By Nathan Carey
Katsu may just be one of my favourite dishes to make at home. While it was once daunting, modifying the recipe for a home kitchen made it so much more approachable. Traditionally Katsu is a piece of protein that is coated in breadcrumbs and lightly fried (sounds good right?). In Japan you will find most variations centring around a pork cutlet named Tonkatsu, although chicken and seafood varieties also exist. My personal favourite is chicken katsu as chicken is easier to find and is usually cheaper. This recipe is a great mid-week meal as the meat can be marinated overnight and be ready to cook when you get the time. While it can be served on its own or with a side salad, I like to make it a full meal with some rice and a Japanese style curry sauce.
- 2 chicken breasts
- 400ml buttermilk (any plant based milk can also work here)
- 4 tbsp soy sauce
- 100g flour
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp chilli powder
- 2 tsp cracked black pepper
- 2 tsp salt
- 200g panko breadcrumbs
- Vegetable oil
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 carrot chopped
- 8 cloves garlic chopped
- 2cm piece of ginger minced
- 2 tbsp curry powder (mild or hot)
- 1 tsp miso paste
- Chicken stock cube/pot
- Rice to serve
- Slice the chicken breasts in half lengthways so that you are left with 4 evenly sized pieces of chicken.
- Place the chicken in a large bowl with the milk and 2 tbsp soy sauce. Mix well and place in the fridge for at least 2 hours (overnight is best). This step ensures the chicken will be super juicy.
- To make the Japanese curry sauce, add the chopped onion, carrot, ginger and garlic to a pot with a spoonful of vegetable oil. Fry until the vegetables are soft then add a tsp of miso paste along with the curry powder, chilli powder chicken stock cube/pot and the remaining 2tbsp of soy sauce. Top up with about 600mls of water and stir until combined. Simmer for 20 minutes then blend using an immersion blender. Keep warm.
- When you are ready to cook the chicken, place the panko breadcrumbs, flour and beaten eggs into 3 separate dishes. Whisk chilli powder, salt and pepper through the flour. Dredge the chicken first in the spiced flour, then the egg and finally the panko. Be sure to firmly press the breadcrumbs onto the chicken so that no area is left uncoated.
- Once all the chicken is well coated, pour vegetable oil into a frying pan or shallow pot. I suggest pouring until you full coat the bottom of the pan. Heat the oil over medium high heat until it reaches a temperature of around 180°C. Once hot enough gently lay two pieces of chicken into the pan and fry on both sides until golden brown (around 3-4 minutes per side).
- Slice the fried chicken into strips and serve alongside rice and your homemade curry sauce.
- When dredging the chicken keep one hand for the dry steps and one for the wet steps, this will prevent the flour and egg clumping on your hands and will make clean-up easier
- If you do not have a thermometer for the oil, use the end of a wooden spoon. Gently place the end of your spoon into the oil and check for bubbling – if it bubbles, its hot enough!
- The chicken can be marinated and breaded before freezing for up to 1 month, for katsu in a pinch.
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