Crispy Pork Cutlets with Curry Salt

SERVES: 4

Every curry powder will feature a unique blend of spices so if you are purchasing one in-store, to some extent you’ll just have to try a few to figure out which one suits you best. I particularly love S + B curry powder which is very cumin/coriander forward and leans more savory than sweet.

Active Time: 1 hr 15 mins

Total Time: 1 hr 15 mins

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Produce

  • 2 limes
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 English cucumber

Pantry

  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoon curry powder
  • Kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper
  • 3 cups neutral oil (veg, canola, grapeseed etc.)
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 cups panko breadcrumbs

Dairy

  • ⅓ cup buttermilk, plus a splash
  • 2 large eggs

Protein

  • Four 5 oz pieces pork loin (½” thick)

1. Pound the cutlets:

  • One at a time, place one 5 oz piece of pork loin between two sheets of plastic wrap or parchment paper and firmly pound with a rolling pin, meat mallet, or heavy bottom skillet until it reaches a thickness of about ¼”.
  • Repeat with the remaining cutlets. Once all cutlets have been pounded, season them all over with salt and pepper and set aside. The further in advance that you do this, the juicier and better seasoned the cutlets will be so plan ahead! Even 20 minutes is great! You can season up to 24 hours in advance.

2. Prep the cucumber salad and curry salt:

  • In a large bowl, whisk together ⅓ cup buttermilk, ¼ cup mayonnaise, ½ tsp sesame oil and the zest and juice of 1 lime. Season the dressing with salt and lots of black pepper.
  • Cut 1 large English cucumber in half lengthwise. Working on an extreme bias, slice the cucumber into long irregular oblique matchsticks (use the photo of this recipe for reference!) Add the cucumbers to the bowl of dressing and toss to combine. You may want to re-season with salt at this point, so the cukes themselves also get a nice dose of seasoning.
  • Cut one avocado in half. Discard the pit and scoop out the flesh from the skins. Cut the avo into wedges and carefully transfer them to the bowl of cucumbers. Gently toss to dress them in the buttermilk dressing. Keep the cucumber avo salad chilled until serving.
  • In a small bowl, stir together 2 tablespoons curry powder and 2 tablespoons kosher salt. Set this aside for later.

3. Heat the oil and dredge the cutlets:

  • To a large skillet or heavy bottomed pot, add enough oil to reach about 1” up the sides (somewhere between 3 and 4 cups of oil depending how wide your skillet is. Set the skillet over medium heat to start to heat up. We are aiming for 350 degrees–if you have an instant read thermometer, use that! While that heats, carry on to the dredging.
  • Pull out 3 shallow bowls or pie plates. To one, add 1 cup all purpose flour. To the next, add 2 large eggs, a small splash of buttermilk, and a big pinch of salt and beat vigorously with a whisk. To the third, add 2 cups panko and ½ cup sesame seeds, tossing with your fingers to mix.
  • Working one cutlet at a time, dip each cutlet first in flour, shaking off any excess. Transfer to the egg mixture and dip to coat evenly, allowing any excess to drip back into the bowl. Finally, transfer the cutlet to the panko mixture and press firmly to coat all over in the breadcrumbs. Really get in there with your hands and make sure each one is well coated! Transfer the cutlets to a large baking sheet.
  • Set a wire rack inside another baking sheet if you’ve got one–this is where the cutlets will land and it will help them to stay crispy.

4. Fry the cutlets and serve:

  • Once the oil registers about 350 on a thermometer (if you don’t have one, throw a few pieces of panko in there and see if it sizzles immediately. If not, it’s not ready. If the panko burns immediately the oil has gotten to hot and you’ll need to wait a few for it to cool down). Add 2 cutlets at a time (or as many as fit) and fry, flipping once halfway, until the panko is golden brown and crisp all over, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer the cutlets to the wire rack and immediately season with curry salt. Repeat the frying process with the remaining cutlets and seasoning.
  • Once all cutlets are fried and seasoned, divide among plates. Top each one with a pile of cucumber avocado salad and a few big spoonfuls of the dressing, on top and around the plate. Serve with more curry salt and lime wedges alongside.

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