Chicken Katsu Curry

Ingredients

Curry Sauce
  • cooking oil (canola)
  • 2 medium-sized onions, roughly chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 2 tbsps ginger, roughly chopped
  • 1 red chili pepper, finely minced
  • 2 medium-sized carrots, diced
  • 4 teaspoons curry powder
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 5 teaspoons honey
  • 4 teaspoons soy sauce
  • (optional) cayenne powder (see *notes)
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch, diluted in 2 tablespoons cold water
  • (optional) 1T butter
Chicken Katsu
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, pounded and flattened to an even thickness
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • salt and ground black pepper
  • 2-3 eggs, beaten (dependent on chicken breast size)
  • 2 cups Panko breadcrumbs
  • Cooking oil, for shallow-frying (canola)
  • (optional) serve with white rice and/or garlic naan

Instructions

Curry Sauce
  1. In a medium sized pan, sauté onions, garlic, and ginger until the onions become soft.
  2. Stir in chili pepper and diced carrot. Cook for 10 minutes.
  3. Spoon in the curry powder and stir until onions, garlic, ginger, pepper, and carrots are well-coated with the powder.
  4. Slowly pour in the chicken stock, honey, and soy sauce. If you want to add more heat, add cayenne powder to your preference level (see *notes).
  5. Simmer on low heat, uncovered, for 15 minutes.
  6. Stir in cornstarch that’s been diluted in water, and continue stirring until sauce thickens or until it reaches desired consistency.
  7. Turn off heat, option to add butter here, whisk until butter has melted.
  8. You can leave it as is. But for a smooth consistency, just simply use an immersion blender or use a blender.
  9. Set aside until needed.
Chicken Katsu
  1. Place flour (that’s been seasoned with salt and pepper), egg, and breadcrumbs in three separate bowls and arrange them in a row.
  2. Preheat oil in a cast iron skillet between 300-350F (if using canola oil).
  3. Lightly season chicken breasts with salt and pepper.
  4. Coat one chicken breast at a time with flour, then drench it in your beaten egg, and lastly, coat well with breadcrumbs.
  5. Shallow-fry chicken breasts until golden brown on both sides and cooked all the way through, total of 8 minutes. Make sure internal temperature has reached 165F. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain excess oil.
  6. Slice the chicken breast into strips, serve on a plate on or over rice, drizzle over the curry sauce, and garnish with green onions or parsley. Option to include garlic naan.

*Notes:

*In Japan, Chicken Katsu Curry can be ordered at different spice levels. Often you will be asked if you want a spice level of 1-5. Ask for a spice level 5, and you will get “the look” the you are crazy, no you don’t want a level 5, because you can’t handle it. If you want to add heat in this recipe to your preferred level, increase the level of spice with more chili’s or simply add cayenne powder one teaspoon at a time.

Thanks to the recipe which inspired me here.

The Story Behind the Recipe

While my husband served in the US military, we spent two years living in Okinawa, Japan. One of my husbands takeout favorites was a Japanese chicken curry dish called Chicken Katsu Curry. I have never been much of a fan of ordering out, so he would often pick this up for lunch. While I only tried the dish once, I remember the flavors well.

Cooking this curry recipe at home was a wonderful experience. The aromatics of the onion, ginger, and garlic are so inviting and once the curry powder is added to the mix, your house will be filled with yummy smells for at least the next twelve hours. The key is to blend up the curry smooth and to get a good crispy texture on the exterior of the chicken, while keeping the inside moist. Serve with a side of white rice and garlic naan to soak up all the curry goodness.