This ultra-crispy chicken katsu is quick to make yet so delightfully tender on the inside, it will soon become your weeknight favorite. Served over white rice and topped with a sweet and savory tonkatsu sauce, this Japanese chicken cutlet makes for the ultimate comfort meal for any occasion.
What is Chicken Katsu?
Chicken Katsu (チキンカツ) also known as Torikatsu, is a popular variation of Tonkatsu or pork cutlet. This popular dish features seasoned chicken fillets coated in panko breadcrumbs, to be deep-fried to golden brown and served with a delectable tonkatsu sauce.
The name “katsu”, which can be identified in many popular Japanese dishes, translates to cutlet in English and involves a simple breading method in which the meat is pounded thin and dredged in egg, flour, and panko breadcrumbs and deep fried to crunchy perfection.
Although there are many variations of this dish, chicken katsu is definitely my favorite amongst all. Although it calls for a quick and easy process, the outcome is always so incredibly satisfying, making it one of my favorite comfort meals to serve for the busy weekdays.
Today I will be sharing how to make chicken katsu in the comfort of your home. Best of all, it takes less than 20 minutes from start to finish, which beats any food delivery in all aspects of time, cost, and most importantly, the quality!
As with any other deep-fried dishes, chicken katsu is best served fresh, and the ultra-crispy texture of homemade fried chicken is so irresistibly delicious, you will never want to get take-out again.
What do I need to make chicken katsu?
One of the best parts about this chicken katsu recipe is its concise list of ingredients that are easily found in your pantry. Here is everything you’ll need to make Japanese chicken cutlets:
- Chicken breast: or thighs. I used boneless skinless chicken breast for this recipe as they are often larger and has a firmer texture, but you can also use chicken thighs or tenders as well.
- Salt, pepper, and garlic powder: to season the chicken. Garlic powder isn’t completely necessary, but does add wonderful flavors to the chicken if you have any at hand.
- Egg, flour, and panko breadcrumbs: to coat the chicken. One of the most essential parts of this recipe is the Japanese-style panko breadcrumbs which will give you that extra-crunchy exterior that is vital to chicken katsu.
And that’s it! All the ingredients you’ll need to make your own batch of chicken katsu.
Tips & tricks to make the best chicken katsu
Butterfly your chicken breast.
Although this recipe calls for chicken breast, the results are just as tender and flavorful as chicken thighs when made using the butterfly method.
This is easy to do and results in a larger chicken piece for each serving than slicing the chicken in half, which is why I prefer this method.
To butterfly the chicken, slice the meat lengthwise horizontally from one side, leaving the other end intact.
Open the chicken breast to spread the “wings apart”, cover with a plastic wrap, then tenderize the chicken with the back of your kitchen knife or a meat tenderizer to pound the chicken to an even thickness. The chicken should be about 1/2 inch or 1cm in thickness.
Preparing the chicken with this method will make the chicken extra juicy and tender, while also ensuring it cooks evenly in a short period of time.
Fry the chicken at 340˚F until golden brown.
I recommend using a kitchen thermometer to check the oil temperature to get the most accurate results. I love using my Javelin thermometer as it gives instant results and is water-resistant, which makes it ideal for your deep-frying sessions.
If you don’t have a thermometer at hand, stick a wooden chopstick in the oil when it’s heated to check the temperature. If small bubbles form around the chopstick, the oil is hot enough for frying. If nothing happens, I’d suggest waiting a few minutes until trying again.
Use panko breadcrumbs.
Panko breadcrumbs are lighter and crispier in texture than regular breadcrumbs, so I highly recommend using Japanese-style breadcrumbs for best results.
I used Kikkoman panko breadcrumbs for this recipe, but you can use any panko breadcrumbs of your choice. Using panko breadcrumbs is the secret to that seriously addictive crunchy texture that you can hear in every bite.
Serve with tonkatsu sauce.
Another essential part of this recipe is the sweet & savory tonkatsu sauce that the chicken cutlets are served with. Tonkatsu sauce is ultimately the best condiment to enjoy with Japanese deep-fried dishes, and can be found often in the International aisle of grocery stores.
If you prefer to make your sauce at home, I have also shared by easy 4-ingredient recipe for homemade tonkatsu sauce, which can be made by simply mixing together ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, oyster sauce (or soy sauce), and sugar.
This is the sauce I am using for my recipe and one that I’ve used for years, so I highly recommend checking it out! Stored in an airtight container, this homemade katsu sauce will store well for up to a month in the fridge.
I hope you enjoy this easy and delicious chicken katsu or torikatsu recipe, and please leave me a comment below or message me on Instagram if you have any questions. Happy cooking everyone!
Other easy Dinner recipes you may like:
- 15-Minute Creamy Mushroom Miso Udon
- Spicy Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich
- Easy Bulgogi Beef Udon Stir Fry
- 15-Minute Oyakodon (Japanese Chicken & Egg Rice Bowl)
- 10-Minute Zaru Soba (Cold Soba Noodles)
Easy Chicken Katsu (Japanese Chicken Cutlet)
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breast
- salt, pepper, garlic powder to season the chicken
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 large egg beaten
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- tonkatsu sauce to serve
- Butterfly your chicken by slicing the meat horizontally from one side, leaving the other end intact.
- Open the chicken and cover with plastic wrap, and use the back of your knife or a meat tenderizer to pound the chicken until it is about 1/2" in thickness.
- Season both sides of the chicken with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Prepare flour, egg, and panko breadcrumbs in 3 separate shallow bowls.
- Coat each piece of chicken with flour, egg, and bread crumbs in order, ensuring each side is evenly coated while shaking off any excess. Set aside.
- Prepare at least 1 1/2" of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once the oil reaches 340°F (or 170°C), cook 3 or 4 minutes per side, or until golden brown. Serve with tonkatsu sauce and enjoy!
♥ Did you make this recipe? Please give it a 5-star rating or leave a comment below to share your experience, or tag @cookerru on Instagram to showcase your creations!
So good!! Yummy and easy to make!
Can this be made in an air fryer to avoid using that much oil?
Hi Daniella! To cook your chicken katsu in the air fryer, I recommend spraying each side with oil then air frying it at 350°F for about 14-16 minutes, and flipping them halfway to ensure even cooking. I hope that helps!