Yes, you read it right, don-ggasu, not tonkatsu. Think of it more as a carrier for the beautifully sweet, and velvety sauce that gets smothered on top.
Written by Doobydobap
Yes, you read it right, don-ggasu, not tonkatsu.
This Korean style don-ggasu is a Korean-ized version of the Japanese fried pork, tonkatsu.
And this is somewhat an iconic dish of Korea from 1960s. It was characterized as gyung-yang-sik, meaning “Western” food. So when there was a special occasion, people would go out with their families, order tonkatsu at a restaurant and eat with a fork and knife.
It’s a Koreanized version of the Japanese tonkatsu, where most noticeably, the pork is fried thinner, and the sauce is smothered all over. However, post-war, meat was still scarce and expensive in Korea, so to make the best out of it, it was hammered into a thin piece, breaded, and covered with sauce.
It’s much thinner than Japanese tonkatsu since the emphasis is more on crispiness and maximization of the meat. Think of it more as a carrier for the beautifully sweet, and velvety sauce that gets smothered on top. It’s one of my favorite foods to make at home, and it’s a must for you to try out.
- 300g pork shoulder, cut in steaks around 1cm thickness
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- ½ cup AP flour
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 3 eggs
- 1 tsp water
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- ¼ tsp black peppr
- Neutral oil for frying
Korean Style Don-ggasu sauce
- 1 tbsp of brown sugar
- 1 apple, grated
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 carrot, diced
- 4 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp of ginger, grated
- 1 tbsp of Worcestershire sauce
- 3 tbsp of soy
- 3 tbsp neutral oil
- ¼ cup apple vinegar
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 4 bay leaves
- 1 tbsp potato starch
- 4 cups water
Heat a heavy-duty pot on medium-low and drizzle in oil. Add the onions and garlic in sautee until caramelized.
Then, add the diced carrots and apples. You want to give it color to enhance sweetness and bitterness. A good browning of your vegetables will also give the sauce its distinct brown color.
Once the veggies have caramelized, add the tomato paste and cook it out to rid of some of the astringent flavors.
When the veggies and tomato pure are nicely browned, add cinnamon, bay leaves, ginger, honey, brown sugar, soy, apple vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, and water.
Cook for 30 minutes on medium heat so the spices have time to infuse and the vegetables can cook through. To make a sauce that’s smooth, shiny and brown, it's essential to cook down the vegetables.
Dissolve the potato starch with a cup of room temperature water and add to the sauce. When the potato starch has been added to the sauce, cook on low heat for 15 minutes. Don't boil the sauce after adding potato starch; this will break down the potato starch and its ability to thicken.
Pick out the cinnamon stick and bay leaves. Pour the sauce into the blender jug and blend it on full speed for 10-15 minutes. You want a smooth, shiny sauce, so if it still looks grainy after blending, blend for 10 more minutes or cook for 15 minutes, then blend again.
Season with salt and adjust with water if too thick. Now it is ready to be poured over some crunchy don-ggasu.
In a heavy-duty dutch oven, pour neutral oil until half the height.
Heat on high heat until the oil reaches 180C/ 355F.
Place the pork on a cutting board, and tenderize with a meat hammer until as thin as possible. It’s okay if there’s holes, the breading will hold it together and the meat will also shrink once cooked.
Season the pork on both sides with salt and pepper.
Prepare three flat medium sized baking trays and prepare the fry station: flour, egg wash, and panko. The trays should be in the following order.
First, drop the tenderized pork into the flour. Coat on both sides and dust off any excess flour.
Then, drop the floured pork into the egg wash. Again, coat on both sides and let the excess eggwash drip off.
Now place the pork into the panko mixture. Make sure to tightly pack the pork with the panko on both sides, making sure there are no dry spots.
We will be double-breading the pork to have a firm crust to withstand the sauce. Place the panko covered pork back into the egg wash.
Coat the panko covered pork in the egg wash on both sides and put back into the panko tray for another crust.
Fry until golden brown, and flip after around 2-3 min.
Repeat for the other side until lightly golden brown.
Crank the oil to 185C/ 365F, and drop the don-ggasu in the oil for the second time, for about 1 minute.
Transfer the don-ggasu to a wired baking tray and let it rest.
Plate the pork with rice, macaroni salad, sliced cabbage, and pickles to your liking.
Pour a generous serving of Korean style don-ggasu sauce over the fried pork. Enjoy!
Fun fact: it’s a *romantic gesture* in Korea for your significant other to cut the pork into bite size pieces.
Hi, I’m Tina aka Doobydobap!
Food is my medium to tell stories and connect with people who share the same passion. My recipes are a culmination of my experiences. I hope you enjoy recreating them at home, and if you do, make sure to tag me on Instagram!
Hey Doobies, thanks for visiting! Join my mailing list for more delicious recipes and stories.