Chicken Katsu Curry is one of our most frequently cooked Japanese dishes! Deliciously sweet sauce coating a crispy breaded chicken served on a bed of rice and a side of cucumber salad is all we need to get out tastebuds dancing! An easy, but equally indulgent meal that can be made vegetarian by substituting chicken with tofu or some breaded vegetables!
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We have a 25-year plan for travelling, which has now become a 27-year plan with the global pandemic happening. Japan was meant to be a trip of 2022 and one of the aspects I am extremely excited about with regards to travelling in the country of a rising sun is Japanese food. As much as we love sushi, Japanese food is so much more than that! We love yakitori, ramens, gyozas and other Japanese staples, as well as more modern souffle pancakes and souffle cheesecake (that I am yet to master).
What is Katsu Curry?
One of the simpler Japanese inspired dishes to make, requiring no special skill or equipment is Japanese Katsu Curry. It has elements of Southern fried chicken, Indian curry and well… you may be surprised to know that Chicken Katsu curry was actually introduced to the Japanese by the British in the 19th century.
Often known as Katsu karē, this dish is typically made with either pork or chicken, coated in breadcrumbs and fried. Katsu Curry sauce is served alongside the meat and is typically a combination of carrots, curry powder, soy sauce and a sweetener, such as honey or sugar.
Ingredients and Substitutes
Today we are sharing our recipe for a Japanese Chicken Katsu Curry, but you can very easily adjust it to what you have in your kitchen.
Here are all the ingredients we use for the Katsu Curry sauce in this recipe and our recommendations for substitutes:
- brown onion, finely chopped: use white onions or shallots if you have them handy. It will not affect the end result.
- carrot: use butternut squash or an orange-fleshed sweet potato if you like.
- ginger: can be substituted with a shop-bought ginger paste for convenience.
- vegetable oil or any other odourless oil like sunflower or rapeseed oil.
- medium curry powder: you can buy spice blends specifically mixed for use in Katsu curry, like this one here. Or, if you don’t like things hot, use a mild curry powder.
- soy sauce: tamari or coconut aminos are good substitutes.
- mango chutney: is one of the signature flavours in Katsu curry, so I wouldn’t recommend replacing it with anything else.
You will also need a chicken breast, flour, egg and breadcrumbs (ideally, panko breadcrumbs) for the fried chicken.
If you are vegetarian, you can substitute the chicken breast with firm pressed tofu or simply thinly sliced par-boiled vegetables, like sweet potato, aubergine and cauliflower.
We served our Homemade Katsu Curry with cucumber salad and rice, but more about the side dishes later…
Gather all your ingredients together. Top and tail and finely grate the carrot. Finely chop the onion. Grate or finely chop the ginger.
Cook the rice following the instructions on a packet.
Prepare the Chicken
Crack an egg into a shallow bowl and whisk lightly. Add 2 tablespoon of flour to a large plate, then add the breadcrumbs to another plate. Season breadcrumbs with salt and pepper.
Cut the chicken breast in half lengthways so you have two thin slices of chicken.
Coat the chicken pieces in flour, then roll them in the egg and finally roll in the breadcrumbs pressing firmly to cover all over.
Heat a large non-stick frying pan with 2 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Add the chicken breast pieces and cook for 6-7 min on each side. They should brown and crisp up and fully cook through.
For a more authentic Katsu curry, use Panko breadcrumbs to make Panko-Crusted Chicken.
Prepare Katsu Curry Sauce
Heat a large non-stick frying pan with 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Add the finely grated carrot, ginger and onion and cook, stirring occasionally for 3 min. Then add the curry powder and cook for another minute.
Tip in 1 tablespoon of flour and cook for 30 seconds, stirring. Reduce the heat to low and add 300ml of boiling water. Tip in soy sauce and mango chutney. Stir and leave to gently bubble for 5-8 minutes until the sauce thickens. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
Make the Cucumber Salad
In the meantime, thinly slice your cucumber. Toss the cucumber with rice vinegar, olive oil and a pinch of salt. Sprinkle with some sesame seeds.
Serving Japanese Chicken Katsu Curry
Slice the chicken into strips. Spoon the katsu sauce into a wide shallow bowl, spoon the rice and cucumber salad on top and place the sliced chicken breast next to them.
Other Chicken Recipes From Around the World
For other ‘chicken dinners’ have a look at our recipes below:
- Senegalese Chicken Yassa
- Indian Spiced Chicken Fajitas with Mint & Coriander Mayo
- Poutine with Chicken and Garlicky Greens
Japanese Chicken Katsu Curry
- 130 g rice
- ½ small brown onion finely chopped
- 1 carrot finely grated
- 15 g ginger finely chopped/ grated
- 1 egg
- 3 tablespoon plain flour
- 40 g breadcrumbs
- 1 large chicken breast
- 3 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon curry powder we used medium
- 2 tablespoon soy sauce
- 40 g mango chutney
For Cucumber Salad:
- ⅓ cucumber
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
- Cook the rice following instructions on a packet.
- Crack an egg into a shallow bowl and whick lightly. Add 2 tablespoon of flour to a large plate, then add the breadcrumbs to another plate. Season breadcrumbs with salt and pepper.
- Cut the chicken in half lengthways so you have two thin slices of chicken.
- Coat the chicken pieces in flour, then roll them in the egg and finaly roll in the breadcrumbs pressing firmly to cover all over.
- Heat a large non-stick frying pan with 2 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Add the chicken breast pieces and cook for 6-7 min on each side. They should brown and crisp up and fully cook through.
- Heat a large non-stick frying pan with 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Add the finely grated carrot, ginger and onion and cook, stirring occasionally for 3 min. Add the curry powder and cook for another minute.
- Add 1 tablespoon of flour and cook for 30 seconds, stirring. Reduce the heat to low and add 300ml of boiling water. Tip in soy sayce and mango chutney. Stir and leave to cook for 5-8 minutes until the sauce thickens. Season with salt and pepper.
- In the meantime, thinly slice your cucumber into rounds. Toss with rice vinegar, olive oil and a pinch of salt. Sprinkle with some sesame seeds.
- Slice the chicken into strips. Spoon the katsu sauce into a wide shallow bowl, spoon the rice and cucumber salad on top and place the sliced chicken breast next to them.
Saying Katsu kare is simple means you haven’t either tried the authentic dish in Japan or you haven’t understood the dish. Maybe it’s simple after you have actually mastered it, which, clearly, is not the case. I lived in Japan, spent time with Japanese families in their homes, and katsu kare is my favorite dish in Japanese cuisine. I used to have this dish once a week in different restaurants. This recipe is ok for a katsu kare inspired dish, any other claim will be misleading. The rice is an extra chapter. It also looks simple but, again, either you have mastered it or you have no clue. The Japanese are extremely polite and will have a hard time telling you your dish isn’t good. They’ll appreciate your effort and will avoid giving negative feedback. You have to “read the air” as they say.
Hi Jose. Thanks for the feedback! I hope to go to Japan one day and try the authentic Katsu Kare. But for now, I am trying to create this Japanese dish at home (far away from Japan), making it simple and easy enough for a weekday dinner 🙂
Made this the other night for my husband and I for dinner and we really enjoyed it. This recipe was easy to follow and so tasty. We ate it up so fast! Definitely a great dinner!
Thanks, Gina! It’s a great weekday dinner recipe, isn’t it? 🙂
This is one of my favourite curries and it looks amazing. You can’t beat a homemade sauce.
Yes, Dannii, I am with you. Homemade always beats shop-bought!