The Littlefield’s Smoked Pork Katsu Is Right in Our Comfort Zone

Literally ”pig cutlet” in Japanese, tonkatsu is a cousin of pork schnitzel, and The Littlefield’s version is just right.

Photograph by Dustin Sparks

International cuisine can sometimes sound more exotic than it really is. Case in point: tonkatsu. Literally “pig cutlet” in Japanese, it’s not a far cry from the pork schnitzel we denizens of Porkopolis practically consider a domestic dish. Variations have popped up around town, but the smoked pork katsu on The Littlefield’s dinner menu is one you should run out and try. Chef Joe Stalf makes it the hard way, generously seasoning a whole loin with togarashi, a Japanese chile pepper–based spice blend, smoking it, then slicing it into individual cutlets before breading with panko and pan frying. Each super-crispy chop is drizzled with a barbecue-like tonkatsu sauce and a cooling kewpie mayo, made sweeter than the American version with rice vinegar.

The Littlefield, 3934 Spring Grove Ave., Northside, (513) 386-7570

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