October 16, 2021

Chicken Katsu / Japanese Fried Chicken Cutlet

Japanese katsu refers to a fried meat cutlet, and is the epitome of Japanese comfort food. It is a dish that is popular across all walks of life in Japan.

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About Chicken Katsu:

When I was a child my Mom used to waitress at a Japanese restaurant. Though, at the time, to convince me to try anything she told me it was chicken haha! (Because apparently I only ever ate eggs, rice, chicken and soy sauce ahah!) So, that said, growing up, one of my go-to’s was Chicken Katsu.

According to an article about Japanese Katsu: “Japanese katsu, a fried meat cutlet, is the epitome of Japanese comfort food. Beloved by children and adults alike, the dish is popular across all walks of life in Japan. The term “katsu” encompasses a wide variety of cutlets including chicken, pork, and beef. These three varieties each have their own names in Japanese and often have specialty restaurants dedicated to each variety.”

Furthermore, “…’katsu’, which is short for “katsuretsu” (カツレツ). The latter comes the French word côtelette, which means meat chop or cutlet.” – Favy-JP.com

All in all, this meal is a comforting dish that is always crispy, always delicious, and it never fails to satisfy. Though, for some reason, it wasn’t until last week that I actually made one from scratch, and let me tell you, the fact that it is SO easy may be a very dangerous realization haha!

By the way, if you prefer videos, this Youtube video for Easy Chicken Katsu by No Recipes helped me significantly. But enough about talking about it, let’s get cooking!

*The gorgeous ceramics and dinner knives are from Material Kitchen.


Chicken Katsu:

SERVES: 4
PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES
COOK TIME: 15-20 MINUTES

Ingredients:

  • 1.5-2 lb. Chicken breasts, butterflied and pounded to equal thickness of about 1/8”
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 cups Panko
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly cracked white pepper
  • Vegetable oil (enough to fill 1/3” of the pan)

Pair Chicken Katsu With:

Method:

  1. First, butterfly the chicken breasts to divide into 2 pieces. Afterwards, using the flat side of a meat mallet or a rolling pin, pound the chicken cutlets to 1/2 inch thickness. (This helps the pieces cook evenly.)
  2. Next, place the flour, eggs, and panko breadcrumbs into three separate bowls. Season the eggs with sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper, then scramble.
  3. Afterwards, dredge one piece of chicken in the flour, then dip into the egg mixture with one hand. Allow the excess egg to drip off (that way it is evenly coated and there is enough egg mixture to coat the remaining pieces.) After, transfer the cutlet into the bowl of panko and use your other hand to generously and evenly coat. Next, place the breaded chicken aside onto a tray until ready to fry. Repeat with the remaining chicken cutlets.
  4. In a large, heavy-bottomed skillet, bring the vegetable oil to medium heat, until it reaches an ideal frying temperature, or 350°F on a thermometer. When ready, add the breaded chicken to the fry pan, working in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan. Cook for 6-8 minutes, flipping halfway through, or until crisp and golden brown on both sides. Timing may vary depending on the stove and cookware. (For reference, I use my #10 field company skillet, which takes me 2 batches to complete).
  5. After frying, place on a paper-towel lined tray to drain off excess oil. Then, take the fried pieces and slice into strips.
  6. Finally, plate the chicken katsu alongside a mound of shredded cabbage, a side of Japanese barbecue sauce (tonkatsu sauce) and cooked rice. At last, Enjoy!

Notes:

  • Keep in mind that cast iron retains more heat than aluminum so cooking times may vary.
  • By the way, for more delicious recipes to create or pair alongside, visit the Kitchen Journal.