The Fast And Easy Breading Method For Crispy Cutlets

Perhaps underappreciated or at least underdiscussed, cutlets are undeniably one of the tastiest meal options out there. You know what we're talking about: A thin, boneless piece of meat that's breaded and quickly fried in either shallow or deep fat, leaving it tender and moist on the inside and crunchy on the outside (via The Denver Post).

Delicious all on their own and the essential ingredient in the irresistible Italian-American casserole chicken parmesan, cutlets are found in countless gastronomic traditions worldwide, per Paesana. According to Just One Cookbook, the breaded-and-fried pork cutlets known as tonkatsu are a revered part of Japanese food culture, while in Austria, platters of crisp veal wiener schnitzel are the thing to order at any casual tavern, notes The list goes on, from Mexican milanesa to Swiss cordon bleu, but the basic takeaway is this — people the world over love their cutlets.

However, anyone who's made chicken parmesan from scratch can attest that it is a messy affair. Although the dish is fairly basic, the process of making it always leads to certain inconveniences: partially used eggs, leftover breadcrumbs, and, most annoyingly, your fingers that get breaded themselves. Thankfully, there's a simpler way to prepare cutlets.

Just press ground meat directly into breadcrumbs

If you love the taste of cutlets but haven't made any lately due to the previously mentioned factors, Cammie Kim Lin from Eater shares that there is an easier and quicker way — more specifically, the method which Bolivian cooks swear by. She uses the country's well-known dish silpancho as an example, which consists of hot rice and potatoes topped with a sunny-side-up egg and a flash-fried beef cutlet (via Foreign Fork). 

The trick to getting the perfect cutlet without the wet mess is to pound your piece of meat right into the breadcrumbs, which adhere to the meat as it's bludgeoned. It's recommended to use ground meat, form it into balls, and press them into the breadcrumbs since they're more malleable and quicker to make that way. Lin notes that since the meat isn't dry or slippery, any type of bonding agent, such as egg or flour, is unnecessary — so you can leave those sorts of ingredients behind. 

As for making your cutlets at home, you can easily make small balls from the ground meat of your choice and press them into a plate full of breadcrumbs. Season before frying, and voilà! You've got hot, crispy cutlets ready to enjoy — just with little to no cleanup to slog through afterward.