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Chicken Katsu [チキンカツ]

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Chicken Katsu is easy to make with simple ingredients, and this homemade version might just be better than your local sushi joint’s! Tenderized chicken is panko breaded and fried to crispy perfection in just a few simple steps.

A sliced serving of chicken katsu is plated next to fluffy white rice.

Chicken katsu is one of those nostalgic dishes for me. Growing up, when we were on summer break or any sort of holiday where we were home and we were able to meet up with my dad for lunch, my parents always seemed to choose this Japanese restaurant in town. I even remember when I would come home from college and they’d take me out to lunch, it would be a Japanese restaurant. My dad loves the lunch bento boxes they offer – I mean, honestly, I can see why. You get the best of all the worlds. You get sushi, tempura, miso soup, salad, and your choice of meat. I remember I would always get the chicken katsu because I loved the light crispy breading and tender chicken.

Nowadays, I’m happy to see the amount of popularity Chicken Katsu has been receiving and it is so very well-deserved. When made just right, Chicken Katsu should be crispy, tender, and fried to perfection. The best part? It’s so easy to check all of those boxes in your very own kitchen.

All you need to have in order to make this recipe is chicken, flour, eggs, panko breadcrumbs, vegetable oil for frying, and just a few pinches of salt and pepper. It’s a fairly inexpensive entree to make, and it’s neutral enough to pair with a variety of side dishes and sauces. My favorite sauces to top this chicken off with are simply teriyaki or soy sauce, but you can switch that up however you’d like!

So, is Chicken Katsu the same as the fried chicken you’re probably used to? Nope! This chicken gets pounded down so it’s nice and thin, then it’s coated in crunchy Panko breadcrumbs and fried in a little bit of oil. I like that when made correctly, Chicken Katsu isn’t too oily, but you still get all of the other elements of fried chicken that you like.

A fork is placed on a plate with white rice and katsu chicken.

What You’ll Need:

  • Chicken – You can use boneless skinless chicken breasts or thin sliced chicken breasts.
  • Flour – All purpose flour will get the job done.
  • Eggs – I like to use organic free range eggs.
  • Panko Breadcrumbs – Do NOT substitute this ingredient with any other type of breadcrumb, or you won’t be making Chicken Katsu!
  • Salt – Just a few pinches. Don’t go too crazy with the salt!
  • Pepper – Freshly cracked black pepper yields the best flavor.
  • Vegetable Oil – This is used to fry the chicken.
Red sauce is drizzled on top of a serving of katsu chicken.

How to Make Chicken Katsu

For more detailed instructions, scroll to the bottom of this post.

Prepare the chicken for frying. Pound the chicken, then dredge it using three stations. The first one should be your seasoned flour mixture, the next is the eggs, and the last one is Panko.

Fry the chicken. Place the chicken in the hot oil and fry it for about 3-4 minutes per side. Work in batches so you don’t overcrowd your pan!

Red sauce is drizzled over katsu chicken.

Common Questions

Why do I need to work in batches? If you overcrowd you pan, a few unfortunate things are going to happen. The temperature of the oil will decrease, which immediately means your chicken won’t cook properly. It’ll get oily and the meat itself won’t cook properly. Avoid this by frying one piece of Chicken Katsu at a time!

How long will Chicken Katsu stay fresh? In an airtight container, any leftovers you have will stay fresh in the fridge for about 2-3 days. I would reheat in a toaster oven so the exterior stays crunchy.

Chicken katsu and rice are presented on a white plate with a fork.

Check out more of my favorite chicken recipes!

Grilled Mojo Chicken

Creamy Tuscan Chicken

Crispy Baked Chicken Thighs

Meyer Lemon Sheet Pan Chicken

Chicken Katsu [チキンカツ]

Love this dish at Japanese restaurants! The crispy chicken is so good!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4
Author: Julie Chiou
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Ingredients 

  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, or thin sliced boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • Couple pinches of kosher salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • Vegetable oil

The default measuring system for this website is US Customary. Unit conversions are provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. While we strive to provide accurate unit conversions, please be aware that there may be some discrepancies.

Instructions

  • In a plastic bag, pound your chicken breasts to a thin filet, one at a time, with the flat end of a meat tenderizer. If you're using thin sliced, you may not have to do this step as it's already thin enough. Make sure to have padding underneath your plastic bag so you don't break your countertops!
  • In a shallow dish, add in flour, salt, and pepper. Mix around.
  • In another shallow dish, beat 2 eggs.
  • In yet another shallow dish, put your panko in.
  • Assemble the shallow dishes in the following order: flour, eggs, panko.
  • In a skillet, turn the heat on medium high and add a thin layer of vegetable oil to the pan, just enough to coat the bottom of the pan.
  • Take one of your chicken filets, dredge it in flour on both sides, then egg, then cover it in panko and shake off any excess.
  • Test the oil to see if it's hot by flicking some water in it. If it sizzles, you're good.
  • With tongs, put your breaded chicken in and cook on each side for about 3-4 minutes or until it's brown (don't burn it).
  • It shouldn't take long for the chicken to cook all the way through since they've been pounded out so thin.
  • Before you start on another filet, I would clear out the skillet of straggling panko crumbs. Just take a spatula and scrape them out. They'll burn if you keep them in there for your other filets and your house will smell like disaster :)
  • Repeat until all your chicken filets are cooked, slice into length-long pieces and serve with white rice. Don't forget to top with katsu sauce!

NUTRITION FACTS

Serving: 1 chicken katsu | Calories: 257 kcal | Carbohydrates: 19 g | Protein: 30 g | Fat: 6 g | Saturated Fat: 1 g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2 g | Trans Fat: 0.02 g | Cholesterol: 154 mg | Sodium: 236 mg | Potassium: 486 mg | Fiber: 1 g | Sugar: 1 g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: chicken dinner, chicken recipe, easy chicken recipe

Photography by Eat Love Eats

Recipe Rating




Stephanie

Friday 8th of January 2021

Amazing, I just started to live alone, and need to modify recipes for one Cheers from Honduras

Stephanie

Monday 9th of July 2012

Have you made these again? I've always made regular pork tonkatsu with this tonkatsu sauce that I normally buy at the Asian supermarket.

http://www.amazon.com/Bull-Dog-Tonkatsu-Sauce/dp/B000W59KLI/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1341889175&sr=8-4&keywords=tonkatsu+sauce

^_^