APPETIZERS/ MAINS

Chicken Katsu with Tonkatsu Sauce

Hello, welcome to Djalali Cooks. Today I have one of my favorite Japanese dishes. There are so many to love, but Chicken Katsu with Tonkatsu sauce is something that I always order as a family-style appetizer when I go out for Japanese food and it’s so easy to make at home. Chicken breast cutlets are breaded simply with panko and egg; shallow fried to golden brown perfection. Drizzled with savory, tangy Tonkatsu sauce. Make it a meal with rice and quick pickled cucumber and carrot salad. Are you ready? Let’s get right to it!

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Quick Pickles

Let’s start with the quick pickled cucumber and carrot salad. Slice 1 cucumber into 1/8-inch rounds and place in a small bowl. I am making carrot ribbons from 1-2 carrots. Use a vegetable peeler to first peel the carrot, then create ribbons by pulling the vegetable peeler down the length of the carrot. Add the ribbons to the bowl with the cucumber.

Add a sprinkling of kosher salt. Pour on 1/4 cup rice vinegar and pour hot water to cover the veggies. Cover and place in the fridge until we are ready to serve.

Tonkatsu Sauce

Now we will whip up the Tonkatsu sauce. In a small bowl, combine ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce and Dijon mustard. Use a fork or tiny whisk to thoroughly mix the sauce and set aside.

Chicken Katsu

Now we are ready to prep the chicken. Start by pouring the 1 cup panko bread crumbs into a zipper lock bag, seal and use a rolling pin to lightly smash the large panko crumbs into smaller pieces. We don’t want to totally pulverize the panko, just make the crumbs smaller, for a lighter exterior on the chicken.

I am going to make four cutlets by horizontally slicing two breasts in half. Now, with four cutlets flat on the cutting board, lay a large sheet of plastic wrap over the chicken and use a meat pounder to flatten the breast halves into cutlets roughly 1/4-inch thick. Set those aside.

Dredging Station

Now, set up the dredging station in the order of operations. You can set this up in a row, steps going from left to right if you have the space. I am using a vertical arrangement because I have limited space. Chicken near the top, then egg, then panko and finally a quarter sheet tray to catch the breaded cutlets. Pour the crushed panko into a flat dish like a pie plate. Whisk two eggs in another wide, flat dish.

First, coat one breast cutlet in egg. Lift the cutlet out to let the excess egg drip off, then dredge the cutlet in the panko. Evenly coat the whole cutlet in panko, lightly pressing to adhere the panko. Place the breaded cutlet on the sheet tray and repeat with the remaining 3 cutlets.

Fry Station

Again moving from left to right, set up your fry station with the pan or braiser on the front left burner of your stove. Set the sheet tray with the breaded cutlets on the left side. Set up a fresh, clean sheet tray with a wire rack set inside on the right side. Cover the wire rack with paper towels. Rest your tongs on the paper towel-lined wire rack.

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Pour 1/4 cup of vegetable oil into the pan. Drop several panko crumbs into the oil. Turn on the burner to medium-high. When the panko breadcrumbs turn golden, the oil is ready for the cutlets.

Add the cutlets to the hot oil, making sure to let the ends go away from you to avoid splashing yourself with hot oil. I fit three cutlets at a time. Go for all four if you have the space and you’re comfortable frying all four at the same time. Let the cutlets fry undisturbed for about 2-3 minutes, until the bottoms are deep golden brown. Then flip them over.

Let the other side cook undisturbed for 2-3 minutes, until the same deep golden brown is reached. Transfer cutlets to the paper towel-lined wire rack set in the sheet tray and sprinkle with kosher salt. If you have to do a second batch like I did, turn off the heat and wipe the skillet clean with paper towels. Add another 2 tablespoons (for one more cutlet) or 1/4 cup (for two more cutlets) and repeat the frying with the remaining cutlet(s).

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Chicken Katsu with Tonkatsu Sauce

Pull the quick pickled cucumber and carrots from the fridge. For each serving, take one cutlet and slice it into strips. Spoon a serving of rice in a wide shallow bowl.

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Use your knife or bench scraper to transfer the entire sliced cutlet and place it on top of the rice. Use a slotted spoon to place a serving of the pickled cukes and carrots alongside the rice. Drizzle Tonkatsu sauce over the cutlet.

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Sprinkle with spicy Togarashi if desired.

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Last year, Chicken Katsu was the first thing I made in my then-new air fryer. It was delicious and I was happy with the air fryer’s performance. For that recipe I double breaded the chicken and I left the panko in its original large-crumb for an extra thick and crispy exterior. I have to say that between the two methods, I prefer this more traditional, lightly coated version. Both were great, but this method is more like what you get in a restaurant. If you want to try the air fryer version, try Air Fryer Chicken Katsu.

Easy Recipe, Japanese Recipe, Japanese Cuisine, Japanese Food, Chicken Cutlets, Shallow Fry, Panko, Restaurant Recipe, Fried Chicken, Japanese Fried Chicken, How to set up a frying station, how to set up a dredging station, quick pickled cucumbers, quick pickles, weeknight recipe, weeknight dinner,

Thank you so much for joining me today, I do hope you give this shallow-fried Chicken Katsu with Tonkatsu Sauce a try; it’s really delicious! Take care and be well! xo Kelly

Key Equipment

Chicken Katsu with Tonkatsu Sauce

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Dinner, Main Course Japanese
By America's Test Kitchen Serves: Makes 4 Cutlets
Prep Time: 30 Minutes Cooking Time: ~6-12 Minutes Total Time: ~40 Minutes

A light coating of egg and panko give these shallow fried chicken cutlets amazing crispy, crunchy texture. Served with Tonkastsu sauce.

Ingredients

  • Quick Pickled Cucumber Salad
  • 1 Cucumber, sliced into 1/8-inch thick slices
  • 1-2 Carrots, cut into ribbons with a vegetable peeler
  • Pinch of Kosher Salt
  • 1/4 cup Rice Vinegar
  • Hot Water
  • Tonkatsu Sauce
  • 1/4 cup Ketchup
  • 2 tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 tsp. Soy Sauce
  • 1 tsp. Dijon Mustard
  • Chicken Katsu
  • 1 cups Panko Bread Crumbs
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 2 (6- to 8-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed, halved horizontally, and pounded 1/4 inch thick
  • 1/4 cup Vegetable Oil, double for more than one batch of chicken
  • Kosher Salt
  • Togarashi, optional

Instructions

Quick Pickled Cucumber Salad

1

Place the cucumber slices and carrot ribbons in a bowl.

2

Season with a pinch of Kosher Salt.

3

Pour vinegar over veggies and pour hot water over to cover veggies. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Tonkatsu Sauce

4

In a small bowl, combine ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce and Dijon mustard. Use a fork or tiny whisk to thoroughly mix the sauce and set aside.

Chicken Katsu

5

Pour panko bread crumbs into a zipper lock bag, seal and use a rolling pin to lightly smash the large panko crumbs into smaller pieces.

6

Pour the crushed panko into a flat dish like a pie plate. Whisk two eggs in another wide, flat dish.

7

Coat one breast cutlet in egg. Lift the cutlet out to let the excess egg drip off, then dredge the cutlet in the panko. Evenly coat the whole cutlet in panko, lightly pressing to adhere the panko. Place the breaded cutlet on the sheet tray and repeat with the remaining 3 cutlets.

8

Set up your fry station with the pan or braiser on the front left burner of your stove. Set the sheet tray with the breaded cutlets on the left side. Set up a fresh, clean sheet tray with a wire rack set inside on the right side. Cover the wire rack with paper towels. Rest your tongs on the paper towel-lined wire rack.

9

Pour 1/4 cup of vegetable oil into the pan. Drop several panko crumbs into the oil. Turn on the burner to medium-high. When the panko breadcrumbs turn golden, the oil is ready for the cutlets.

10

Add the cutlets to the hot oil, making sure to let the ends go away from you to avoid splashing yourself with hot oil.

11

Let the cutlets fry undisturbed for about 2-3 minutes, until the bottoms are deep golden brown. Then flip them over.

12

Let the other side cook undisturbed for 2-3 minutes, until the same deep golden brown is reached. Transfer cutlets to the paper towel-lined wire rack set in the sheet tray and sprinkle with kosher salt.

13

If you have to do a second batch like I did, turn off the heat and wipe the skillet clean with paper towels. Add another 2 tablespoons (for one more cutlet) or 1/4 cup (for two more cutlets) and repeat the frying with the remaining cutlet(s).

To Serve

14

For each serving, take one cutlet and slice it into strips. Spoon a serving of rice in a wide shallow bowl.

15

Use your knife or bench scraper to transfer the entire sliced cutlet and place it on top of the rice. Use a slotted spoon to place a serving of the pickled cukes and carrots alongside the rice. Drizzle Tonkatsu sauce over the cutlet.

16

Sprinkle with spicy Togarashi if desired.

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6 Comments

  • Reply
    Mari
    August 31, 2022 at 8:54 am

    This looks really good. We watch a show on YouTube where a guy travels all over Japan by ferry, bus, train, and plane. The highlights of the shows are always when he stops somewhere to eat. He has eaten pork dishes that are a lot like this one, but we are going to have chicken Katsu. Instead. The sauce sounds good too. I can just see our little Japanese traveler eating this, and enjoying it, although he does seem addicted to pork and all kinds of curries! Have a wonderful hopefully dry Wednesday. I haven’t checked our weather report today, because we will be briefly on the rad, and I don’t want to know! Happy Wonderful Wednesday to Kelly, Alex, Terry, and the little rascals. I always think that if Sophie were a person, she would be hilarious to hang out with, because she has a zest for life, and enjoys mischief. 🥸

    • Reply
      Kelly Djalali
      August 31, 2022 at 9:10 am

      Hi Mari, Your YouTUbe traveller would no doubt enjoy the original pork cutlet version of this dish: Tonkatsu. The Tonkatsu sauce is the distinctive aspect of both versions. I am sure you will enjoy it! Have a wonderful Wednesday and stay safe out on the road! xo Kelly

  • Reply
    Terry
    August 31, 2022 at 10:24 am

    I like this recipe, I would like to try the pork version too I think it would be really good it’s all in that sauce that makes this dish great… I will keep you posted.,, it’s heating up here only in the 90’s today but it’s supposed to be 112 Saturday, Sunday and Monday ugh .., enjoy your Wednesday ❤️🤗mom

    • Reply
      Kelly Djalali
      August 31, 2022 at 10:59 am

      Hi Mom, Wow – 112 degrees is painfully hot! I hope you and grandma will stay inside and keep cool. I know you will enjoy this recipe, whether you go with chicken or pork! it’s a great dish. xo Kelly

  • Reply
    Sally Burke
    September 9, 2022 at 9:19 pm

    Hi Kelly. Another recipe to add to my collection, all of the ingredients are in the pantry, chicken is in the freezer, so one night next week I shall give it a go. My sister leaves tomorrow and we have had such a busy week and even before she arrived I had several commitments so I am looking forward to an quieter week of cooking including leftovers and your chicken dish.
    Happy cooking 🧑‍🍳
    Sally🤗

    • Reply
      Kelly Djalali
      September 10, 2022 at 8:14 am

      I think you will enjoy this recipe, Sally. It’s always nice to have visitors and things to do, but a quiet week is always welcome! I bet with spring’s arrival you’ll have plenty to do in the weeks ahead. Let me know how you like the Chicken Katsu. xo Kelly

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