Crispy Breaded Chicken Katsu Recipe

If you've never tried chicken katsu, then you're missing out on some delicious Japanese-style comfort food. Fried chicken is pretty popular across various countries and cultures, and katsu is one of the many examples in which breading and frying chicken turns out to be irresistibly tasty. Paired with a homemade tonkatsu sauce, as recipe developer Jennine Rye prepares her crispy chicken katsu, you have a winning meal that will surely please any palate. 

"I love how the chicken ends up so tender and juicy, and how crispy the outside is," Rye raves about this dish. She also loves "how beautifully [the chicken] pairs with the smokey rich flavor of the tonkatsu sauce," all while acknowledging that this is "really a very straightforward recipe to follow." Frying chicken at home can definitely seem daunting, but it really is a quick and easy way to cook chicken, and the crispy-on-the-outside, juicy-on-the-inside result is very worth it. If you're looking for a new way to cook and enjoy chicken, you surely can't go wrong with this crispy chicken katsu. 

Gather the ingredients for crispy chicken katsu

While chicken katsu is often made using chicken breasts, Rye opts for thighs, along with flour, an egg (whisked), and panko breadcrumbs for the coating. "The recipe would work well with another type of breadcrumb, though I do think panko is best," Rye notes. 

For the tonkatsu sauce, you'll need ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, oyster sauce, and mustard. Finally, you'll need some salt and pepper to taste, along with some sesame seeds as an optional garnish. 

Rye notes that you can swap out the chicken and make another popular variation of katsu: "If chicken is not your thing, this recipe is also commonly made with pork as well."

Mix up the tonkatsu sauce

To get started, go ahead and mix the tonkatsu sauce. Add the ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, oyster sauce, and mustard to a small bowl, then whisk until you have a smooth and cohesive sauce. Then, set this sauce aside for a bit.

Flatten, season, and bread the chicken

It's important that each piece of chicken is uniform in size so that they all fry and cook evenly. So, use a kitchen mallet or rolling pin to flatten each thigh, ensuring that they're each about ½-inch thick. 

Next up, season each thigh with salt and pepper to taste, then coat each piece in the flour, and do shake off any excess flour. Next up, dredge the chicken in the whisked egg, followed by the panko breadcrumbs, making sure that the chicken is evenly coated, and shake off any excess of breadcrumbs as well.

Fry the chicken

It's time to fry the chicken, and Rye uses a deep fryer to get the job done, something that she highly recommends. If you are using a fryer, heat the oil to 350 F. If you don't have one, you can add 1 ½ cups frying oil to a large, deep frying pan, and follow Rye's advice to "use a food thermometer in a pan to keep an eye on the temperature of the oil when frying."

When the oil is the right temperature, add in the chicken one piece at a time, then cook for 2 to 3 minutes. If you're cooking the chicken in a pan, cook the chicken for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until golden brown. "The real thing to look out for in this recipe is making sure that the oil is at the right temperature for frying the chicken," Rye explains. "Too cool and the chicken katsu will end up pale and overly greasy. On the other hand, if the oil is too hot, the crumb coating will brown much faster than the chicken inside cooks." 

Once you have golden-on-the-outside and juicy-on-the-inside chicken, remove it from the oil and place it on paper towels to absorb excess oil. Repeat the process until all thighs are cooked. 

Serve your crispy chicken katsu

Once the chicken is done frying, serve it immediately with that tonkatsu sauce drizzled right on top. As for pairing options, there are quite a few. "If I had my way I would have fries as a side," Rye says, though she does note that it is quite a hefty amount of fried food. She ultimately paired her chicken katsu with a crunchy Asian slaw, which adds both freshness and brightness to the dish. "Rice is a common pairing, as are noodles," Rye suggests. "Whichever you choose, I definitely recommend getting some fresh vegetables onto the plate to add color and freshness!"

Crispy Breaded Chicken Katsu Recipe
5 from 31 ratings
Learn how to make this perfectly crispy breaded chicken katsu recipe, which is a delicious Japanese dish your friends and family will love.
Prep Time
Cook Time
chicken katsu on plate
Total time: 30 minutes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato ketchup
  • 4 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 3 teaspoons oyster sauce
  • 1 teaspoon mustard
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg, room temperature, lightly whisked
  • 1 cup panko crumbs
  • 1 ½ cups frying oil
Optional Ingredients
  • sesame seeds, for serving
  1. Make the tonkatsu sauce by whisking together the tomato ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, oyster sauce, and mustard until smooth, then set aside.
  2. Using a kitchen mallet or a heavy rolling pin, flatten the chicken thighs until they are roughly ½-inch thick.
  3. Season both sides of the flattened chicken thighs, then thoroughly coat the meat in a layer of flour, shaking off any excess.
  4. Dip the floured chicken thighs into the egg so it is thoroughly drenched.
  5. Lastly, thoroughly coat each chicken thigh with the panko crumbs, shaking off any excess.
  6. Heat up a deep fryer to 350 F. Alternatively, if you do not have a deep fryer you can heat up 1 ½ cups of frying oil in a medium or large frying pan.
  7. Once the oil is at 350 F, add one chicken thigh at a time to the fryer and leave it to cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until it is crispy and golden. If cooking the chicken in a frying pan, cook it for 2 to 3 minutes on each side until golden and cooked through.
  8. Remove the finished chicken from the fryer and set it on a kitchen towel to absorb any excess oil, while repeating the process with the remaining chicken thighs.
  9. Serve the chicken katsu hot, with the tonkatsu sauce drizzled on top.
Calories per Serving 2,216
Total Fat 183.2 g
Saturated Fat 17.1 g
Trans Fat 0.7 g
Cholesterol 455.8 mg
Total Carbohydrates 57.3 g
Dietary Fiber 2.5 g
Total Sugars 8.8 g
Sodium 1,583.1 mg
Protein 85.7 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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