Chicken katsu curry is an absolute delight to eat, but not one to make. Making curry and rice is already a time-consuming task, but add on breading and deep frying a chicken cutlet and you have a recipe that’s best left up to the restaurants. Luckily this recipe for katsu is just as delicious without any messy deep frying required.Jump to Recipe
The Secret Behind the Crisp
Look, I love oven/airfryer recipes as much as the next guy, but they will never get the crispy and even colored breading that deep frying gets. At least not without help. The secret is to toast the breadcrumbs in a pan before coating the chicken. This method comes with many benefits..
- A beautifully even golden crust! Baked alternatives to fried foods will always have a very spotty and uneven color due to how the air circulates heat unevenly. By toasting the breadcrumbs beforehand, the chicken katsu coating will be evenly browned.
- A lighter katsu! Traditional chicken katsu is delicious, but also very heavy due to the large amounts of oil the breadcrumbs can absorb during deep frying. The pan frying method uses considerably less oil, resulting in a lighter crispy bread coating that you can keep eating without problems.
- Easy cleanup! This method uses three dishes (pan, a sheet pan, and a wire rack) to cook the chicken. The alternative is a pot full of screaming hot oil that splatters all over the kitchen. AND you’ll use the sheet pan and wire rack to rest the chicken anyways so it doesn’t get soggy sitting in all its extra oil. I’ll happily wash one pan over a big pot full of oil.
What you’ll need.
While I love making creative substitutions to recipes, there are some ingredients in this recipe that absolutely cannot be replaced. Here’s what you’ll need and where to find it.
- Japanese curry roux – Japanese curry roux is one of the fastest and easiest ways to make a bowl of japanese curry. The product is so good and cheap that hardly anyone makes it from scratch anymore. Just mix with water!
- Panko bread crumbs – This is the key player here. Panko breadcrumbs are drier, bigger, and coarser than regular bread crumbs. This leads to a very pleasant crispy texture that just isn’t possible with regular bread crumbs.
Crispy Oven Baked Chicken Katsu Curry
- For the katsu:
1 large boneless skinless chicken breast
3 tbsp flour
1 tsp neutral oil
1 cup panko
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
- For the curry:
Half pack japanese curry roux
2 medium carrots (4.5oz)
1 medium onion (10oz)
1 medium potato (5oz)
2 ¾ cup water
- Add the oil, panko and ½ tsp of salt to a pan. Toast the panko on medium heat, mixing frequently to evenly heat. Continue to toast until almost fully browned, about 3-5 minutes. Turn off the heat and continue tossing and mixing for another minute to cool. Set aside.*
- Preheat the oven to 400F. Butterfly the chicken breast. Cover with plastic wrap and pound to an even thickness, about ½ inch thick. Season on both sides with salt and pepper.
- Prepare the breading station. Add flour to a wide shallow dish. On a separate wide shallow dish, crack and whisk the egg. Take a piece of chicken and coat with flour. Shake off any excess. Then move the chicken to the egg mixture and coat thoroughly. Finally, move the chicken to the pan with the panko.. Press the chicken into the breadcrumbs on both sides to ensure the breading sticks. Set aside on a baking tray lined with a wire rack. Repeat this step with additional chicken(s)
- Bake the chicken at 400F for 30 minutes. In the meantime you can prepare the curry (and rice if you don’t have it).
- Peel and chop the onion, carrots, and potato into bite sized pieces. Lightly oil a pot on medium heat. Place the vegetables and saute for five minutes, or until the onion becomes translucent. Add water and bring to a boil on high heat. Cover and simmer on low for 15 minutes.
- Remove the lid and add the curry roux. Stir constantly until the roux is completely dissolved. Simmer for an additional five minutes, stirring frequently.
- Remove the chicken, let it rest on the wire rack for two minutes before cutting. Chop into slices and serve with curry and rice.
- *I recommend leaving the breadcrumbs in the pan and coating the chicken directly in the cold pan. It won’t make a difference in the cooking, but it saves one extra dish.