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Mains, Quick and Easy

Wild rice katsudon with spring vegetables

Wild rice katsudon with spring vegetables
Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times

Real wild rice, the reedy lake and river grain beloved by the Ojibwa Indians, is a prehistoric pantry staple older than the country itself. Far more than its cultivated cousins, it expresses the flavor of the land that fosters it: ... Read more

Total time: 50 minutes | Serves 4
  • 4 pork cutlets (about 1 pound total)
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 generous tablespoon soy sauce, divided, more to taste
  • 3/4 cup pale beer, preferably a lager
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 5 eggs, divided
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil, divided, more as needed
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil, divided, more to taste
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 2 cups cooked wild rice
  • 1/2 pound slender asparagus (about 1 bunch), trimmed and chopped into 1-inch pieces (about 5 cups)
  • 3/4 pound blanched and fully peeled fava beans (fresh or previously frozen)
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs, preferably Japanese (panko)
  • 1 1/2 cups canola oil

Step 1Place the cutlets between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and pound each cutlet to one-half-inch thickness. In a medium bowl, combine one-fourth cup soy sauce, the beer and lemon juice. Place the cutlets in the bowl, cover and refrigerate to give the pork time to marinate while the rice is being prepared.

Step 2In a small bowl, gently whisk together 3 eggs and sprinkle with a pinch each of salt and pepper.

Step 3Heat a large, wide nonstick frying pan over high heat and add 1 teaspoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon sesame oil. Pour the whisked eggs into the pan and, after a few seconds, give them a swirl so they coat the base of the pan. Cook until the egg sets into a thin pancake, about 1 minute. Using a thin rubber spatula, lift the edges of the pancake and fold it in half to transfer to a plate. Cool the egg for a minute or so, then slice crosswise into very thin strips. Set aside.

Step 4Using the same frying pan, heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are soft and slightly translucent, about 2 minutes. Stir in the asparagus, wild rice, asparagus and 1 tablespoon sesame oil. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, to heat the rice and soften the asparagus. Stir in the egg strips, fava beans, red pepper flakes and a generous tablespoon of soy sauce, and cook an additional minute or 2 more, stirring to marry the flavors. Remove from heat, taste and adjust seasoning as desired, then scatter over the green onions. Hold the rice in a warm place while the cutlets are fried.

Step 5Drain the cutlets, discarding the marinade. Beat the remaining 2 eggs in a shallow dish, and place the flour and breadcrumbs into separate shallow dishes. One by one, dredge the cutlets in the flour, then dip in the egg mixture and roll in the breadcrumbs until well-coated.

Step 6In a wide, shallow frying pan, heat the canola oil over high heat. When the oil is hot, place 2 cutlets in the pan; the oil is hot enough if the cutlets immediately begin to sizzle when added. Fry the cutlets until cooked through and the breading is golden-brown, about a minute on each side. Transfer the fried cutlets to a paper towel-lined plate and repeat with the remaining cutlets.

Step 7To serve, spoon about 1 1/2 cups of the fried rice into 4 four individual bowls. Working on the diagonal, cut each cutlet into 1-inch strips, and place them on top of the bowls of rice. Season to taste with salt, pepper and soy sauce.


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