Chicken katsu curry is one of my all time favorite Japanese dishes but I always thought it would be super difficult to make at home. I finally gave it a go last week and am so happy I did -- it was delicious! Not to mention super easy to make. Here is my recipe. Itadakimasu!
Serves 4 - can be made with either chicken or pork.
For the curry sauce:
- 2 Tbsp oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 2 Tbsp flour
- 4 tsp curry powder
- 600ml chicken stock (or more if you want more gravy)
- 2 tsp honey
- 4 tsp soy sauce
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp garam masala
For the katsu:
- 4 chicken or pork cutlets. If you can't find cutlets, ask your butcher to cut some for you or use a chicken breast and pound super thin.
- salt and pepper
- 3 Tbsp flour
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- oil for frying
For the rice:
- 2 cups Calrose rice
- 3 cups water
- Start with the rice: If you have a rice cooker (I highly recommend one as they are inexpensive and make your life so much easier), simply throw in the ingredients and cook according to instructions. Otherwise, pour the ingredients into a saucepan, cover, and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer until all the water is incorporated, about 45 minutes.
- Make the curry sauce: In a saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high. Add the onion and cook until translucent.
- Turn down the heat to medium-low and add the garlic and carrots. Cook for 10 to 12 minutes until the carrots are softened.
- Add the flour and curry powder; cook for 1 minute while constantly stirring so the flour doesn't burn.
- Pour in stock then add honey, soy sauce, and the bay leaf. Stir to combine and gradually bring to a boil.
- Turn down the heat and simmer for 20 minutes until the sauce thickens into a nice gravy.
- Remove the bay leaf and use an immersion blender to purée everything.
- Stir in the garam masala. Keep on a low heat until you are ready to serve.
- For the chicken (or pork): Season both sides of the cutlets with salt and pepper.
- Prepare three bowls arranged in a row: flour in the first, egg in the middle, and panko at the end.
- Coat the chicken in flour, then dip into the egg, then coat in the breadcrumbs, making sure to fully cover.
- Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. You don't need a ton of oil but you do want enough for a thin coat over the entire pan.
- Test the oil by throwing in a couple of breadcrumbs -- if they sizzle, the oil is ready.
- Place breaded chicken cutlets in the oil and cook until the bottom side is a deep, golden brown, about 3 or 4 minutes. Flip and cook the other side.
- To serve, cut the chicken into strips, pour the curry sauce over, and serve with a big dollop of white rice. Enjoy!
For those of you who may be intimidated by making your own curry sauce or may not have the time in the middle of a busy week schedule, you can do like the Japanese do and buy ready-made curry sauce mix. This just-add-water-sauce comes in three levels of spicy heat --low, medium, and hot -- depending on your palate.