Chicken Katsu with Tonkatsu Sauce

Have you tried Chicken Katsu in a Japanese restaurant? You can make this delicious boneless chicken cutlet at home. Armed with this recipe, you will have juicy chicken with an irresistible crispy crust.

sliced chicken katsu with tonkatsu sauce and rice on a platter.


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What makes this Katsu Chicken recipe so good?

Who doesn’t love chicken with a crispy texture? One of the standout features of chicken katsu is its crispy exterior. Panko breadcrumbs are used, and they deliver a crunch that satisfies. The inside of this crunchy delight is tender and seasoned to perfection. Chicken katsu is versatile, it can be served on top of a bred of rice, on top of a bed of cabbage, in a sandwich, or even as a topping for curry.

Why you will love this recipe

The ingredients are simple, so the flavor of your chicken will shine through. In less than 30 minutes, you can make crispy chicken that rivals any restaurant you will visit. You have endless possibilities in how you will serve this chicken.

What is Chicken Katsu?

The Japanese word katsu means cutlet in English and refers to meat pounded thin before being cooked. Chicken katsu is a Japanese dish known as panko chicken or tori katsu. Think of it as Japanese-style fried chicken.

Seasoned chicken is coated with panko breadcrumbs that are light and crispy when cooked. You get a satisfying crunch and a taste of moist and juicy chicken.

Chicken katsu is traditionally served with white rice and tonkatsu sauce, a thick and tangy Japanese vegetarian brown sauce. (You can see how to make this sauce below.) Don’t be afraid of making a Japanese dish – this one is straightforward.

This easy chicken katsu recipe can also make tonkatsu (Japanese-style fried pork) – substitute pork cutlets for the chicken.

What does Katsu taste like?

If you have never tried Katsu, it is a crispy and crunchy breading that is deep-fried. If you like chicken cutlets or chicken tenders, you will love this flavor.

If you have never been to a Japanese restaurant, I think this is one of the most approachable chicken entrees you can try. This Japanese chicken cutlet is like an elevated chicken fried chicken steak.

What is the difference between Katsu and Tonkatsu?

Chicken Katsu is made of thinly sliced chicken breasts. Tonkatsu is the same dish but made with pork. So if you want to make this recipe with pork, I recommend using thin slices of pork loin. Follow the same directions as listed below.

What are panko breadcrumbs?

If you’re unfamiliar with panko, rest assured that it’s not strange or complicated. Panko is simply a type of breadcrumb slightly different from ordinary breadcrumbs.

The difference lies in the particular kind of white bread that panko is made from. Panko is derived from a Japanese word used extensively for light breading in Japanese cooking.

Panko bread crumbs are lighter, crispier, and flakier than ordinary breadcrumbs. Because panko is not heavy, it absorbs less oil and grease, creating a wonderfully golden and crisp coating.

You can make your own panko or buy it at most supermarkets and, of course, from Amazon.

What is tonkatsu sauce?

Tonkatsu sauce, aka Chicken Katsu sauce, is a Japanese-style barbecue sauce. It’s rich, tangy, and perfect for dipping your favorite fried food or drizzling on sandwiches. You can also buy this sauce already prepared.

You can easily make this sauce yourself with ingredients you probably already have on hand – ketchup, Worcestershire Sauce, soy sauce, and a bit of freshly minced garlic or even garlic powder.

What does tonkatsu sauce taste like?

If you have never tried this savory sauce, it is like steak sauce but with a slightly different kick with soy sauce. It is the perfect sauce for this dish; you may want to try it with other fried meats. It’s so easy to make, and when you make it at home, you always have enough!

Tonkatsu sauce tastes great on chicken, pork, and beef. I have even used it to dip egg rolls into!

slices of chicken katsu and white rice on a black plate.

Chicken Katsu Ingredients

There are two components to this chicken katsu recipe katsu chicken and katsu sauce.

Here’s what you need for the katsu chicken:

  • Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Salt
  • All-purpose flour
  • Large eggs
  • Water
  • Panko breadcrumbs
  • Vegetable oil for cooking

Here’s what you need for the chicken katsu sauce:

  • Ketchup
  • Soy sauce
  • Brown sugar
  • Mirin (rice wine)
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Fresh ginger root
  • Garlic cloves
ingredients for katsu chicken on a baking sheet.

How to Make Tonkatsu Sauce

  1. Place ketchup, soy sauce, brown sugar, mirin, Worcestershire sauce, grated ginger, and finely minced garlic in a bowl. Stir to combine.
  2. Prepare the sauce at least 30 minutes before using it.
tonkatsu sauce ingredients in a bowl

How to Make Chicken Katsu

  1. Place halved chicken breasts between plastic wrap and gently pound out the chicken to about ¼-inch thick.
  2. Salt the chicken liberally, cover it, and place it in the refrigerator for about 1 hour.
salted chicken breasts in a dish.
  1. Set up a breading station with three shallow bowls. The first one with all-purpose flour, the second with eggs beaten with water, and the third with panko breadcrumbs.
  2. Place chicken in the flour, turn to coat it on all sides, then shake off any excess flour.
  3. Dip the floured chicken into the egg mixture, coat it well, then shake off any excess.
  4. Dredge the chicken in Panko breadcrumbs. Shake off excess.
  5. Place the breaded chicken on a wire rack.
panko breaded chicken breasts on a wire rack.
  1. Preheat the oven to 200°F.
  2. Add enough vegetable oil or canola oil to a large cast-iron or stainless steel skillet to be ½-inch deep. Heat the oil over medium-high heat to 350 degrees F.
  3. Deep fry the chicken in the pan and cook it for 1 to 2 minutes, just until the crust sets. Flip the chicken over and cook it for 1 to 2 minutes. Continue cooking the chicken and flipping it over until it is golden brown on both sides.
  4. Remove the chicken from the skillet. Drain excess grease by placing it on a clean wire rack over a baking sheet. I don’t recommend using placing the chicken on paper towels because it will steam and the crust will get soggy. Place the chicken in the 200°F oven to finish cooking (until the internal temperature is 165°F degrees when checked with an instant-read thermometer).
  5. Cut the chicken into thin strips and serve with katsu sauce and rice.

Recipe variations

If you need a gluten-free version, you can purchase gluten-free panko crumbs.

What can you serve with Chicken Katsu?

Serving homemade Chicken Katsu with complementary side dishes that will help round out the meal. Here are some options:

  1. Steamed White Rice: A classic pairing, providing a neutral base that complements the crispy chicken.
  2. Japanese Curry: Adding a rich and flavorful curry alongside Chicken Katsu creates a hearty and satisfying meal.
  3. Cabbage Salad: A light and refreshing side, often thinly sliced and dressed with a light vinaigrette.
  4. Miso Soup: A warm and comforting choice that adds a traditional Japanese touch.
  5. Pickled Vegetables: Such as radishes or cucumbers, offering a tangy contrast to the fried chicken.
  6. Soba Noodles: Cold or hot, these buckwheat noodles can be a delightful side, especially when seasoned with a light sauce.
  7. Tempura Vegetables: For an indulgent meal, adding various tempura-fried vegetables can be delightful.
  8. Sweet Corn: Either as a simple boiled corn or a more flavorful corn salad.
  9. Fried Rice: A more flavorful and filling option compared to plain white rice.
  10. Green Beans or Broccoli: Lightly steamed or sautéed with garlic, these vegetables can add a healthy and crunchy element to the meal.

These sides can balance the flavors and textures, making the Chicken Katsu meal more enjoyable and well-rounded.

Make Chicken Katsu for Dinner!

Everyone loves fried chicken, and everyone will love this crunchy and delicious copycat chicken katsu recipe. It’s a winner’s dinner! Serve with tonkatsu sauce or your favorite barbecue sauce. (See above for how to make your own tonkatsu sauce.) Tell me how your family enjoyed this Japanese fried chicken recipe – I love hearing from my fellow cooks.

chicken katsu with tonkatsu sauce and white rice on a platter.

How to Store Chicken Katsu Leftovers

  • Refrigerate – in an airtight container for up to 5 days. I recommend waiting until the chicken has cooled to room temperature so it remains super crispy.
  • Freeze – Place in the freezer in an airtight container or double wrap it in plastic for up to 3 months.

Best Ways to Reheat Chicken Katsu

When you reheat this, you will want to keep the breading crispy. Because of this, I recommend reheating it in an air fryer at 350°F for 4 to 5 minutes or heating it in the oven at 350°F for 5 to 8 minutes until it is warm.

Want to try your hand at more copycat Japanese recipes? Here are some for you

Best Crispy Chicken Recipes

Check out more of my Japanese and Chinese meals and the best chicken copycat recipes.

sliced chicken katsu with tonkatsu sauce and rice on a platter.

Katsu Chicken

Chicken cutlets have never been so crispy and delicious. Enjoy these crispy katsu chicken cutlets tonight!
4.98 from 67 votes
Print Pin Rate Add to Collection
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: chicken cutlet, katsu chicken
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 760kcal

Ingredients

Katsu Sauce

  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon mirin
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon finely minced garlic

Chicken Katsu

  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast cut in half horizontally
  • salt
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons water
  • 3 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • vegetable oil for cooking

Instructions

Katsu Sauce

  • Place all of the ingredients in a small bowl, and stir to combine.
  • Let the sauce rest at least 30 minutes before serving.

Chicken Katsu

  • Place halved chicken breast between some plastic wrap and gently pound out the chicken until it is about ¼ inch thick.
  • Salt the chicken liberally, cover, and place in the refrigerator for about 1 hour. This will help the chicken break down and become super juicy. You could omit this step, but the chicken will come out better if you let the chicken rest.
  • Set up a breading station with three bowls. Place the all-purpose flour into one bowl. Beat the eggs and 1 1/2 tablespoons of water together very well, and pour into a second bowl. Place the panko breadcrumbs into the third bowl.
  • Coat the chicken as follows: Place the chicken into the flour and shake off any excess. Dip into the egg wash, coat well, and shake off any excess. Dredge in the panko breadcrumbs.
  • Place the coated chicken on a wire rack.
  • Preheat the oven to 200°F.
  • Add enough vegetable oil to coat the bottom ½ inch of either an iron skillet or a stainless steel pan and heat to 350°F. Your pan should be large enough not to overcrowd the chicken.
  • Add the chicken to the pan and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, just until the crust sets.
  • Flip over and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Continue cooking the chicken and flipping it over until it is golden brown on both sides.
  • Remove the chicken and place on a clean wire rack. Place into the preheated oven to finish cooking. Depending on the thickness of your chicken, the chicken may need another 7 or 8 minutes of cooking. Chicken should be 165°F before consuming.
  • When the chicken is fully cooked, cut into thin strips that you can pick up with chopsticks.
  • Serve with rice, tonkatsu sauce, or your favorite brown sauce.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 760kcal | Carbohydrates: 68g | Protein: 39g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 25g | Cholesterol: 195mg | Sodium: 509mg | Potassium: 603mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 212IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 114mg | Iron: 5mg

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home, and CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Shery Sullivan

    5 stars
    This will definitely be added to my favorite recipes. You make everything so easy for us. I’m thinking of even doing this for company that’s coming. Thanks for explaining in such easy to understand language.

  2. WinnieBear

    5 stars
    Thank you Stephanie..I’m always looking for ways to change up chicken dinners! My question is can this be made in the air fryer and if so, do you have a recommended time/temp?

    • Stephanie Manley

      You can make it in an air fryer, I would bake it at 350 for about 10 minutes. Bread the same way, but before you pop them into the air fryer spray the breaded chicken with non-stick spray otherwise the panko will not brown.

  3. Maria

    Made this dish tonight and it was delicious. It was crunchy on the outside and juicy in the middle. My family loved it. Thank you so much❤️

  4. Skye

    5 stars
    Wonderful recipe! I definitely recommend, the only suggestion I would make is use way less flour and eggs because I ended up wasting an 1-2 eggs and 1.5 cups of all purpose flour. Authentic and traditional to the Japanese Katsu, Also loved the sauce too!

  5. Lesa Gilson

    Made this tonight. Hubby loved it and the leftover chicken will be great for sandwiches or in a salad. Thanks for the recipe

  6. Susan Osborne

    5 stars
    It love this recipe! Always used pork, but chicken is the new white meat in this house!! So tender. Instructions are so precise and easy. My husband loves it. Forgot the green onions at the store. Next time…right!! Now the sauce. You have to make the the sauce to make it a true Japanese fried chicken dish and this one has zest and flavor that compliments the meat. Served over rice.
    Best recipe I found online.!!!
    Thank you so much!!

  7. Maureen

    5 stars
    This was excellent and moist. I really didn’t know either how much salt to put on the chicken in the beginning, thank goodness I wasn’t heavy handed. They were crunchy and delicious. The recipe was a bit confusing with the temp for the “oil” and the temp to keep the chicken warm while the rest of them cooked. I also made the bbq it was a bit tangy, plus I love fresh ginger so I added a lot more.
    This is a keeper. Thank you.

  8. SD

    Hi! This recipe sounds great but I’m so confused with steps 5, 6 and 7. You heat the oven to 350 but also 200? And do you cook the chicken in the oven or as step 7 says in the pan? Thanks in advance for clarifying!

    • Stephanie

      I am asking you to heat the oil in the pan to 350 degrees. I am asking you to heat the oven to 200 degrees so you can keep the chicken warm it until you are ready to serve. You could the chicken in the pan, if you can’t fit all of the chicken in at once, please keep it in a warm oven.

  9. Britt

    5 stars
    I NEVER leave comments, but this is so GOOD!! My picky kids and husband said to keep it on the menu and the sauce is awesome. Thank you!

  10. Ha Nguyen

    5 stars
    I used this recipe to make chicken katsu for the first time ans it came out successfully! So simple but so tasty. I cant wait to make it again for my other family members. Thank you so much for sharing this ❤️❤️ !!

  11. Madz

    5 stars
    I came across this recipe a few months ago and it’s become a family favourite! Thank you for making it so easy 🙂 I love making this with breast tenderloins, it’s extra juicy!

  12. Brooke

    I’m confused about some things in this recipe. You noted we can use butter and garlic POWDER to make the Tonkatsu sauce, but in the list of ingredients for the sauce, you listed minced garlic instead. Butter wasn’t listed, you had down mirin and grated ginger. So which is it?

    Also you wrote in your recipe, “Your pan should be large enough not to overcrowd the chicken.” twice. LOL

    • Stephanie

      Thank you for letting me know about my saying garlic power, in the text above the recipe, I have amended the text to match the recipe. Fresh garlic is always best, garlic powder is a sad substitute. I’ll fire my proofreader immediately!

  13. Kathleen

    5 stars
    We made this tonight, and it was very good, it is a keeper. The sauce was so delicious, the garlic and ginger in it really makes it. Thank you so much😊

    • Stephanie

      Yes, the 200 degree oven is to keep all of the chicken warm as you cook it. I want something that will help finish the cooking process, but not to overcook the chicken.

4.98 from 67 votes (49 ratings without comment)

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