A Vegetarian Take on Emeril Lagasse’s Pork Tonkatsu, Emeril’s Kicked Up Sandwiches for #SundaySupper


How about a head start on a spectacular 2013? An Emeril Lagasse inspired #SundaySupper is on Twitter on December 30th at 7p.m. ET. Participants will have the chance to win one of two Emeril Lagasse cookbooks.

In addition to the Ninja Baker’s vegetarian take on Emeril’s Pork Tonkatsu recipe, a slew of sweet and savory variations from the beloved New Orleans chef will be on the buffet table of discussion. For the complete list of items from culinary experts and food bloggers, please scroll down.

The Ninja Baker's vegetarian Portobello mushroom
take on Emeril's Kicked Up Sandwiches' Pork Tonkatsu recipe.

Do you have comfort foods that hurtle you back to childhood memories? When my parents went out to cocktail parties hosted by the American Embassy or other ex-pat foreigners, I ordered fried pork cutlets (tonkatsu) with fried eggs and onions atop a bowl of rice from our local mom-and-pop Japanese restaurant. My order along with my nanny’s soba always arrived in a timely manner via motorcycle. (To this day, I still wonder how the cellophane contained dishes never seemed to have spilled soup or scattered grains of rice.) The combination of grease from the eggs, pork and onions atop mountains of rice was the perfect dish to dig into in front of the TV.

As a ‘tween in Tokyo in the early ‘70s, I noticed that pork tonkatsu sandwiches started to appear in snack shops. My mouth watered every time. But I ignored them because I wanted to stay slim for modeling jobs. The pay was a tad higher than the allowance from my parents =)

While I’m still calorie conscious, my rules have relaxed. So, I was thrilled to see and try Emeril Lagasse’s recipe for Pork Tonkatsu in his new Kicked Up Sandwiches cookbook. (Pages 36-37 in my Nook version.) Thanks to my husband, I’m also a bit more health conscious these days so I decided to do a vegetarian take on my childhood comfort food. Instead of pork I used seitan strips (a wheat-based protein available at health food stores) and Portobello mushrooms. The seitan was a bit grainier and closer to a pork texture. Still both the wheat protein and the Portobello came pretty darn close to the real stuff. Sure to please people looking for a vegetarian alternative to pork. And the combination of protein covered in slightly greasy panko breadcrumbs, topped with mayonnaise and Worcestershire-like tonkatsu sauce on a bun may prove to be your new favorite comfort food, too. 

Seitan, wheat protein, is a wonderful substitute for the pork in
Emeril Lagasse's Kicked Up Sandwiches tonkatsu recipe

Ninja Baker Notes:
Tonkatsu sauce tastes very similar to Worcestershire.
The lovely marriage of sweet with a slight tang of vinegar found in Japanese mayonnaise works well in this sandwich.

Now, please see more notes on extraordinary takes on Emeril Lagasse recipes from the following talented food bloggers.

Sunday Supper NYE Potluck Drinks:
Sunday Supper NYE Potluck Starters:
Sunday Supper NYE Potluck Dishes and Sandwiches:  
Sunday Supper NYE Desserts:

* The bloggers with royal blue posts will be giving away a copy of one of either Serious Sandwich Cookbook or Potluck Cookbook during the #SundaySupper Twitter chat on December 30th at 7p.m. ET. Hope to see you there!

Wishing you all the comforts, confidence and tools needed to build a bright 2013.

The Ninja Baker

The Ninja Baker

© ™ Watkinson 2012

The Ninja Baker's recipes are also available at:

The Ninja Baker's Japanese Plum Sweet Memories and Recipes

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Wholesome Sweeteners:
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