Saturday, June 8, 2013

Crispy Avocado Tonkatsu (Pork Tenderloin) Club with a Daikon and Pea Shoot Salad



Markdown meat may not sound very glamorous, but man, will it save you a lot of money.

I love a good sale.

Heart racing, palms sweating.  And that euphoric feeling, as without hesitation, I toss the markdown package with the red label, and the sometimes up to 75% off, in my shopping cart.

And it's not just meat. There's a lot to score in the cheese department, too.  Big chunks of brie, Havarti, and Gruyere.  And, sure, it expires tomorrow, but in my house, seriously?  We would eat cheese on our corn flakes if we could (well, we could, but we'd never admit to it).

Just don't hesitate.  You'd better grab it and go.  Because, believe me, before you know it, it will be gone.



And remember- there's a difference between sale meat and markdown meat. So, sale meat?  I'm all for it, and even choose where to shop that day based on what's on sale (yes, we have 8 grocery stores in a 5 mile radius where I live, including Trader Joes and Fresh Market.  And yes, I'm in foodie heaven).

But, with markdown meat, you'd better check the expiration date carefully.  And follow these two rules... no slime and no smell.   And bonus points if it's in a thick plastic package, like you find with pork tenderloin- so you know that no air has gotten in.


This week I planned on making a Chicken Katsu Club, but couldn't resist picking up a very large pork tenderloin on markdown for $3.  Now, I've made Tonkatsu (which means pork cutlet) before with pork chops, but never tenderloin.  And man, did it make this dish shine.  And worth every penny, even if I hadn't found it on markdown.

I decided to add in a few other Asian flavors with the daikon radish and the pea shoots (which the Japanese call green gold).  And some avocado to add a rich creamy texture to balance out the acid in the salad and the crunch of the panko bread crumbs.

So, why a club?  I love club sandwiches... layers of goodness, cut up so cute.  And in this version, the flavors are a little healthier, a little fresher, and a whole lot more fun!


Crispy Avocado Tonkatsu Club with a Daikon and Pea Shoot Salad

1 pork tenderloin, flattened into 4 pieces (see below for more instruction)
3-4 eggs, beaten
1 cup panko bread crumbs
Canola oil for frying
1 cup pea shoots
1/2 small red onion, sliced very thin
Daikon radish, very thinly sliced (I use the slicer on the side of my box grater)
1/4 cup olive oil
1-1/2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
Salt and pepper
Red pepper flakes to taste
Tonkatsu sauce (you can find this in Asian grocery stores, or use Spicy Drizzle which will be available soon- seriously delicious on this!)
1 avocado, sliced
White or wheat sandwich bread
Butter

For the salad: Whisk the oil, vinegar, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes in a small mixing bowl.  Add in the pea shoots, red onion and radish and mix to combine.  Refrigerate until needed.

For the pork: Place the bread crumbs (add salt & pepper) and the beaten eggs each in a separate bowl.  Add oil to a frying pan a few inches up, and heat up.  To flatten the pork, cut the loin into 4 equal pieces.  Then cut each one 3/4 of the way down on the top, right down the center.  Spread open the two sides (like butterfly wings) to create a thinner piece, and then using a meat pounder, pound until thin.

Dredge the pork in the eggs, then the bread crumbs, and fry in the oil for about 3 minutes per side or until browned and cooked through.  Set aside on a paper-towel lined plate to drain, and season with salt.

For the sandwich: Butter the bread slices (3 per sandwich) and toast in the toaster.  On the bottom layer add the pork, then tonkatsu sauce (or Drizzle), then some of the pea shoot and radish salad.  Then another piece of bread, then add the cut up avocado and more salad. Top with the third piece of bread and cut into fourths.  Secure pieces with toothpicks.

Serves 4.

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