Asian Recipes/ Dinner/ Japanese/ Recipes

Easy Japanese Chicken Katsu – Air Fried Chicken Breast

29/07/2021

The crunchiest Japanese Chicken Katsu you’ll make. This is Japanese soul food – air fried chicken breast with a panko crumb that’s ready in 30 minutes, no deep frying required! Pair with homemade tonkatsu sauce for the ultimate combo.

Breaded fried chicken with a drizzle of homemade tonkatsu sauce.

Why We Love This

No deep frying, no mess. Just the crispiest and crunchiest chicken katsu slices you can think of! While tonkatsu is usually a pork cutlet, we love this with chicken – and we’ve usually got some in the fridge or freezer ready to go.

Aside from crumbing the chicken, the air fryer does most of the work so you can relax, or pop together a couple of side dishes – such as a Japanese potato salad or miso soup.

Japanese chicken katsu with cabbage and tonkatsu sauce.

What is Chicken Katsu? 

Chicken Katsu (チキンカツ), also known as tori katsu, is a Japanese crumbed and fried chicken cutlet served with a tonkatsu sauce or with Japanese curry. It’s popular cousin is Tonkatsu aka the pork cutlet version.

Chicken Katsu is not just popular in Japan, you’ll also find it in restaurants in Australia, Hawaii and London!

Our version is cooked with an air fryer, rather than the traditional method of deep frying, which we find to be easier to cook at home and uses way less oil.

What You’ll Need

  • Chicken – Boneless chicken breasts work well, and are similar in thickness to pork tonkatsu cutlets. The air fryer helps to hold in the juice and not let it dry out. Sub with chicken thighs, pork loin or firm tofu!
  • Panko Crumbs – This is what makes it a classic Japanese breaded fried cutlet. The crumb is much coarser than regular bread crumbs, giving you a crispier finish. Sub with regular bread crumbs if you needs.
  • Flour & Cornstarch – The mix of all purpose flour and cornstarch is what helps add to the crispness of the chicken. Sub with potato starch.
  • Cabbage – Napa cabbage has the best flavour for this dish. Finely chop or grate and serve alongside the chicken. Sub with lettuce or make it a Japanese wafu salad.
  • Tonkatsu Sauce – The sauce that brings it all together! We highly encourage you to make your own tonkatsu sauce, or use Bull-Dog brand. Sub with barbecue, tomato, Worcestershire or try another Japanese sauce such as takoyaki, okonomiyaki or yakisoba.
Ingredients laid out to make Japanese chicken katsu.

How to make Air Fried Chicken Katsu:

  1. Lay the chicken breasts between two layers of baking paper, and pound with a rolling pin to flatten. You want an even thickness.
  2. Get out three plates. Place the flour and cornstarch on the first plate and mix. Crack the egg onto the second plate and lightly beat. Pour the panko crumbs, 1 tbsp of oil and optional salt and pepper onto the third plate, roughly mixing together.
  3. Pick up a chicken breast and coat with the flour mix first, then dip into egg and finally, coat with the panko crumbs. Make sure all areas are covered well.
  1. Preheat your air fryer at 180°C / 360°F for 3 minutes. Add in your crumbed chicken, then drizzle another 1 tbsp of oil over the top.
  2. Cook for 10 minutes, then flip over. Oil this side with the final 1 tbsp of oil and cook for a further 10 minutes.
  3. Crank the heat up to 200°C / 400°F and cook for a final 5 minutes or until golden brown. Cooking times may vary between brands, this was cooked in the Ninja Foodi.
  4. Slice and serve with shredded cabbage and tonkatsu sauce.

Wandercook’s Tips

  • Big Knife – Use a big, chunky butcher’s knife for cutting the chicken katsu to achieve a nice even cut without pulling off the crumb.

FAQs

What should you serve with chicken katsu?

Chicken katsu, similar to tonkatsu, is usually served with shredded cabbage or wafu salad and topped with a tonkatsu sauce or Japanese curry.

What’s the best cut of meat to use for chicken katsu?

Boneless chicken breast or thighs work best when air fried. If deep frying, chicken thighs are juicier and won’t dry out as much as chicken breast.

Can you reheat chicken katsu?

Chicken katsu is best eaten straight away while the crumb is at its crunchiest. If you have leftovers, reheat in the air-fryer for the crispiest results.

Variations

Sliced Japanese chicken katsu with tonkatsu sauce in a small dish.

★ Did you make this recipe? Please leave a comment and a star rating below!

Panko crumbed katsu chicken with chopsticks, cabbage and tonkatsu sauce.

Easy Japanese Chicken Katsu – Air Fried Chicken Breast

The crunchiest Japanese Chicken Katsu you’ll make. This is Japanese soul food – air fried chicken breast with a panko crumb that’s ready in 30 minutes, no deep frying required!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Japanese
Servings: 2 people
Calories: 640kcal
Author: Wandercooks
Cost: $10

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken breast boneless, around 500g / 1 pound
  • 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp flour all purpose
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch / cornflour sub potato starch or flour
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil sub cooking oil spray
  • 4 tbsp tonkatsu sauce homemade or Bull-Dog
  • 2 cups napa cabbage shredded finely
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Lay the chicken breasts between two layers of baking paper, and pound with a rolling pin to flatten. You want an even thickness.
  • Get out three plates. Place the flour and cornstarch on the first plate and mix. Crack the egg onto the second plate and lightly beat. Pour the panko crumbs, 1 tbsp of oil and optional salt and pepper onto the third plate, roughly mixing together.
  • Pick up a chicken breast and coat with the flour mix first, then dip into egg and finally, coat with the panko crumbs. Make sure all areas are covered well.
  • Preheat your air fryer at 180°C / 360°F for 3 minutes. Add in your crumbed chicken, then drizzle another 1 tbsp of oil over the top.
  • Cook for 10 minutes, then flip over. Oil this side with the final 1 tbsp of oil and cook for a further 10 minutes.
  • Crank the heat up to 200°C / 400°F and cook for a final 5 minutes or until golden brown. Cooking times may vary between brands, this was cooked in the Ninja Foodi.
  • Slice and serve with shredded cabbage and tonkatsu sauce.

Video

Recipe Notes

  • Chicken – Sub with chicken thighs, pork loin or firm tofu.
  • Panko Crumbs – Sub with regular bread crumbs if you needs.
  • Cabbage – Sub with lettuce or make it a Japanese wafu salad.
  • Tonkatsu Sauce – Sub with barbecue, tomato, Worcestershire or try another Japanese sauce such as takoyaki, okonomiyaki or yakisoba.
  • Big Knife – Use a big, chunky butcher’s knife for cutting the chicken katsu to achieve a nice even cut without pulling off the crumb.
  • Popcorn Chicken – Don’t like a whole big piece of meat? Turn it into popcorn chicken, just served with tonkatsu sauce!
  • Katsu Curry – Make your own Japanese curry roux and and add on top of a bowl of curry udon.

Nutrition

Calories: 640kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 55g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 226mg | Sodium: 799mg | Potassium: 1372mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 455IU | Vitamin C: 28mg | Calcium: 161mg | Iron: 5mg
Hey hey – Did you make this recipe?We’d love it if you could give a star rating below ★★★★★ and show us your creations on Instagram! Snap a pic and tag @wandercooks / #Wandercooks
Easy Japanese Chicken Katsu - Air Fried Chicken Breast

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2 Comments

  • Reply
    Matej @ CookWeWill
    02/08/2021 at 9:16 pm

    Simple recipe and the result looks just amazing, perfect for a busy day. Thanks for sharing the recipe 🙂

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      03/08/2021 at 3:00 pm

      You’re welcome, so glad you enjoyed it! 🙂

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