Crispy panko breaded chicken hugged between shredded cabbage and sesame buns and smothered in a rich creamy curry sauce, this easy chicken katsu curry sliders recipe will keep you coming back for seconds and thirds.
These Japanese chicken katsu curry sliders are honestly the most flavorful, crispy, and delicious sandwiches that you HAVE to try. It has sweet and savory notes, the juiciest chicken thighs, crispy breading, fresh-cut shredded cabbage, and toasted buttered buns. Pair this with your favorite matcha latte--matcha dalgona, strawberry matcha boba latte, mango matcha latte boba-- and you have yourself a real treat!
Who loves fried chicken but doesn't love the negative consequences? For me, anything crispy and fried is my KRYPTONITE. I love it. I crave it. And I have to have it. However, my stomach disagrees with me when it comes to deep-fried foods. The solution: air fryer. The air fryer gives me that juicy crispy fried chicken taste and texture without any of the pain or guilt! It is seriously a win-win situation. Ever since I received my Cosori Air Fryer on my birthday it's been my favorite kitchen appliance!
What is Japanese curry?
Japanese curry has a thicker consistency and sweeter taste than Indian curry. The sweetness stems from the caramelized onions, carrots, apples, and honey.
Japanese curry was brought over to Japan from India by the British. It gained popularity with the Japanese Army and Navy and became common in school cafeterias. By the 1950s the curry roux in block form was introduced by S&B foods so that the everyday home cook can make it quickly and easily at home.
Japanese curry is commonly served in three main forms curry rice, curry udon and curry bread.
Japanese Curry Roux Brands
There are a variety of Japanese curry roux brands to use. There's Java curry, Belmont curry, Golden curry, Vermont curry, and Kokumaru curry. After reading countless articles about which brand to go with, we decided on Kokumaru curry made by House Foods. We believe that this brand has the best color, thick texture, and taste. Kokumaru is well balanced, rich, and has a toasty onion flavor with a hint of clove. It comes in medium or hot so you can select whichever spice level you can handle. You can buy Kokumaru curry online or in your local Japanese or Asian grocery market. You can experiment with the different curry roux that you find and even mix them together!
Ingredients for This Recipe
- Chicken: You can use chicken breast or chicken thigh for this recipe. I am a sucker for dark meat so I always use chicken thigh.
- All-Purpose Flour: seals in the chicken and prevents it from being tough. Using all-purpose flour is the best choice because it can withstand high heat.
- Egg: binds the flour and the panko bread crumbs to the chicken.
- Panko bread crumbs: Panko is a Japanese breadcrumb made from purely white bread. The panko flakes are larger than bread crumbs that provide a light and airy texture giving the Tonkatsu that beautiful crispy finish.
- Curry Roux: the invention of the instant curry roux was a game-changer for making Japanese curry at home. This dramatically shortens the time to make Japanese curry at home. We used the Kokumaru curry brand and absolutely loved it.
- Onion and garlic: The onion and garlic add more seasoning and flavor to the curry roux.
- Apple and Honey: the apple and honey together are the secret ingredients to Japanese curry. They are what brings out a subtle form of sweetness that makes Japanese curry so distinct from other curries.
- Chicken Broth: the chicken broth adds another layer of flavor to the curry roux. If you don't have chicken broth at hand you can also use water.
How to Make This Recipe
These katsu chicken curry sliders are really easy to make. All you need to do is 1) make the katsu chicken and 2) whip up the curry sauce and 3) serve!
Make the Katsu Chicken
- Prepare the chicken. Using a meat tenderizer, pound the chicken until the thickness of the chicken is even. If you have a large chicken breast or thigh, slice the chicken in about ½ inch thick slices. Dry the chicken with a paper towel. Generously season with salt with pepper. Set aside.
- Brown the panko crumbs. Add the panko crumbs into a frying pan on medium-low heat and gently toss until medium brown. Then transfer to a bowl or tray
- Prepare the egg and flour bowls. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk the eggs. In a separate bowl, add the flour.
- Coat the chicken. First, dredge the chicken in flour and shake off the excess. Second, dip the chicken into the eggs and drip off the excess. Lastly, coat the chicken in the panko and remove any excess.
- Cook the chicken. Preheat the air fryer to 330ºF and cook for 7 minutes.
- Then increase the heat to 380ºF and flip and cook for 4 minutes. The time might vary depending on how large your cuts are. You can test by slicing the chicken in half to see if it is still raw. If raw, cook for another 2-3 minutes.
Make the Japanese Curry.
- Prepare the vegetables and apple. Peel and wedge cut the onion. Peel and mince the garlic. Grate the apple. Set aside.
- Cook the onion and garlic. In a medium pot over medium-high heat, pour in 1 tbsp of olive oil in the pot and saute the onion and garlic until browned translucent and fragrant.
- Add in the chicken stock, honey and apple. Pour in the chicken stock, honey, and grated apple. Bring the pot to a boil then turn down the heat to simmer until the potatoes and carrots are soft about 15 minutes. Cover the pot with a to prevent the moisture from leaving.
- Prepare curry roux. Turn off the heat, scoop about 1 ladle of the liquid and pour it into a separate saucepan. Break the curry roux and add it to this separate saucepan. Stir to dissolve.
- Add the roux back into the first pot. Add the dissolved curry roux back into the original pot with the vegetables and mix to combine. Simmer on low for 10 minutes until the sauce has thickened. Stir occasionally.
- Serve with chicken katsu, shredded cabbage, and toasted buns.
Tips for this Recipe
- Dredge the chicken in the flour first. This is important so that the eggs and breadcrumbs have something to bind to and will not fall off.
- Don't forget the apple and honey! These are the secret ingredients in Japanese curry that give it that subtle sweetness that pairs so nicely with the rich curry flavor.
- Dissolve the curry roux in a separate sauce pan. This extra step will guarantee that there are no large undissolved pieces of the curry roux in your curry.
These chicken katsu curry sliders are best served immediately for its optimal crunch factor. But you may also store the cooled chicken katsu separated from the curry in an airtight container for up to 3 days. The chicken katsu may lose its crunch but you can reheat it in the air fryer or oven to crisp it back up.