Chicken Katsu Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Total Time
Prep/Cook Time: 25 min.
Chicken katsu is a juicy, crispy chicken dish that's simple and quick to make at home. It's like a Japanese version of chicken-fried steak!

Updated: Mar. 11, 2024

A Plate of Chicken Katsu With Sliced Cabbage, Sauce and Lemon SlicesTMB studio

It’s hard to resist the crispy texture of chicken katsu. While tonkatsu is the Japanese breaded cutlet traditionally made with pork, this version is an equally delicious dish substituting lean chicken breast in place of pork loin.

The chicken is flattened, coated with panko and pan-fried to create its signature crunch. Serve with steamed short grain white rice, thinly sliced cabbage and a drizzle of sweet and tangy tonkatsu sauce, and you have yourself the best Japanese chicken comfort meal.

Chicken Katsu Ingredients

Here are the key ingredients you need to make the perfect crispy chicken dish.

  • Panko: Panko (Japanese bread crumbs) are what gives chicken katsu its irresistible crunch. The flaky flecks of bread crumbs create the crispy texture on your breaded chicken breast. Definitely don’t substitute for Italian bread crumbs here, as panko is the key ingredient for maximum crispiness!
  • Egg: Egg works as a rich and flavorful binder for the panko to stick to the chicken breast. You can try to make do without by using milk or a flour and cornstarch slurry, but if you can, stick to using egg.
  • Chicken: Chicken breast is the classic lean meat cut to use for katsu. You can use chicken thigh for a richer, juicier option or pork chop for a different flavor profile.
  • Tonkatsu sauce: Beyond the fried chicken itself, a key Japanese ingredient you’ll want to keep in your pantry to enjoy with chicken katsu is tonkatsu sauce. Almost like a Japanese barbecue sauce, its distinct tangy sweet combo of Worcestershire sauce and ketchup help balance the richness.

Directions

Step 1: Flatten and season chicken

Place chicken breasts between two pieces of plastic wrap. Pound chicken breasts with a meat mallet to 1/2-inch thickness. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to season.

Editor’s Tip: If you don’t own a meat mallet, you can use a heavy cast iron pan covered in plastic wrap.

Step 2: Prepare binder and panko

In a wide, shallow bowl, whisk eggs till yolks are mostly smooth. Place flour and panko bread crumbs in separate shallow bowls.

Step 3: Batter chicken

Dip chicken in flour to coat both sides and shake off any excess. Then dip in the whisked eggs and let excess drip off. Lastly, dip in panko bread crumbs, patting evenly to help adhere the coating. Repeat for all four pieces of chicken.

Step 4: Cook chicken

In a deep skillet, heat 1/2-inch of oil over medium-high heat. In batches and being careful not to crowd the pan, fry chicken until golden brown and juices run clear, three to four minutes on each side. Drain on paper towels over a cookie sheet to prevent from getting soggy. Once cooled enough, slice katsu into long strips. Season with a drizzle of tonkatsu sauce.

Editor’s Tip: Check if your oil is hot enough by placing the tip of a wooden spoon in the oil. If bubbles form on the spoon, it’s hot enough! Otherwise, use a kitchen thermometer—it should be about 325°F.

Homemade Katsu Sauce

Katsu is typically served with tonkatsu sauce, also known as katsu sauce. There are lots of store-bought options you can find at the grocery store, but you can also make it easily at home!

Stir together the following ingredients in a bowl and drizzle on top of your finished chicken katsu pieces.

  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons prepared hot mustard (optional, for spice)

Chicken Katsu Tips

Two Plate of Chicken KatsuTMB studio

How do you serve chicken katsu?

Chicken katsu is usually served atop thinly shredded cabbage drizzled with tonkatsu sauce and a heaping bowl of steamed Japanese rice. You can also serve crispy katsu in a bowl with Japanese curry and steamed rice. For something a bit healthier, top slices of katsu on a fresh Asian slaw or salad.

How do you store chicken katsu?

Like most fried foods, it’s best enjoyed fresh. However, if you can’t bring yourself to finish everything, no need to waste. Place your chicken katsu in an airtight container with a paper towel. You can store it for three to five days in the fridge. When it’s time to reheat it, place in a convection oven or air fryer on medium heat until heated through.

Chicken Katsu

Prep Time 25 min
Yield 4 servings.

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (6 ounces each)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • Oil for frying
  • Tonkatsu sauce

Directions

  1. Pound chicken with a meat mallet to 1/2-in. thickness. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. In a shallow bowl, whisk eggs. Place flour and bread crumbs in separate shallow bowls. Dip chicken in flour to coat both sides; shake off excess. Dip in eggs, then in bread crumbs, patting to help coating adhere.
  2. In a deep skillet, heat 1/2 in. of oil over medium-high heat. In batches, fry chicken until golden brown and juices run clear, 3-4 minutes on each side. Drain on paper towels. Serve with sauce.

Nutrition Facts

1 chicken breast half: 387 calories, 22g fat (3g saturated fat), 140mg cholesterol, 542mg sodium, 8g carbohydrate (0 sugars, 0 fiber), 37g protein.

It's hard to resist the crispy texture of chicken katsu. The chicken is flattened, coated with panko and pan-fried to give it that signature crunch. Serve with steamed sushi rice and a drizzle of sweet and tangy tonkatsu sauce. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen