Pork Katsu with Pickled Shiitakes and Cucumber

So, I can’t concentrate on anything this week. I am working from a different location and my level of motivation is so low it’s nearly impossible to get on with anything!

I have that feeling when you only have a few days left of work before you go on holidays… but there are no holidays on the horizon, not even anything planned for 12 months time. Nothing. Depressing.

So while I do everything but what I am supposed to be doing, here is really easy and really yummy dinner for this week.

Serves 4

4 large pork steaks, very light pounded to thin out slightly, or if you wanted to use chicken, use a chicken thigh slightly pounded out
1/4 cup flour
2 eggs
1 cup panko crumbs
Vegetable oil
2 cups cooked long grain rice
Kewpie Japanese mayonnaise
2 tbs toasted black and white sesame seeds
2 tbs dried seaweed, finely sliced (optional)

1 tbs curry powder
2 tsp ginger, finely grated
2 cloves of garlic, finely grated
1 large onion, roughly chopped
1/2 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and chopped
1 tbs vegetable oil
2 tbs plain flour
2 cups chicken stock
1 tsp oyster sauce
1 tbs brown sugar

Quick Pickled Shiitakes
1 punnet of Shiitake mushrooms, quartered
1/4 cup white vinegar
2 tbs white sugar
1 tbs soy sauce

Quick Pickled Cucumber
1/2 a long cucumber, sliced into rounds
1 tbs salt
1/4 cup white vinegar
2 tbs white sugar
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp Szechuan peppercorns (optional if you would like some heat)

First, get your vegetables pickling. For the Shiitakes, place the vinegar, sugar and soy sauce into a saucepan over a medium heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved, add mushrooms to a shallow bowl and pour over warm pickling liquid. Stir well to coat and set aside.

To pickle the cucumbers, place in bowl, sprinkle with salt and toss for a couple of minutes. Rinse well. Combine vinegar, sugar, mustard seeds and peppercorns. Stir until dissolved. Pour over cucumbers and set aside to pickle. With both of the pickles, taste the liquid to ensure that balance is right, you may want more sugar or more vinegar.

Place curry powder, ginger, onion, apple and oil together in a food processor and process until smooth. You may need to add a splash of water to help it along.

In a fry pan cook the curry paste over a medium-low heat and cook for 5 minutes until the onion and garlic are cooked. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly for a couple of minutes. Slowly add the chicken stock until it boils and thickens. Add oyster sauce and sugar and simmer for 5 minutes. Set aside until serving.

To crumb the pork or chicken, first whisk the eggs in a shallow bowl, place flour in a plastic bag and panko crumbs on a plate. Place the steaks in the bag of flour and shake to lightly coat, remove, shaking off any excess flour, then coat well with egg and dip into the breadcrumbs, pressing them firmly in for an even coat.

Shallow fry in vegetable oil, over medium heat, for about 3 minutes on each side until the crumb is golden and the meat is cooked through.

Slice meat and serve on a bed of rice with katsu curry sauce, sesame seeds and seaweed, pickles and some Kewpie on the side.

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