Chicken Katsu with Homemade Tonkatsu Sauce

5 from 1 vote

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One of my dream meals: this chicken katsu recipe with homemade tonkatsu sauce! Served with thinly sliced cabbage salad and fluffy white rice! Truly, so good. It starts off with brined chicken tossed in potato starch and crispy panko breadcrumbs, fried to perfection & then sliced! ⁠I’ll never forget my first pork tonkatsu experience in Hawaii and every time I make this; it just brings me back to those meals! SO so delicious.⁠ This recipe is heavily inspired by that trip.

What is chicken katsu?

Chicken katsu (or tori katsu) is a popular Japanese dish that is made of fried chicken breaded in panko crumbs. It is popular is other areas of the world like Hawaii as well. It is often made with pork cutlets (Tonkatsu) and served with toasted sesame seeds, a tonkatsu sauce and cabbage.

What ingredients do you need for this easy chicken katsu recipe?

Chicken: We are using chicken breasts that we’ve pounded into chicken cutlets, but chicken thighs work as well. You can also opt to use pork cutlet’s here as well.

For the chicken breading: we are using potato starch (all purpose flour can work, too), large eggs, panko bread crumbs and vegetable oil for frying. Feel free to use any of your favorite neutral oil for this recipe.

For the cabbage salad: you’ll need green cabbage (shredded), green onions, mayo (I love Kewpie mayo) and dijon mustard.

How do you make homemade easy katsu sauce? We are using ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, sugar (brown sugar works here as well!), dijon mustard, garlic and you can also add on mirin as well. You can also opt to purchase store bought tonkatsu sauce if you would like to skip this step.

I love to make this homemade and it is the most perfect dipping sauce filled with sweetness, tartness, savory flavors and is just an amazing condiment. You can serve your homemade katsu sauce like this, or you can include it in sandwiches or dipped in anything you desire!

Chicken Katsu with Tonkatsu Sauce

Instructions to Make Your Chicken Katsu and Sauce

Brine your chicken

Brine your chicken overnight by placing in a closed container or bag filled with water, salt, and pepper to taste. I love the extra flavor and tenderness of brining the night before, or two days before, it really makes all the difference!

Pound your chicken

When you’re ready to assemble, remove from the wet brine and pat dry. If you are using skinless chicken breasts, start by beating your chicken and season with salt and pepper. I like to place the chicken in a plastic bag and pound with a tenderizer/mallot or heavy pan to make the chicken thin.

Prep your slaw and katsu sauce

Before you start breading your chicken, make your cabbage slaw and prepare your Tonkatsu sauce by mixing ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, sesame seeds, soy sauce, sugar, dijon mustard, garlic powder and salt and pepper. Set aside.

To make your cabbage salad, thinly slice cabbage and toss with green cabbage, green onions, mayo (preferably Kewpie Japanese mayo), dijon mustard and salt and pepper to taste.

Prep your frying station

Next, get your frying station ready by making a plate or shallow bowls of potato starch, a plate of panko breadcrumbs and a bowl of beaten eggs.

Fry!

In a deep pot or skillet, heat up vegetable or canola oil (or any neutral oil of choice) Once it’s hot, start to dredge your chicken in potato flour, then the eggs, then the panko, deep fry until evenly cooked and crispy, and golden brown (about 15-20 minutes).

Assemble, slice and serve

Remove the katsu from the oil on a plate lined with paper towels to shake off any excess oil and let rest for 5 minutes, slice into thin slices/strips and serve with your tonkatsu sauce to dip with your chicken and cabbage slaw.

Tips, Tricks and Substitutions for Tonkatsu Chicken

Is it possible to bake this chicken katsu recipe in the oven? Yes, on a baking sheet with parchment, line a wire rack with your breaded and pounded chicken. Bake until golden brown, and cooking throughout, flipping halfway.

How can I prep this ahead of time? You can also fry your chicken, make your cabbage and sauce and just place in the refrigerator, in an airtight container. When you’re ready to eat it, just heat up your chicken and serve. It’s definitely a wonderful meal prep option as well.

What other proteins can be subbed here? You can use any cut of chicken that you love, pork and even shrimp would work great here.

More chicken recipes you’ll love

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Chicken Katsu with Tonkatsu Sauce
5 from 1 vote

Chicken Katsu with Homemade Tonkatsu Sauce

One of my dream meals: this chicken katsu recipe with homemade tonkatsu sauce! Served with thinly sliced cabbage salad and fluffy white rice!
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients 

For The Chicken

  • 2 pounds chicken breasts, pounded down evenly
  • 2 cups potato starch
  • 2 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • 4 large eggs beaten
  • 3 cups vegetable or canola oil, for frying
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For The Cabbage Slaw

  • 1/2 medium green cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 2 sprigs sliced green onions
  • 1/3 cup mayo
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Tonkatsu Sauce

  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds, grinded
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions 

  • Brine your chicken. Brine your chicken overnight by placing in a closed container or bag filled with water, salt, and pepper to taste. I love the extra flavor and tenderness of brining the night before, or two days before, it really makes all the difference!
  • Pound your chicken. When you're ready to assemble, remove from the wet brine and pat dry. If you are using skinless chicken breasts, start by beating your chicken and season with salt and pepper. I like to place the chicken in a plastic bag and pound with a tenderizer/mallot or heavy pan to make the chicken thin.
  • Prep your slaw and katsu sauce. Before you start breading your chicken, make your cabbage slaw and prepare your Tonkatsu sauce by mixing ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, sesame seeds, soy sauce, sugar, dijon mustard, garlic powder and salt and pepper. Set aside.
  • To make your cabbage salad, thinly slice cabbage and toss with green cabbage, green onions, mayo (preferably Kewpie Japanese mayo), dijon mustard and salt and pepper to taste.
  • Prep your frying station. Next, get your frying station ready by making a plate or shallow bowls of potato starch, a plate of panko breadcrumbs and a bowl of beaten eggs.
  • In a deep pot or skillet, heat up vegetable or canola oil (or any neutral oil of choice) Once it’s hot, start to dredge your chicken in potato flour, then the eggs, then the panko, deep fry until evenly cooked and crispy, and golden brown (about 15-20 minutes).
  • Assemble, slice and serve. Remove the katsu from the oil on a plate lined with paper towels to shake off any excess oil and let rest for 5 minutes, slice into thin slices/strips and serve with your tonkatsu sauce to dip with your chicken and cabbage slaw.

Nutrition

Calories: 838kcal, Carbohydrates: 99g, Protein: 59g, Fat: 22g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 10g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5g, Trans Fat: 0.1g, Cholesterol: 153mg, Sodium: 1244mg, Potassium: 1849mg, Fiber: 6g, Sugar: 13g, Vitamin A: 193IU, Vitamin C: 8mg, Calcium: 142mg, Iron: 4mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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4 Comments

    1. Yes! You can use rice flour as a sub! You can also take out the flour all together if that’s what you prefer, and just fry in panko. (chicken in egg wash, then in panko, then fry). You can also oven bake if you want it healthier. 🙂

  1. 5 stars
    So yummy and impressed my husband! 2 C of potato starch seemed insane, so I started with 1 C and had more than enough. Also, there isn’t an indication of how much Panko to use, but I just kept adding more as needed. I was skeptical of the tonkatsu at first as it seemed too ketchup-y, but after it sat for a while the flavors really came together to make a great dipping sauce. I’ll definitely make again!!