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Delicious Pairings: 8 Top Side Dishes to Serve with Tonkatsu

Have you ever had tonkatsu? If not, you’re missing out.

Tonkatsu is a delicious Japanese dish made of pork that has been breaded and fried.

The breading is usually made of panko bread crumbs, which gives the tonkatsu a nice crispy crust.

Once you try tonkatsu, you’ll be hooked.

The pork is tender and juicy, and the crispy crust is the perfect contrast.

When you think of tonkatsu, you may picture some vegetables on the side, but that’s not always the case.

This dish is usually served with nothing but some rice and a special sauce for dipping.

Making tonkatsu at home is easier than you think – it takes less than 45 minutes.

Just make sure to slice the pork thin, season well, and cook in hot oil.

You’ll love it.

You can find tonkatsu at most restaurants, but your favorite local restaurant may not serve the best tonkatsu.

Making this dish at home is a great way to enjoy fresh tonkatsu without having to leave your house.

So if you’ve never had tonkatsu before, or if you’re looking for some new ideas, check out the best side dishes to serve with this dish below.

What to Serve with Tonkatsu? 8 BEST Side Dishes

what to serve with tonkatsu best side dishes

Tonkatsu has become a popular dish in North America, and it’s easy to see why.

The breaded pork cutlet is crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside – it’s a dish that everyone can enjoy.

There are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to serving side dishes with tonkatsu.

First, you’ll want to choose sides that will complement the pork cutlet rather than compete with it.

Secondly, you’ll want to make sure that the sides are easy to prepare without taking away from the main dish.

Here are 8 of the best side dishes to serve with tonkatsu:

1 – Miso Soup

miso soup

Miso soup is a traditional Japanese soup made with dashi (broth), miso paste, and various vegetables.

The miso paste gives the soup a smoky, savory flavor that compliments tonkatsu.

Miso soup is an easy side dish to prepare in large quantities for your tonkatsu dinner.

You can also choose to make miso with or without tofu or even with seafood.

You can add any of your favorite vegetables to the soup for a different type of miso soup each time.

Miso soup is a staple in Japanese homes and goes very well with tonkatsu.

2 – Steamed Rice

steamed rice

There are plenty of ways to serve rice as a side dish for tonkatsu, but steamed rice is the most traditional.

Steamed white rice is simple and pairs perfectly with tonkatsu’s salty and savory flavors.

You can also choose to dress up your steamed rice by adding cooked vegetables, such as carrots or peas.

Adding a touch of butter or salt will give the extra rice flavor.

3 – Steamed Broccoli or Cauliflower

steamed broccoli or cauliflower

Aside from their bright green color, there’s not much to broccoli and cauliflower.

At least nutritionally speaking, they’re kind of bland.

But often, it is the simplest things that taste so good.

In this case, subtle flavors are exactly what you want when serving side dishes for tonkatsu.

Carrots and broccoli both go well with chicken.

And we’re not just talking about boiled or steamed veggies here.

Roasted carrots and broccoli are fantastic, too.

4 – Shredded Cabbage

shredded cabbage

Shredded cabbage is a super easy and inexpensive veggie to prepare.

You can either buy it pre-shredded (make sure there are no added preservatives), or you can quickly julienne your own in under 5 minutes.

It tastes amazing with tonkatsu.

Cabbage is crunchy, which goes nicely with the crispy tonkatsu.

It’s also fresh, making it a great contrast when serving side dishes for tonkatsu.

5 – Stewed Red Cabbage with Apples

stewed red cabbage with apples

This is one of our favorite side dishes to serve with chicken or pork chops.

It tastes amazing on its own, but it shines when paired with a savory main dish.

The sweetness of the apples goes perfectly with the slightly tart and earthy taste of red cabbage.

You can cook it on the stovetop in just a few minutes, or you can put it in the oven for a longer cook time.

Red cabbage is a side dish that will impress your guests.

6 – Tsukemono


Tsukemono is pickled vegetables, often served with Japanese meals.

Not only are they super easy to make, but they’re also highly versatile.

Tsukemono can be made with any vegetable you like.

You might ask yourself, how do tsukemono fit in when serving side dishes for tonkatsu? The saltiness and texture of the pickled vegetables pair well with tonkatsu.

Add a little bit of soy sauce and lemon juice to your tsukemono, and you’re good to go.

7 – Kohlrabi Salad

kohlrabi salad

Kohlrabi salad is one of our favorite salads to serve when serving side dishes for tonkatsu.

It’s crunchy, zesty, slightly sweet, and tangy. It’s sure to be a hit.

You can make kohlrabi salad in just 5 minutes.

All you have to do is chop up the kohlrabi and mix it with a simple vinaigrette.

Kohlrabi is in season during the fall and winter, so this is the perfect time to make your kohlrabi salad.

8 – Fried Brown Rice

fried brown rice

Another great way to serve rice as a side dish for tonkatsu is by frying it up into delicious brown rice.

This is a super simple dish to make, and it only takes around 10 minutes.

Just like regular white steamed rice, brown rice goes great with tonkatsu’s salty and savory flavors.

But by frying the rice, you also give it a fun crunchiness.

You can use the leftover rice from your tonkatsu to make fried brown rice.

Just remember to cold cook your rice – frying warm or hot rice will make it mushy and sticky.

Also, feel free to add vegetables to your fried brown rice.

Just make sure you chop them up small enough so that they fit into a spoon.


Tonkatsu has a great flavor on its own – but it’s even better when paired with the perfect side dish.

We hope you enjoyed this list of the eight best side dishes for tonkatsu.

If you’re looking for something fresh and crunchy, shredded cabbage is a great option.

Or, if you want something with a bit more sweetness, try our kohlrabi salad.

And don’t forget – you can use the same rice for your tonkatsu to make fried brown rice.

Next time you serve side dishes for tonkatsu, give one of these eight dishes a try.

what to serve with tonkatsu

What to Serve with Tonkatsu? 8 BEST Side Dishes

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Side Dishes
Servings 1 Serving


  • Miso Soup
  • Steamed Rice
  • Steamed Broccoli or Cauliflower
  • Shredded Cabbage
  • Stewed Red Cabbage with Apples
  • Tsukemono
  • Kohlrabi Salad
  • Fried Brown Rice


  • Choose your favorite recipe from the list of options.
  • Organize all required ingredients and prepare a delicious meal in 30 minutes or less!
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