Chicken Katsu Curry is a popular comfort food consisting of crispy-fried chicken cutlet served with white rice and savory Japanese curry sauce. Our easy recipe shows you how you can make perfectly crispy panko-breaded cutlet and deliciously creamy curry sauce!
What is Chicken Katsu Curry?
Katsu curry (カツカレー, katsukarē) is a popular Japanese yōshoku dish, a term referring to Western-influenced style of cooking. The name katsu curry refers to the two main components of the dish: katsu, which means breaded cutlet, and Japanese curry sauce.
Katsu curry rice is widely served in restaurants all around Japan. With the convenient and tasty premade Japanese curry roux that are available in grocery stores, the dish quickly became a staple in Japanese households. Although this recipe is for chicken katsu curry, pork is usually the most common choice of protein. Fish filet is also another popular protein option.
Today, Japanese katsu curry is widely consumed worldwide. From the popular Wagamama katsu curry to locally-owned Japanese restaurants, you can find this comforting dish everywhere, from Asia to Europe and North America.
Chicken Katsu (Chicken Cutlet)
Chicken breast: We prefer using chicken breast for this recipe since it’s easier to pound it into an even thickness. This helps get an even cook throughout. As long as you don’t overcook it, it will remain juicy and tender. You can also substitute with chicken thighs.
All-purpose flour, egg, panko breadcrumbs: For the breading. Panko breadcrumbs are large, flaky breadcrumbs originating from Japan. It’s widely available in Asian grocery stores, but you can also buy it online.
Japanese curry sauce mix: We use the S&B Foods Golden Curry mix since this brand is widely available at our local grocery store. Other well known katsu curry mix brands include House’s Vermont Curry, Java Curry, and Kokumaro Curry.
Chicken broth: For added flavor and umami. You can also use water as indicated in the curry mix packaging, but we find using chicken broth gives the vegetables and the chicken katsu curry sauce more flavor.
Carrots: One of the two main vegetable components, adds color and texture.
Potatoes: Pairs amazingly with the carrots and curry sauce, provides an additional texture to the dish.
Garlic and onions: For the aromatics and added flavor.
- Protein: Our personal favorite is chicken cutlet curry, but you can substitute the protein with pork or fish filet!
- Katsu chicken sauce: Just like many Japanese households, we decided to use the premade Japanese curry for our chicken katsu curry since they taste authentic and very easy to use. You can also make the curry mix using Japanese curry powder, garam masala, and cayenne pepper.
How to Make Chicken Katsu Curry
Instructions to Make Chicken Cutlet
Working with one chicken breast at a time, butterfly the chicken breast by cutting it horizontally into two halves, but not cutting all the way through. Lay it flat on a cutting board.
Cover it with cling wrap and pound to get uniform thickness throughout.
Coat the chicken breast with all-purpose flour and shake off excess.
Dip the chicken in beaten egg, making sure every surface is well covered with egg wash.
Coat the chicken with panko breadcrumbs. You can also press each side of the chicken down onto a bed of panko breadcrumbs to make sure it’s well covered.
Pour enough oil into a pan to reach a depth of about ½ inch. Heat the oil over medium high heat. Dip a chopstick into the oil to check if it’s hot enough. If many bubbles form around the edge of the chopstick, the oil is ready.
Fry the chicken, one at a time. Let fry for about 3-5 minutes on each side, until fully cooked and golden brown. The cooking time depends on the thickness of your chicken breast.
Remove chicken from oil and let sit on drying rack for at least 5 minutes. Once cooled, cut chicken into strips for serving.
Instructions to Make Curry Sauce
Heat canola oil on a pan over medium high heat. Add in the onions and stir fry until tender and fragrant, about 2 minutes.
Stir in the carrots and potatoes and mix well.
Add in the chicken broth and stir well. Let simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the carrots and potatoes are tender and cooked.
Add in the Japanese curry roux. Gently break the blocks to dissolve and mix well. Let cook for another 5 minutes or until the sauce thickens, and remove from heat.
Assembling the Dish
Add white rice onto one side of a wide, shallow bowl. Add the chicken cutlet strips onto another side of the bowl.
Pour the sauce over the chicken cutlet.
Serve the chicken katsu curry parsley or green onions as garnishes.
Tips for Making the Best Chicken Katsu Curry
Don’t overcrowd the pan. Fry the chicken cutlets one at a time. Frying too many chicken cutlets at a time can lower the oil temperature, which can make the chicken soggy and oily.
Gently press the chicken onto a bed of panko when coating. This will ensure you get a consistent, uniform layer of breadcrumbs covering the chicken.
Let the fried chicken cutlets rest on drying rack for at least 5 minutes before cutting. This will make sure the skin stays intact and doesn’t break apart when cutting the chicken.
Japanese curry is usually not spicy. However, the premade curry roux comes in different spice levels, from mild, medium hot, and hot. You can choose the one that suits your taste.
Japanese curry has a sweeter flavor profile, with a rich and creamy texture. The curry paste usually has a more subtle savory flavor, with an added sweetness from the carrots and onions.
Chicken katsu curry is almost always served with rice. You can also serve it with a side of miso soup, pickled vegetables, or other side dishes.
We hope you enjoy this katsu curry recipe! Check out our other Japanese-inspired recipes for yummy meal ideas!
Chicken Katsu Curry
- 350 grams chicken breast 2 pieces of chicken breast
- 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1 egg
- 1 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
- oil for frying
- 1/2 pack S&B Torokeru Curry or 2 curry cubes
- 500 ml chicken broth
- 100 grams carrots chopped into small cubes
- 100 grams potatoes chopped into small cubes
- 1/2 onion minced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- Butterflying the chicken breast. To do this, put chicken breast flat on a chopping board. Put one hand on top of it to hold it, and slice vertically into one side starting from the thicker part, don't slice all the way through. Open the chicken breast. The result is a large piece of chicken that's larger in width but less thick.
- Preparing chicken for frying. One at a time, lay chicken breast flat on chopping board and cover with cling wrap. Pound the chicken to get an even thickness of 1/2 inch.
- Breading preparation. Add all-purpose flour, lightly beaten egg, and panko breadcrumbs into three separate shallow bowls.
- Breading the chicken. Working with one chicken at a time, coat each chicken with all-purpose flour first, then dip into lightly beaten egg until well coated. Then, coat with panko breadcrumbs thoroughly. Press the chicken onto the bed of panko to make sure it is well coated. Set aside.
- Frying the chicken. Add enough oil in a frying pan to reach about 1/2 inch of depth. Heat on medium high until the temperature reaches about 340°F or until vigorous bubbles form when dipping wooden chopsticks into the bottom of the pan. One at a time, fry each chicken cutlet for about 3-4 minutes on each side, or until the meat is fully cooked and the crust is golden brown. Once cooked, remove chicken cutlet from oil and let rest on drying rack.
- Add 2 tbsp of oil in a pan and heat on medium high. Add the minced garlic and onions, stir fry until soft and fragrant. Stir in the chopped carrots and potatoes. Add in the chicken broth and cover pan with a lid. Let simmer on medium heat for about 8 minutes, or until carrots and potatoes are soft.
- Remove lid, and add the curry block. Stir gently to dissolve. Let cook for about 5 minutes while stirring occasionally, or until the sauce thickens. Remove from heat.
Serving the Dish
- Slice chicken cutlets into about 1/2 inch wide strips.
- Add steamed rice in a shallow bowl and place chicken on top of the rice. Ladle the curry sauce over the chicken or on the side.