyster sauce - 1 1/2 Tbsp
- Worcestershire sauce - 1 Tbsp
- Sugar - 2 tsp
- Ginger, fresh - 1 1/2 tsp, grated
- Vinegar, rice - 2 Tbsp
- Soy sauce, low-sodium - 2 Tbsp
- Sugar - 1 tsp
- Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
- Sesame seeds, white - 1/2 tsp
- Cucumbers - 6 oz, diced
- Lettuce, romaine - 1 heart, chopped (sub butterhead lettuce)
- Edamame, preferably in the pods - 12 oz
- Salt (opt) - for topping
- Rice - For white rice, rinse until clear. Fill a saucepan or Dutch oven (or rice cooker) with rice, water (use 2:1 ratio for water to rice), and some salt. Cover with lid and bring to a boil. Once water boils, stir, lower heat to a low-medium, and cover. Check white rice after ~20 min; brown at ~45 min. Rice is done when it's absorbed all the water. If it's not done, leave the cover on until all water has been absorbed. Take cover off to release steam and fluff with a wooden spoon after 5 minutes. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Make sauce - Whisk together ketchup, oyster sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and sugar (portion for sauce). (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Make dressing - Grate ginger. Whisk together ginger, vinegar, soy sauce, and sugar (portion for salad). Add oil (portion for salad) while whisking. Stir in sesame seeds. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Pork chops - Slice in half to thin (skip if the pork chops are already quite thin). Place plastic wrap or parchment over pork and pound with a tenderizer until pork chops are an even ¾” / 1.9 cm thick. Season with some salt and pepper. (Can be done 1 day ahead)
- Cucumbers / Lettuce - Prep as directed.
- Prep breading stations - Set out three shallow bowls. Place flour in one, whisk eggs in the second, and place panko in the third.
- Heat a skillet or frying pan with oil (for pork) over low-medium heat.
- Working with one piece of pork at a time, dredge pork in flour, shaking off excess. Dip pork in whisked egg to coat and then press firmly into panko to coat in breadcrumbs. Sear pork on both sides until breading is golden brown and pork is cooked through (145F / 63C in the center), 6 to 12 minutes total. Do this in batches until all of the pork is cooked, adding more oil if the pan looks dry.
- Transfer pork to a cutting board and let rest.
- While pork rests, place edamame in a microwave-safe bowl and cover with a damp paper towel. Microwave on high until warm, 1 to 4 minutes (use the shorter end of the time if the edamame is refrigerated and the longer end if frozen). Sprinkle with some salt if you’d like.
- If rice was made ahead, reheat in the microwave.
- Toss cucumbers and lettuce in dressing.
- Slice pork and serve over rice with sauce for drizzling over top. Enjoy salad and edamame on the side.
The pork was excellent and the salad dressing was good. The edamame didn't do it for us. Issue for us is that the calories were higher than the usual for Cook Smarts.1 Helpful
Fun alternative to takeout. I reduced the ketchup in the sauce based on reviews. Served with pineapple on the side.0 Helpful
This is the best way to make pork chops!0 Helpful
This is a new family favorite. Cannot recommend this enough, it is delicious!0 Helpful
The pork chops were really good, but I didn't love the sauce.0 Helpful
Fun in concept, but didn't love the flavor.0 Helpful
Not our favorite. My son liked the pork and rice, but my husband and I were not huge fans. We thought the salad was too ginger-y.0 Helpful