Crispy, golden chicken piled on top of creamy, sweet, spicy sauce and fluffy rice makes chicken katsu curry an undisputed fakeaway favourite. It’s quicker and easier to make than you’d think, and uses mostly store-cupboard ingredients.
I was only introduced to katsu curry when I visited the UK – for some reason, I hadn’t come across it in New Zealand and was surprised by how much the Brits truly LOVE katsu curry. Especially the Wagamama katsu curry. But then I tried it, and I understood. Crispy chicken, creamy, spicy, super umami sauce and rice combine to make a very tasty plate of food, and the perfect fakeaway.
This recipe is my twist on the Japanese favourite. The ingredients are relatively cheap and really, aside from the chicken, you probably have everything you need to make this wonderful family-friendly fakeaway already!
Why you’ll love this recipe
- Learn how to make a takeaway favourite at home.
- Uses mainly cheap and store-cupboard ingredients.
- Minimal hands-on time – most of the time is just letting the sauce simmer.
Nothing is tricky to find here – everything can be picked up from a regular grocery store.
- Chicken breasts. Chicken breasts love to dry out, but because we’re cutting them in half, they have a super quick cook time so they’re much easier to manage. You could use chicken tenders, or use thighs. Thighs will need longer to cook, so just keep that in mind if you do go for them.
- Katsu sauce. I don’t peel the ginger here because it’s fiddly, and because the sauce is blended at the end anyway, I don’t think you can tell. The ketchup may seem like a strange addition, but it provides a sweet, acidic layer to the sauce. I LOVE soy sauce and miso paste here too, as they also provide another layer of lovely umami flavour, but if you don’t have miso, you can leave it out. Regular light soy sauce is fine.
- Panko breadcrumbs. These Japanese breadcrumbs are lighter and chunkier than regular breadcrumbs, and they give a crispier coating. You should be able to find them easily at large grocery stores, otherwise, use regular breadcrumbs.
You’ll also need either a stick (immersion) blender, a regular blender or a food processor for the recipe, to blitz the sauce into the super smooth consistency we want in a katsu.
How to make it
Start with your curry sauce – my version uses vegetables to make a thick, glossy sauce, rather than relying on flour, which I prefer. Cook your diced onion and chopped carrots in butter, then add ginger, garlic, curry powder, soy sauce, ketchup, honey and miso paste if you’re using it.
Pour in the stock, then leave to simmer for about 20 minutes. Cook your rice while the sauce simmers. The sauce should reduce by about one-third, and the veggies should be super soft. I like to cut into a carrot to check! At this point, use your immersion blender to blitz it into a super smooth sauce.
PRO TIP: I like to use an immersion blender here because it’s easier and creates less mess and washing up – but you can use a regular blender or a food processor. If you do, make sure you let the sauce cool for about 10 minutes before blending, because if you add hot liquid to a blender or food processor it can explode out the top and make a big mess.
Slice each of the chicken breasts down the middle, lengthways, so you’re left with 4 pieces. Sprinkle a little salt over each piece, then dunk each piece in flour, then egg and then the panko breadcrumbs.
Heat your oil in a pan (I like to use a non-stick pan just to make sure no breading sticks to it), the cook the chicken for about 3 to 4 minutes on each side – it doesn’t take long. Transfer it to a paper towel to drain, and then you’re ready to serve.
Slice the chicken, then divide your rice between plates and pour over the katsu sauce. Place the chicken on top, then add any fresh garnishes and you’re done.
Got a question?
Katsu is a mild curry, with a hint of sweetness, so it’s a great family-friendly option. Remember though, this does depend on the heat of your curry powder. Check yours is mild if you’re worried – some are spicier than others.
You could add some extra steamed or stir-fried greens – spinach, bok choi, asparagus or tenderstem broccoli would be great.
You can make the sauce up to 5 days in advance, and you can bread the chicken pieces the day before you want to cook them. The curry is best eaten right after the chicken is cooked – it will lose its crispiness if you store it in the fridge (but it will keep for 3 days – it just won’t be crispy when you reheat it). You could try reheating it in the oven or in an air-fryer to get a little of the crispiness back, but microwaving it will make it soggy.
This recipe uses the vegetables themselves to thicken the sauce, rather than relying on thickeners like cornstarch or flour. Blending the sauce once the veggies are lovely and soft automatically creates a lovely, thick sauce.
Do you have my FREE Fakeaway Favourites e-book?
It’s filled with my absolute favourite takeaway dishes you can make at home!
From a quick pad thai and saag paneer, to Korean fried chicken, beef rendang and chicken satay, you’ll love exploring the book.
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