Chicken katsu is a classic Japanese dish featuring juicy, crisp, panko-breaded fried chicken with an awesome dipping sauce.
Chicken Katsu is one of my favorite Japanese dishes and is incredibly easy to make at home. The chicken cooks quickly and is perfectly tender, juicy, and crisp. Serve it with a side of rice plus katsu sauce for dipping.
HOW TO MAKE CHICKEN KATSU
MAKE THE SAUCE:
This is my own version of katsu sauce. Traditional katsu sauce is made with ketchup and soy sauce, it’s a little too sweet for my taste. This version is perfectly well-balanced and full of umami flavors that will light up your taste buds.
- Sesame oil: Sesame oil adds great flavor.
- Soy sauce: I always use low sodium soy sauce. That way you get plenty of umami flavor without it being too salty.
- Brown sugar: Just a little sweetness is perfect for balancing out the savory and salty soy sauce. You can also substitute honey for brown sugar.
- Garlic: You can use garlic powder or minced garlic cloves.
- Rice vinegar: The acidity helps to balance out the flavors.
- Chili garlic sauce: I love the flavor and mellow heat the chili garlic sauce adds. If you want a spicier sauce you can use Sambal Oelek instead, which is a chili sauce that is very spicy! Both of these are found in the Hispanic aisle near the soy sauce. Look for a small red bottle.
- Water and cornstarch: To thicken the sauce.
- In a saucepan over medium heat, whisk the sesame oil, garlic, soy sauce, brown sugar, rice wine vinegar, and chili garlic paste.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the water and cornstarch until smooth. Add it to the pan and increase the heat to bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and stir constantly until the sauce is thick. Cover and keep over low heat.
FOR THE CHICKEN
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in half horizontally.
- Flour + cornstarch
- Salt and pepper
- Panko bread crumbs
- Oil for frying, I used vegetable oil, you can also use peanut or canola oil.
- Mix the flour, cornstarch, salt, and pepper in a large bowl or a large ziplock bag and toss the chicken until fully coated on all sides.
- Whisk the eggs in a large bowl and add the chicken, toss to coat.
- Coat the chicken with the Panko bread crumbs, pressing the bread crumbs into the chicken to make sure they are well-adhered.
- Preheat oven to 200°.
- Fry the chicken: Add 2-3 inches of oil in a large, heavy-bottom pot and place over medium heat until the oil reaches 350°. *If you don’t have a fry thermometer you can check if the oil is at the right temperature by dipping a handle of a wooden spoon into the oil. The oil should bubble gently around the handle, if it bubbles violently then the oil is too hot.
- Fry the chicken in batches for 1-2 minutes per side. Keep fried chicken on a pan in the preheated oven while you fry the remaining chicken breasts.
Slice the chicken into strips and serve with a side of rice plus sesame seeds and sliced green onions to garnish.
MORE ASIAN RECIPES:
For the Chicken:
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced in half horizontally
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup cornstarch
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. pepper
- 3 large eggs
- 2 cups Panko bread crumbs
- oil, for frying
For the Katsu Sauce:
- 1 tbsp. sesame oil
- ¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce
- 2 tsp. garlic powder
- 2 tbsp. brown sugar
- 2 tsp. rice wine vinegar
- ½ tbsp. chili garlic sauce
- 1 tsp. cornstarch
- ½ cup water
For the Chicken:
- Add the flour, cornstarch, salt, and pepper to a large bowl or large ziplock bag. Toss the chicken to coat.
- Whisk the eggs in a medium bowl. Dip each piece of chicken into the beaten egg and then coat with the Panko breadcrumbs. Press the Panko into the chicken and make sure each piece is coated with a thick, even layer of Panko.
- Preheat oven to 200°.
- Add 2 inches of oil to a large, heavy-bottom pot, and heat until the temperature reaches 350°. If you don't have a fry thermometer, you can check if the oil is at the right temperature using the handle of a wooden spoon. If the oil bubbles violently than it is too hot, if it doesn't bubble at all then it's not hot enough.
- Fry chicken in batches of 2 at a time. Fry for 2 minutes per side. Then place on a pan in the preheated oven while you fry the rest of the chicken and make the katsu sauce.
Make the Katsu Sauce:
- In a medium saucepan, heat sesame oil, soy sauce, garlic powder, brown sugar, rice wine vinegar, and chili garlic sauce.
- In a small bowl, whisk the cornstarch and water until smooth. Add to the saucepan. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat and stir until thickened.
- Slice the chicken into 1" strips and serve with rice and the sauce for dipping. Garnish with sesame seeds and sliced green onions.