Coconut Tonkatsu Bento Box
with radishes / 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.
- Pork chops, boneless - 4
- Almond flour - 3/4 cup
- Eggs - 2, whisked
- Coconut, shredded and unsweetened - 1 1/2 cups
- Oil, cooking - 3 Tbsp
- Tomato paste - 5 Tbsp
- Bragg's / coconut aminos - 1 Tbsp
- Fish sauce - 1 Tbsp
- Honey - 2 tsp
- Ginger, fresh - 1 1/2 tsp, grated
- Vinegar, rice - 2 Tbsp
- Bragg's / coconut aminos - 2 Tbsp
- Honey - 1 tsp
- Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
- Sesame seeds, white - 1/2 tsp
- Cucumbers - 6 oz, diced
- Lettuce, romaine - 1 heart, chopped (sub butterhead lettuce)
- Radishes - 6, sliced
- Make sauce - Whisk together tomato paste, aminos (portion for sauce), fish sauce, and honey (portion for sauce). (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Make dressing - Grate ginger. Whisk together ginger, vinegar, aminos (portion for salad), and honey (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 / Radishes - Prep as directed.
- Prep breading stations - Set out three shallow bowls. Place almond flour in one, whisk eggs in the second, and place coconut in the third.
- Heat a skillet or frying pan with oil (for pork) over low-medium heat (be sure to maintain a very low temperature in the pan to prevent the coconut crust from burning).
- Working with one piece of pork at a time, dredge pork in almond flour, shaking off excess. Dip pork in whisked egg to coat and then press firmly into shredded coconut to coat all sides. Sear pork on both sides until coconut 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.
- Toss cucumbers and lettuce in dressing.
- Slice pork and serve with sauce for drizzling over top. Enjoy salad and radishes on the side (we kept them separate to maintain that bento box feel, but if you prefer, you can toss the radishes right into the salad).
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
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
Surprisingly we didn’t like this meal which is unusual for Cook Smart recipe.0 Helpful