Being Back Home and Early Lunches

Coming back home is such a pleasure. The first thing we did – after crashing on arrival – was to wake up at 4 a.m., have a light breakfast and drive towards Malibu. On our way towards Topanga beach, we see the early morning surfers already in the ocean, wading like sea otters in waters that shimmers darkly.

We watch the waves as cold salt winds whip our cheeks and the sky slowly turns rose, then red, then steel grey. It is 6 a.m. and we sip our coffee as Magnus watches the surfers try and try again for a ride on a good wave.

Then the sun rises, the sky turns pale blue, and we head home for a very early lunch.

And lunch means my mother’s  cooking devoted to Magnus – meals that remind me of my own childhood in Japan, with roasted vegetables, crunchy tonkatsu pork, and fluffy rice.

Tonkatsu is a classic Japanese dish that is a go-to dish for cooking for children. It is similar to a Schnitzel, with many layers of textures – tender meat that is coated with a crunchy crust.

Pork has a protein that has an amazing amount of Iron, Vitamin B12, Vitamin C, and other good things.

You can also make this dish with pork, veal or chicken.

These days, since our arrival, lunch happens close to 11 a.m., with me and my mother hovering around the kitchen, everyone hungry and windswept from the early beach outings, everyone happy to be back in California.

Tonkatsu Pork Cultlets

Serves 4


4-6 Pork filets

2 eggs, beaten

1 cup flour

2 cups Panko breadcrumbs

Salt and pepper to taste

2 tablespoons Bulldog Japanese Tonkatsu sauce (you can purchase in most Asian grocers or order it online), or barbecue sauce

Canola Oil for cooking

1. Prepare 3 plates – one with the flour, one with the beaten eggs, and one with the panko breadcrumbs.

2. Salt and pepper the pork, then dredge them in flour, then in the eggs and then in the panko.

3. Hear the oil. Prepare a plate lined with a paper towel.

4. Cook the pork until golden brown on both sides, about 5-7 minutes on each side.

5. Take out of the pan and place on a plate lined with a paper towel and let it rest for about 5 minutes.

6. Cut the pork into slices and place on a serving plate.

7. Drizzle some bulldog sauce or barbecue sauce and serve.


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