For the sake of appearances, I formed the de-boned and rindless chops into neat looking, slightly oval-shaped discs. It’s worth the little effort it takes to fold the fattier tag end or tail of the chop around the meaty eye and pin it into place with a couple of toothpicks. It’s easily done.
Now, because they’re fairly thick, the chops do need a little pre-cooking before they get panko-coated and hot-fried fairly deep and fast. This pre-cooking is important because the crumb-crust turns beautifully golden after just a few minutes frying — and that would be way too little cooking for the chops.
For this pre-cooking, I heated the sunflower oil in a deep-sided, 9-inch skillet over a medium-high heat. Two cups of oil in that size skillet meant the oil was about 1 ½ inches deep — that’s ideal.
As soon as the oil starts to shimmer — but before it gets anywhere near smoking — add two of the chops. Let them fry on that medium-high heat for two minutes on each side. Then remove them with a slotted spoon and set them on a kitchen towel to absorb any excess oil and to cool a little. Repeat the process with the next pair of chops. Good. Time now for coating them.
Combine the flour, salt, and pepper into a seasoned flour mix for coating.
For coating, I use three dinner plates lined up next to each other — one for the seasoned flour, one for the beaten egg, and one for the panko crumbs.
Begin by giving each chop a good coating of flour so that it sticks to them all over.
Now dip each one into the beaten egg, making sure that their entire surface is drenched with egg — that’s important because it’s this liquid coating that the panko crumbs are going to stick to.
Finally, lay the chops on the plate spread with the panko crumbs. Take some care here, and use your fingers to firmly press the crumbs into that eggy surface. Keep pressing the crumbs onto the surface until no more of them will stick to it. Good coating done — they’re ready to be fast-fried.