While the idea of breading something in panko and frying it may have started with tonkatsu (pork cutlet), it’s a simple delicious preparation that works especially well for salmon. With a crisp golden brown shell containing a juicy tender piece of salmon that falls apart in your mouth like butter, it’s like a delicious Japanese-style fish stick.
The key to making a great salmon katsu is to fry it at a higher temperature than you normally would for meat. The reason is that fish is done at a lower temperature, so the hot oil browns the outside quickly before the fish has a chance to overcook. Speaking of frying times, it only takes about 2 minutes to cook, so with the whole dish comes together in about 10 minutes!
If you can’t find tonkatsu sauce at a store near you, you can make an approximation by mixing 1 part ketchup with 1 part Worcestershire sauce. This also tasted great with a homemade tartar sauce. If you happen to have leftovers (which is unlikely), you can turn the leftover salmon katsu into an escabeche by marinating the leftovers with pickled onions and peppers.
- vegetable oil (for frying)
- 9 ounces salmon (2, 1-inch thick fillets, skin removed)
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 egg
- 1 cup panko
- tonkatsu sauce
- Add 1-inch of vegetable oil to a heavy bottomed pot and preheat to 375 degrees F. Prepare a wire rack with 3 sheets of paper towels to drain the salmon katsu.
- Salt and pepper the salmon on both sides and then dust with an even coating of flour.
- Put the egg in a bowl and beat until uniform, put the panko in a separate shallow bowl.
- Dip the salmon in the egg and coat evenly and then transfer to the bowl with the panko and roll around to ensure the surface of the salmon is evenly coated in breadcrumbs.
- Fry the salmon until golden brown (about 2 minutes) and then transfer to the prepared wire rack.
- Serve with tonkatsu sauce.
Yield: 2 servings
Marc Matsumoto is a culinary consultant and recipe repairman who shares his passion for good food through his website norecipes.com. For Marc, food is a life long journey of exploration, discovery and experimentation and he shares his escapades through his blog in the hopes that he inspires others to find their own culinary adventures. Marc’s been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today, and has made multiple appearances on NPR and the Food Network.