Chicken Katsu

By: takestwoeggsPosted: 04/11/2022 Updated: 01/12/2023
Prep 5 minutes
Cook 10 minutes
Total 15 minutes
Make this ultra-crispy, juicy, and delicious Japanese chicken katsu at home in under 15 minutes! Pair this chicken katsu recipe with tonkatsu sauce, a steaming bowl of white rice, and some crisp shredded cabbage for the most satisfying weeknight meal.
Chicken Katsu

Make this ultra-crispy, juicy, and delicious Japanese chicken katsu at home in under 15 minutes! Pair this chicken katsu recipe with tonkatsu sauce, a steaming bowl of white rice, and some crisp shredded cabbage for the most satisfying weeknight meal.

Dipping a slice of chicken katsu into homemade katsu sauce.
Click here for this addicting homemade katsu sauce.

Juicy, tender Japanese chicken katsu coated with crispy panko breadcrumbs is one of my favorite things to eat on this planet. The best part about this chicken katsu recipe is that it only takes 15 minutes to make from start to finish.

So let’s normalize making delicious restaurant-quality dishes at home! You can make this katsu chicken recipe a meal by pairing it with my homemade katsu sauce, a bowl of warm rice, and shredded cabbage. If you love katsu but are unsure of deep frying, check out my air fryer tonkatsu and air fryer chicken katsu curry recipes.

Someone pouring homemade katsu sauce on a sliced chicked katsu.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Mouthwatering. There’s honestly nothing better than an ultra tender, crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside Japanese chicken katsu. Your tastebuds will thank you.
  • Quick and Easy. All you need to do is prep, bread, and fry the chicken which can all be done in under 15 minutes!
  • Versatile. You can make this Japanese chicken cutlet to eat with katsu sauce and rice, top it on top of your favorite ramen or pair it with some delicious Japanese curry!
Up close of a sliced chicken katsu dressed with sauce and toasted sesame seeds.

Kitchen Equipment

To make this Japanese panko chicken recipe, you will need the following kitchen equipment.

  • Meat Tenderizer: a meat tenderizer will allow you to create an even thickness and texture in the chicken.
  • Candy Thermometer: frying oil will vary dramatically each time you fry a Japanese chicken cutlet. The best way to monitor the temperature is by using a candy thermometer so that you can adjust the temperature accordingly.
  • Large deep skillet: Since this Japanese panko chicken will be butterflied, the final product will be pretty large. The best way to fry this crispy chicken is to use a large deep skillet that is wide enough to fit the entire chicken breast and deep enough to safely fry.
  • Wire rack: the best way to maintain the crispiness is to let the fried Japanese chicken katsu cool on a wire rack to prevent it from getting soggy.

Ingredients

You can find all of the ingredients for this Japanese chicken cutlet recipe at your local grocery market, Asian grocery market, or online.

  • Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast: typically Japanese chicken katsu is made with butterflied chicken breast. Make sure to bring the chicken breast to room temperature before frying.
  • Salt and Pepper: to season the chicken breast
  • All-Purpose Flour: the flour absorbs any surface moisture of the chicken. Regular all-purpose flour works best.
  • Egg: the egg binds the flour and panko to the chicken creating that beautiful crispy crust.
  • Panko Breadcrumbs: panko breadcrumbs are Japanese breadcrumbs that are lighter and crispier than regular breadcrumbs. They are dryer and flakier which allows them to absorb less oil. I do not recommend substituting panko for any other breadcrumbs.
  • Vegetable Oil: I recommend using vegetable oil because it has a high smoke point and is neutral in flavor. Make sure you have enough vegetable oil to cover the Japanese chicken cutlet for even cooking.

Substitutions

For a traditional chicken katsu recipe, there are not very many substitutions you can make without altering the final dish.

  • Chicken thigh: instead of chicken breast, you can opt for boneless skinless chicken thighs as well.
  • Neutral Oil: canola or peanut oil also make good alternatives to vegetable oil.

How to Make Chicken Katsu

Making this easy under 20-minute chicken katsu recipe will be the most satisfying meal you make all week!

  1. Butterfly the chicken. Butterfly the chicken by slicing the breast horizontally along the long side of the chicken from one side leaving the other intact.
  1. Tenderize and season the chicken. Fold out the chicken, and lightly pound the chicken to tenderize until it is about 1/2 inch thick then season both sides with salt and pepper.
  1. Prepare the breading. Prepare three shallow dishes, 1) with flour, 2) with the lightly beaten egg and 3) with panko bread crumbs.
Flour, egg, and panko crumbs organized for battering chicken breast.
  1. Coat the chicken. Thoroughly coat the chicken with flour, then the beaten eggs, and lastly the panko bread crumbs. Ensure that each side is thoroughly coated and shake off any excess each time.
  1. Fry. In a medium-sized deep pan, heat up about 1-2 inches of vegetable or any neutral oil over medium-high heat until it reaches 340°F or 170°C. Place one coated chicken katsu into the oil and cook for 3 minutes before flipping and cooking for another 3-4 minutes. Cook the chicken until golden brown.
Frying the breaded chicken breast in oil.
  1. Serve. Let the chicken cool slightly on a wire rack before slicing it into strips. Serve with rice, shredded cabbage, and katsu sauce. Enjoy!

Tips for the Best Chicken Katsu

  • Tenderize your chicken! This ensures even cooking time for your chicken. Tenderizing the chicken creates an even thickness throughout your chicken breast and yields more tender, juicer, and tastier meat.
  • Bring your chicken breast to room temperature. About 30 minutes before cooking the chicken cutlet, I recommend taking the chicken out of the refrigerator and bringing the chicken to room temperature so that the chicken can cook more evenly.
  • Dust off excess flour and panko. When breading the chicken breast, firmly press the flour and panko breadcrumbs onto the chicken to thoroughly coat it. Then lift the chicken and shake off any excess to prevent the breading from falling off when you fry the chicken.
  • Use a candy thermometer to monitor the oil temperature. I HIGHLY recommend placing a thermometer inside your skillet to monitor the oil temperature at all times. Too hot—may burn the breading before the chicken finishes cooking. Too cold—the chicken katsu will be overly greasy and hold too much oil. The optimal oil temperature you want to maintain is 340 ºF (170 ºC).
  • Scoop up the fallen panko crumbs. In between each batch of katsu chicken, scoop out the dropped breadcrumbs in the oil to prevent them from burning in the oil and changing the flavor of the oil.
  • Cool on a wire rack. Before serving, I recommend cooling the Japanese chicken cutlet on a wire rack for at least 5 minutes so that the excess oil can drip off and prevent the crispy crust from getting soggy.

Storage Instructions

This katsu chicken recipe is best served immediately for the ultimate crunch. However, you can store any Japanese chicken cutlet leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, the best way to maintain the crispy outer layer is to heat it in the oven at 350ºF (176 ºC) until warm.

Frequently Asked Q’s & A’s

What is chicken katsu?

Chicken katsu, (チキンカツ), also known as panko chicken is a Japanese dish made with chicken breast that is breaded with flour, egg, and panko bread crumbs and then deep fried. Essentially it is the Japanese version of a chicken schnitzel or a large chicken tender.

What does katsu chicken taste like?

Katsu tastes essentially like a giant ultra-crispy chicken tender that is dipped in a tangy umami katsu sauce.

How do you serve Japanese chicken katsu?

Japanese panko chicken is typically served with tonkatsu sauce, shredded cabbage, and white rice.

This chicken katsu recipe is also very versatile and can be used as a ramen or udon topper, paired with a delicious Japanese curry, or in between a sandwich for a chicken katsu sando.

Can you freeze chicken katsu?

Yes! After you fry the Japanese chicken cutlet, let it cool completely before storing it in a freezer-safe airtight container. This Japanese panko chicken will last in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Freezing is a perfect option if you want to double or triple this katsu chicken recipe. To reheat, bake the frozen chicken katsu on a lined baking sheet in the oven at 350ºF (176 ºC) for about 15 minutes or until warm.

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Recipe

Up close of a plate with sliced chicken katsu with sauce and cabbage nearby.

Chicken Katsu

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Make this ultra-crispy, juicy, and delicious Japanese chicken katsu at home in under 15 minutes! Pair this chicken katsu recipe with tonkatsu sauce, a steaming bowl of white rice, and some crisp shredded cabbage for the most satisfying weeknight meal.
Servings: 2
Print Recipe

Ingredients

Serve

  • Katsu sauce
  • Shredded cabbage
  • Rice

Instructions

  • Butterfly the chicken. Butterfly the chicken by slicing the breast horizontally along the long side of the chicken from one side leaving the other intact.
  • Tenderize and season the chicken. Fold out the chicken, and lightly pound the chicken to tenderize until it is about 1/2 inch thick then season both sides with salt and pepper.
  • Prepare the breading. Prepare three shallow dishes, 1) with flour, 2) with the lightly beaten egg and 3) with panko bread crumbs.
  • Coat the chicken. Thoroughly coat both sides of the chicken with flour, then the beaten eggs, and lastly the panko bread crumbs. Shake off any excess between each step and make sure to press on the panko bread crumbs to thoroughly coat the chicken.
  • Fry. In a medium-sized deep pan, heat up about 1-2 inches of vegetable or any neutral oil over medium-high heat until it reaches 340°F or 170°C. Place one coated chicken katsu into the oil and cook for 3 minutes before flipping and cooking for another 3-4 minutes. Cook the chicken until golden brown.
  • Serve. Let the chicken cool slightly on a wire rack before slicing into strips. Serve with rice, shredded cabbage and katsu sauce. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Tenderize your chicken! This ensures even cooking time for your chicken. Tenderizing the chicken creates an even thickness throughout your chicken breast and yields more tender, juicer, and tastier meat.
  • Bring your chicken breast to room temperature. About 30 minutes before cooking the chicken cutlet, I recommend taking the chicken out of the refrigerator and bringing the chicken to room temperature so that the chicken can cook more evenly.
  • Dust off excess flour and panko. When breading the chicken breast, firmly press the flour and panko breadcrumbs onto the chicken to thoroughly coat it. Then lift the chicken and shake off any excess to prevent the breading from falling off when you fry the chicken.
  • Use a candy thermometer to monitor the oil temperature. I HIGHLY recommend placing a thermometer inside your skillet to monitor the oil temperature at all times. Too hot—may burn the breading before the chicken finishes cooking. Too cold—the chicken katsu will be overly greasy and hold too much oil. The optimal oil temperature you want to maintain is 340 ºF (170 ºC).
  • Scoop up the fallen panko crumbs. In between each batch of katsu chicken, scoop out the fallen breadcrumbs in the oil to prevent them from burning in the oil and changing the flavor of the oil.
  • Cool on a wire rack. Before serving, I recommend cooling the chicken cutlet on a wire rack for at least 5 minutes so that the excess oil can drip off and prevent the crispy crust from getting soggy.
  • Storage Instructions: this recipe is best served immediately for the ultimate crunch. However, you can store any leftover chicken cutlet in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, the best way to maintain the crispy outer layer is to heat it in the oven at 350ºF (176 ºC) until warm.

Nutrition:

Calories: 528kcal | Carbohydrates: 78g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 101mg | Sodium: 1649mg | Potassium: 440mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 0.1g | Vitamin A: 36IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 11mg | Iron: 1mg

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