Homemade Chicken Katsu, perfectly fried Japanese Chicken!
📕 What is it?
Chicken Katsu is boneless chicken meat, coated with a layer, all-purpose flour, egg, and Japanese panko bread crumbs.
Essentially it's a deep-fried chicken from Japan and it's wildly popular there!
The word Katsu is a short version of the Japanese word for cutlet.
Another Japanese meat cutlet is pork Tonkatsu, which is prepared the same way. The difference is the choice of meat. Basically, chicken katsu is a variation of tonkatsu.
Another delicious Japanese fried chicken that you might want to try is chicken karaage.
- chicken - the choice of chicken cuts is usually breast or thighs.
- all purpose flour
- panko breadcrumbs
Chicken breast is more commonly available but boneless chicken thighs are more flavorful and turn out juicier. Breast meat dries out faster. Use whichever you prefer.
You will need a lot of oil because Japanese meat katsu cutlets are deep-fried.
Pank breadcrumbs are commonly available around the world in supermarkets. You can get them online too or in your neighborhood specialized Asian store.
🔪 How to make it?
This is an overview of how it's made from scratch. The full recipe with US and metric measurements and instructions is located further below in the recipe card.
Pat dry chicken with a paper towel and season chicken on both sides with salt.
Prepare two trays. One with scrambled egg and another with panko bread crumbs.
Coat chicken on both sides with flour.
Dip chicken in egg and then coat with panko on both sides.
Heat up a deep pan, wok, or deep fryer with oil. Wait for the oil to get hot.
Place chicken into hot oil and deep fry both sides golden.
Cut fried chicken into strips and enjoy.
Keep the fried chicken in an airtight container, store it in your fridge, and use it up within a day or so.
I prefer to warm it up in the oven at a lower heat setting for about 10 minutes or so. That way the katsu chicken is reheated gradually.
As with any fried chicken or breaded meat, you can choose to freeze it too by coating the chicken as instructed but skipping the cooking part.
Instead, you place the panko-coated chicken over a tray and you keep that tray in the freezer until the meat is frozen hard.
Then you place the breaded chicken into a freezer-friendly container and store it in the freezer.
I recommend storing it for up to 2 weeks in your freezer at most.
To that, the chicken just keeps in the fridge to gradually defrost overnight. When the meat has thawed, you just need to fry it as per the recipe instructions.
Chicken katsu is cut into strips after the cooking process when it's still hot but manageable.
The panko fried chicken is usually served in Japan over rice, with shredded cabbage, vegetables, or with a miso soup. When the chicken is served over rice, it is called katsudon.
It makes a great and wholesome addition to a bento box.
It's also commonly served with brown Japanese curry, which is a curry based on a spiced curry roux. The UK loves chicken katsu curry!
Chicken Katsu is also commonplace in other countries, such as Australia and the US (especially Hawaii), where it can be served with a tonkatsu sauce.
Another delicious idea is to switch surimi for fried chicken strips to make an inside-out sushi roll like the California roll.
Or how about a Chicken Katsu Sandwich with a Japanese Pao bun?
Japanese panko breadcrumbs are made from crustless bread. They are flakey-dried and absorb way less oil during the deep-frying process but they still look golden perfectly fried. Regular breadcrumbs can be made with any white or whole flour bread but the crust is used and they are turned into smaller pieces.
Cut the chicken cutlets into smaller nugget-sized pieces. Coat and cook each as per the recipe instructions.
Chicken Katsu Recipe
- 4 pieces boneless chicken *see Notes
- ½ Teaspoon Salt
- 2 Tablespoon All-purpose Flour
- 1 Egg
- 2 cups Panko Crumbs
- 3 cups Oil
- Place chicken on a clean surface and pat dry all sides with a paper towel.4 pieces boneless chicken
- Sprinkle salt all over, both sides.½ Teaspoon Salt
- Prepare 2 trays. One with scrambled egg and the other with panko crumbs.1 Egg, 2 cups Panko Crumbs
- Place chicken into a tray and sprinkle flour all over. Coat chicken well with flour both sides.2 Tablespoon All-purpose Flour
- Dip chicken in egg, so that it's properly covered with egg.
- Then place chicken into panko crumbs and coat well all over.
- Pour oil into a wok or deep fryer. Keep over high heat and wait for it to get hot, however, the oil shouldn't smoke. Test if oil is hot enough by dropping a panko crumb into the oil, if it catches on, your oil is ready.3 cups Oil
- Place coated chicken into the hot oil and cook on all sides till golden. Turn in between so that both sides are cooked equally well.
- Take out the chicken when golden fried. Best is if you place it into a dripping tray.
- Cut chicken into strips and serve up.
- Use cut open 2 chicken thighs into 4 pieces or use 1 large chicken breast, butterfly that, and cut into two again.
- For the oil use vegetable oil or canola oil.
- I like to use baking dishes as trays to coat chicken. Or else buy trays or use deep plates.
- trays or shallow plates
- wok or deep frier
- cooking chop sticks or spatula