What’s not to love about thinly sliced meat fried golden brown? Whether we’re talking German/Austrian schnitzel, French escalope, Japanese katsu, Italian Milanese, or any number of other national variations, the goal is juicy, tender meat surrounded by a crispy crunchy outside—basically a meaty potato chip. Frying such thin pieces is a double-edged sword, however. While it offers maximum surface area and cooks quickly, it’s also easily overdone for the very same reason. Naturally, we turn to sous vide for the solution.
Pre-cooking your meat at low temperature before frying offers a number of benefits. First, it gives off less moisture when fried, meaning the batter or breading gets crisp faster and adheres better. What’s more, since the cutlets are already cooked, they just have to be reheated, and with no fear of undercooking all you need is the briefest of frying times to achieve a tantalizing crunch. Huzzah! Armed with this knowledge, we went a non-traditional route, frying pork loin in a light tempura batter and serving it with a Chinese-inspired radish salad with a nutty and savory sesame dressing.