Katsu Chicken

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Experience the delightful simplicity of Katsu Chicken, the Japanese Breaded Chicken Cutlets that promise to bring a satisfying and flavorful dinner to your table. Indulge in the enticing contrast of a perfectly crispy outer layer of breadcrumbs enveloping the tender and juicy chicken breast within. With minimal ingredients, this chicken katsu recipe is easily achievable using items readily available in any standard home kitchen.

While it may seem like a straightforward dish, Chicken Katsu carries a uniquely Japanese essence that has firmly entrenched itself in the country’s food culture, akin to pizza’s status in the United States. Whether enjoyed at a Japanese shopping mall food court or lovingly prepared in your kitchen, this dish has earned its place as a beloved national comfort-food staple. Its charm lies in its simplicity—a delightful harmony of succulent chicken or pork cutlets encased in a luscious golden-brown breadcrumb coating, accompanied by a delightful sweet-and-savory sauce and served alongside crisp shredded cabbage and steamed white rice. This combination creates an uncomplicated yet utterly delicious weeknight meal that captures hearts with each bite.

Though panko-style breadcrumbs have found popularity in various cuisines worldwide, Chicken Katsu stands apart with two distinguishing features. Firstly, the use of panko crumbs is essential, setting it apart from European-style breaded cutlets where panko may occasionally be used but not mandated. Secondly, the true essence of katsu lies in its companion, the delectable katsu sauce—a thick, savory-sweet condiment akin to Worcestershire sauce, an integral part of the dish that elevates its flavors to perfection.

Embrace the culinary heritage of Japan as you savor the crispy goodness of Chicken Katsu, an authentic and mouthwatering experience that captivates taste buds and brings a touch of Japanese comfort to your dining experience. Whether a seasoned enthusiast of Japanese cuisine or a curious newcomer, this dish is bound to leave an indelible mark on your palate and become a cherished addition to your repertoire of delightful meals.

Not the chicken recipe you are looking for? Try these other excellent chicken recipes – Vinegar-Braised Chicken and Onions, Balsamic Chicken with Mushrooms or Braised Herbed Chicken.


Katsu Chicken

Katsu Chicken

Chicken Katsu or Japanese Breaded Chicken Cutlets make a simple dinner.

  • Author: J. Kenji López-Alt
  • Prep Time: :15
  • Cook Time: :20
  • Total Time: :35
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Entree
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: Japanese


Units Scale
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (about 5 ounces; 140g)
  • 3 large eggs, thoroughly beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups Japanese-style panko bread crumbs (about 5 ounces; 140g)
  • Vegetable, canola, or peanut oil, for frying

To Serve


  1. Cut each breast half into 2 cutlets. Place them, one at a time, in a heavy-duty zipper-lock bag and pound gently to 1/4-inch thickness, using a meat pounder or the bottom of a heavy 8-inch skillet. Season generously with salt and pepper. For best results, let them rest in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours and up to overnight after seasoning.
  2. Fill 3 wide, shallow bowls or high-rimmed plates with flour, beaten eggs, and panko, respectively. Working with one thigh or cutlet at a time, dredge in flour with your first hand, shaking off excess. Transfer to egg dish, then turn thigh or cutlet with your second hand to coat both sides. Lift and allow excess egg to drain off, then transfer to bread crumb mixture. With your first hand, scoop bread crumbs on top of thigh or cutlet, then gently press, turning to ensure a good layer of crumbs on both sides. Transfer thigh or cutlet to a clean plate and repeat with remaining meat. If this is done properly, your first hand should touch only dry ingredients, while your second hand should touch only wet, making the process less messy.
  3. Fill a large cast iron or stainless steel skillet with 1/3 inch oil. (To speed things up even more, use 2 skillets simultaneously.) Heat over high heat until shimmering and just shy of smoking, about 350°F (175°C) on an instant-read thermometer.
  4. Using tongs or your fingers, gently lower cutlets into hot fat, laying them down away from you to prevent hot fat from splashing toward you. (Work in batches if necessary.) Fry, gently swirling pan and rotating cutlets for even browning, and adjusting heat as necessary for a steady, vigorous bubble (around 300 to 325°F; 150 to 160°C), until bottom side is set, about 1 1/2 minutes. Flip cutlets and fry until other side is set, about 1 1/2 minutes longer. Continue cooking, swirling frequently and flipping occasionally, until well browned on both sides, about 3 minutes longer. Transfer to paper towels to drain and season with salt right away. Repeat with remaining cutlets.
  5. Slice katsu into thin strips and serve immediately with shredded cabbage, lemon wedges, white rice, Japanese pickles (if desired), and tonkatsu sauce.


Recipe Tips:

  • Pounding the meat evenly leads to even cooking.
  • Salting and resting chicken breasts improves their ability to retain moisture, with juicier results.
  • Panko bread crumbs offer a craggy texture that increases surface area and crunch.
  • Flipping frequently while cooking produces more evenly browned cutlets.


Keywords: Katsu Chicken

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