Pork Cutlet Flavored with Soybean Miso

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

In this recipe, sliced pork is rolled with shiso leaves and sweet, rich mamemiso (soybean rniso) sauce. The rolls are sliced and threaded on bamboo skewers, creating an elegant appearance. They are then coated with panko breadcrumbs and fried crisp. Serve the rolls on the skewers as an appetizer, or off the skewers on top of plain cooked rice, drizzled with tonkatsu sauce. Have your butcher slice the pork for you, if possible. If you will be slicing it yourself, the task will be easier if the meat is partially frozen. Transfer the meat from the freezer to the refrigerator half a day before cutting it.

NotesFor Hiroko Shimbo's Tonkatsu sauce, please type "tonkatsu sauce" into the search field.

Shoga, ginger, is one of the oldest seasonings in Japan. Originally from tropical Asia, it was brought to Japan from China. With its pleasant, sharp bite and fragrant bouquet, ginger promotes a good appetite. It also suppresses undesirable odors from other foods. Because of its antiseptic properties, ginger has always been an important condiment for sashimi and sushi. Folk medicine uses ginger to fight against colds and coughing, and also for stom-achache and diarrhea. Finely grated fresh ginger appears as a condiment with many prepared dishes, such as grilled fish or meat, chilled fresh tofu cubes, deep-fried vegetables, deep-fried tofu, grilled vegetables, and cold udon noodles.

It is easiest to grate ginger with a fine-spiked Japanese porcelain grater, which won’t tear your skin or impart a metallic flavor .

Some recipes in this book call for ginger juice. To extract ginger juice, simply squeeze some finely grated ginger in your hand. Two tablespoons grated ginger makes 1 to 2 teaspoons ginger juice, depending on how fresh and juicy the ginger is.

4 servings

Cooking Methodfrying


Total Timeunder 1 hour

Kid FriendlyYes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Cocktail Party

Recipe Coursehors d'oeuvre, hot appetizer, main course

Dietary Considerationlactose-free, peanut free, tree nut free

Equipmentdeep fryer


Taste and Texturecrisp, herby, salty, savory, sharp, spiced, sweet, umami, winey

Type of Dishskewer


  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sake (rice wine)
  • 1 tablespoon ginger juice (see Notes)
  • 1 pound pork shoulder, cut into twelve 3-by-5-by-¼-inch slices
  • 2 tablespoons mamemiso (soybean miso)
  • 2 tablespoons mirin (sweet cooking wine)
  • 15 to 20 shiso, preferably, or basil leaves
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 2 to 3 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • Lemon wedges (optional)
  • Plain cooked white or brown rice (optional)
  • Tonkatsu sauce (optional; see Notes)


  1. Soak four bamboo skewers, each about 6 inches long (you can cut longer skewers with a cleaver or kitchen scissors), in water for 30 minutes.

  2. In a medium bowl, combine the salt, sake, and ginger juice. Marinate the pork in this mixture for 20 minutes.

  3. In a small bowl, combine the miso and mirin, stirring with a spoon until smooth.

  4. Spread a thin layer of the miso paste over one pork slice, and place three to four shiso or basil leaves on the paste. Cover with another pork slice, and spread a thin layer of miso paste over the top slice of pork. Roll the pork tightly into a 3-inch cylinder.

  5. Make four or five more rolls with the remaining pork and miso paste. Cut each pork roll into four disks.

  6. Thread three disks onto each skewer, securing the ends of the rolls with the skewer.

  7. Put the flour, beaten eggs, and panko breadcrumbs into three separate pans that are long enough to hold the skewers. Dredge the skewered pork with the flour and then the egg. Dredge the pork again with the flour, then with the egg, and finally with the panko bread-crumbs. Gently press the rolls so that the breadcrumbs adhere well.

  8. Heat 1½ inches oil in a wide, deep skillet to 330 degrees F. Fry the pork on the skewers over low heat, two or three at a time, until the outside is golden and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Drain the pork on a rack.

  9. Serve the pork on the skewers with lemon wedges, or off the skewers on top of plain cooked white or brown rice and drizzled with tonkatsu sauce.


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