Crispy Battered Milanese Cutlet Shines in Gold

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Milanese cutlet

Italian chef Sadamu Tabata shares a recipe for Milanese cutlets, deep-fried in butter that gives the batter a golden-brown texture.

The Milanese-style cutlet, known as Cotoletta alla Milanese in Italian, was named after the Italian city of Milan, which has flourished as a financial center since the Middle Ages. Locally, the cutlet is made using veal, and its golden-brown crust makes it stand out.

“Japanese tonkatsu pork cutlets are great, but Milanese cutlets are also attractive because they are fried with clarified butter and have a light batter,” said Tabata. “A sprinkle of cheese adds an aroma, and the crispy texture makes it easy to eat.”

Sliced pork loin is ideal for the recipe as it is easy to find in Japan. A chunky tomato sauce — which could almost be described as a salad — provides a refreshing accompaniment to the fried meat and mango can be added for extra sweetness.

One important step is to use the tip of a knife to make several slits across the border between the meat and the fat on each cutlet. This will help prevent them from curling up when cooked. Also, adding Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and olive oil to the egg mixture will increase its viscosity and makes it easier for the bread crumbs to stick to the meat.

Fine-grained bread crumbs are recommended. If they are coarse, use a food processor to finely grind them. This reduces the absorption of oil and gives the bread crumbs a light texture.

Heat clarified butter in a frying pan and add the meat. When the bottom of the meat turns golden brown, turn it over and cook slowly over low heat.

The batter tends to flake off easily, so do not touch it too much with tongs. Take the meat out of the pan and remove the oil, then place it on a plate with the tomato sauce.

When I cut into the finished dish with a knife, a juicy cross-section of pork was revealed. The crispy batter has a cheese flavor with the elegant aroma of butter. The meat is tender and satisfying to eat. The sauce combines the sourness of the tomatoes with the sweetness of the mango, and goes well with the meat. I finished it all up in no time.

Pasta served cold with tomato sauce

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Cappellini served cold

The tomato sauce can also be used to make pasta. Tabata prepared a pasta dish served cold. Capellini angel-hair pasta is recommended for this. Boil a one-person serving of the thin noodles, rinse under running water, then drain.

Serve the cappellini in a bowl with 3 tablespoons of the tomato sauce, and sprinkle a little salt over it. Add ½ teaspoon each of extra virgin olive oil and white wine vinegar. The sauce also goes well with fish and grilled baguettes.

Milanese cutlet

Ingredients (serves 2):

  • 2 pork loins (cut for pork cutlets)
  • White pepper (to taste)
  • 210 grams butter
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 100 grams bread crumbs
  • (For tomato sauce)
  • 4 sweet tomatoes
  • 140 grams mango
  • 1/3 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 5 basil leaves

  • Directions:

    1. Peel off the skin of the sweet tomatoes, and cut them along with the mango into 1-centimeter cubes. Cut the basil leaves into thin strips. Combine the cut ingredients with garlic, extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, salt and black pepper to make the tomato sauce. Cut the butter into pieces and put them in a bowl. Place the bowl in hot water until the butter melts and becomes transparent.

    2. Cut several slits across the border between meat and fat on the pork loin and lightly pound it. Season with salt and white pepper.

    3. Beat the eggs, add Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and olive oil, then stir.

    4. Coat the meat with flour, the egg mixture and bread crumbs (in that order), and use the back of a knife to make a grid pattern on one side.

    The Yomiuri Shimbun
    Coat the meat with flour, the egg mixture and bread crumbs before making a grid pattern on one side with the back of a knife.

    5. Heat the butter in a frying pan, place the meat with the grid-pattern side down and fry it over medium heat. Turn the meat, set the heat to low and fry the other side. Gently remove excess oil from the meat with a paper towel.

    6. Place the meat on a flat plate and sprinkle extra Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese over it. Garnish with tomato sauce, half a lemon, and arugula leaves. Add sage leaves if you have them.