Chicken Katsu Curry

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chicken katsu curry

There used to be a Wagamama’s restaurant in Zurich which we really enjoyed visiting, often to satisfy my cravings for ramen, but mostly because they had a great kids’ menu and a little play area for the children. It was one of the few places in Zurich where we could go and enjoy our meal without the fear of our noisy children disturbing everyone (because everyone else had also brought along their own rowdy offspring).

chicken katsu curry

One dish which my son absolutely loved was their chicken katsu curry. The children’s portion was comprised simply of a crumbed chicken breast fillet, sliced and served alongside a bowl of rice with some shredded cucumber, with a little dish of curry sauce on the side. Our son has always been a picky eater, but this was one dish which he always ate happily and without any bribery required.

Since the restaurant closed its doors, much to our dismay, we have yet to find another place which offers delicious food with a true family atmosphere. Sure there are more authentic Japanese restaurants which we could frequent, but none which we would be comfortable visiting with our crazy tiny tots.

Crumbed chicken features on the menu at home once in a while, which I typically serve with a homemade herby mayonnaise and boiled potatoes. But the idea came to me one evening to try and make a Japanese-style curry sauce to transform our usual crumbed chicken into a chicken katsu curry.

chicken katsu curry

The curry sauce happens to be very easy to make, not least because a good-quality chicken stock will do most of the work for you.

But what I think is an essential ingredient to a Japanese curry sauce is a Japanese curry powder. Many recipes will simply state “curry powder” as an ingredient, but this is terribly unhelpful because curry powders vary in composition of spices, and what is typical to an Indian curry, for example, will hit the wrong note in a Japanese dish. So it is worth visiting a Japanese grocery store to buy an authentic Japanese curry powder. I use one called S&B Spicy Curry Powder, which comes in a very English-looking small red tin, and although I think it is quite spicy (as suggested in the name), my young children don’t seem to mind.

As I always try to squeeze in vegetables where I can, I like to add chopped carrots to the sauce; they add some sweetness and make the overall dish a bit more hearty. I’ve also added frozen peas to the sauce, but I’m sure purists would think this would be too far a digression. If you prefer to have a more traditional and thin curry sauce, simply strain the sauce and discard all of the solids.

Despite the list of ingredients in this recipe, believe it or not, it is now one of my stand-by dishes for during the busy week. Who can resist the combination of fried crumbed chicken with curry sauce?!

chicken katsu curry

Chicken Katsu Curry
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: Serves 4
Ingredients
  • For the curry sauce
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 brown onion, finely diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, diced small
  • 3-4 heaped teaspoons Japanese curry powder
  • 500 ml (2 cups) chicken stock
  • 2 dessert apples
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 4 teaspoons cornflour mixed in a little water to make a slurry

  • For the crumbed chicken
  • 4 small chicken breasts or 12 small chicken tenderloins
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard or other mustard
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 2-3 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • Togarashi spice for serving
Method
  1. Make the sauce first. Heat the oil in a small saucepan and sauté the onions, garlic and carrots until they have softened.
  2. Add the curry powder and cook for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add the stock and bring the saucepan to a gentle simmer.
  4. Peel the apples and coarsely grate them into the sauce.
  5. Add the soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce and sugar.
  6. Simmer gently for about 30 minutes.
  7. Strain the sauce into another saucepan. If you wish to keep your sauce textured, keep the solids in the strainer. Otherwise, if you wish to have a smooth sauce, discard the solids (although it would be a shame to throw away the carrots!).
  8. Bring the saucepan to a simmer and quickly whisk in some of the cornflour mixture. You may not need all of it. Alternatively, you may need to make more. Add enough cornflour mixture until the sauce has thickened to your liking.
  9. Taste the sauce for seasoning. Return the solids in the strainer to the sauce, if you are using them.
  10. Meanwhile, prepare the chicken. In a shallow bowl, whisk together the egg, mustard, salt and pepper. In another shallow bowl, place the panko breadcrumbs.
  11. Heat the oil in a large saucepan, enough to shallow fry the chicken (about 1cm height of oil).
  12. Dip the chicken first into the egg mixture, and then thoroughly coat the chicken with the panko breadcrumbs.
  13. Cook the chicken in the oil until lightly golden on each side.
  14. Serve the chicken with some steamed Jasmine rice and some curry sauce poured over the rice and chicken.

Share your photos!

If you have tried this recipe, I would love to hear how it turned out! Please leave a comment below and share your photos on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter using #eatlittlebird

 

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40 Comments

  1. Geoffrey @ Spoonabilities 12 February 2017

    beautiful color on that chicken! love the fried breadcrumb coating. Delish!

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 12 February 2017

      Thanks, Geoffrey! We love fried breadcrumb coating on nearly everything 🙂

      Reply
  2. Liz @ I Heart Vegetables 12 February 2017

    I’ve been making more curry dishes lately and I’ve been loving them! This recipe looks awesome!

    Reply
  3. Lizzie 12 February 2017

    I’d love to have a go at making my own crumbed chicken! I know exactly what you mean about taking small ones out to eat! This looks so tasty, adding carrot to the sauce is a great idea.

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 12 February 2017

      Thanks, Lizzie! Making your own crumbed chicken is much easier than you think, and so much tastier 🙂

      Reply
  4. Elizabeth DiBurro 12 February 2017

    I don’t think I’ve ever had curry sauce before. Is it spicy? Do children tend to like it?

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 12 February 2017

      The spiciness depends on the curry powder that you use. A lot of ready-made curry powders will indicate if it is mild or spicy. You can also adjust the heat of the dish by adding more or less curry powder, to taste. I would have thought most curries would be too spicy for children, but they often surprise me by what they are willing to eat! It might be that I ate normally throughout my pregnancy and while I was breastfeeding, so perhaps they were already accustomed to spicy and flavourful food. But it varies from child to child – some love curries, and for others it might be acquired taste.

      Reply
  5. Deanna 13 February 2017

    Mmm this looks sooo good!!

    Reply
  6. Beeta @ Mon Petit Four 13 February 2017

    Your chicken is gorgeous, Thanh! And thanks for the distinction of curry powders. I’m not well-versed when it comes to curry, so I appreciate you pointing that out and explaining the variation. 🙂

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 14 February 2017

      Thanks, Beeta 🙂 I absolutely love all curries, so I have also experimented with lots of spices and curry powders. My son has already asked for this dish again!

      Reply
  7. Shiho 14 February 2017

    Hi Thanh, I found your beautiful photos on Pinterest. Chicken Katsu Curry is my favourite and I make often too. I am Japanese living in Brisbane, Australia blogging about Japanese food <3 Love your blog!

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 14 February 2017

      Hi Shiho,
      Lovely to hear from you! I’m also from Brisbane 🙂 And I have been following your wonderful blog for quite some time! So happy that you have found my blog 🙂 I hope my chicken katsu curry passes your taste test!

      Reply
  8. Fred 15 February 2017

    These chicken look tender, crispy and most importantly they look very delicious. I’m try to piece together the curry sauce ingredients in my head and wonder how it’ll taste like :). Thanks a lot for sharing!

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 16 February 2017

      Thanks, Fred! I also try to imagine what a recipe might taste like by looking at the ingredients. Sometimes, it’s easier to go ahead and give it a try 😉 Hope you will get a chance to try this recipe one day 🙂

      Reply
  9. jacquee | i sugar coat it! 15 February 2017

    I love curry so this dish is very appealing and that sauce sounds absolutely AWESOME! Japanese curry powder AND Worcestershire – eager to give this a try!

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 16 February 2017

      I like to add Worcestershire sauce, although the sauce tastes just as good without. But if you have a bottle in the pantry, why not? 🙂 Hope you will get to try this recipe!

      Reply
  10. Tanya 15 February 2017

    Oh wow, I never knew there was a Japanese curry. I’ve had Indian and I love Jamaican curry. I will have to give this recipe a try, this looks and sounds amazing!

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 16 February 2017

      Japanese curry is absolutely delicious! It is much milder than, say, an Indian or Thai curry, and there is no coconut milk involved. Hope you will get a chance to try a Japanese curry one day.

      Reply
  11. Marie-Pierre Breton 15 February 2017

    Never heard of japanese curry powder but I keep an eye on it! I love the texture of this dish and the spices seems simply divine! Yum!

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 16 February 2017

      I guess one does not typically associate curry with Japanese cuisine, but katsu curry is wildly popular. And I highly recommend a Japanese curry powder for a Japanese curry 🙂

      Reply
  12. Lottie Down 15 February 2017

    Wow this looks amazing and soo delish!

    I’m not very confident with shallow frying, am always worried if the chicken is cooked enough. Do you have any tips for perfect not raw in middle chicken?
    Many thanks
    Lottie x

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 16 February 2017

      I think it is easiest to shallow-fry small pieces of chicken like the tenderloin, because in the time it takes for the outside to become golden and crispy, the inside will definitely be cooked. For larger pieces of chicken breast, I always flatten it first (put it between two sheets of clingfilm and pound with a rolling pin), so that it will cook more quickly. Otherwise, if I am cooking a whole chicken breast fillet (without flattening it first), I will fry it until it is lightly golden and crispy, and then put the chicken pieces into a hot oven (200°C or 400°F) for about 10 minutes to finish off the cooking. The cooking time really depends on the size of the chicken pieces. And when you press the chicken lightly with your finger, that should give you an indication of how well-done it is too. Hope this helps!

      Reply
  13. Aish Das-Padihari 15 February 2017

    The chicken looks so DELICIOUS> I feel like reaching out and grab a piece.

    Reply
  14. Gloria @ Homemade & Yummy 15 February 2017

    Really Japanese curry powder?? I have never seen or heard of it. Very interesting. Love the sound of this tasty dish.

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 16 February 2017

      Japanese curry powder is not as common as Thai or Indian curry powders, so you may not find it readily available at your supermarket. But a Japanese grocer or some Asian grocers should stock them. The Japanese version is much milder, so an Indian curry powder, for example, might not work as well in this recipe.

      Reply
  15. Dene' V. Alexander 18 February 2017

    I hate it when a good satisfactory restaurant closes!! However, it’s great that you have found a way to fill it’s void by cooking this yummy chicken at home!!

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 24 February 2017

      LOL!! Yes, we have still yet to find a similar restaurant on par, but it’s nice to be able to make this dish at home. At least it brings back nice memories of lunch at Wagamama’s 🙂

      Reply
  16. Elizabeth 18 February 2017

    I am intrigued about what spices might be included in a Japanese curry powder! Gorgeous looking recipe this, and stunning photography!

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 24 February 2017

      Thank you! I might have to investigate further as well, but it’s a lovely and mild curry powder, something which the whole family can enjoy 🙂

      Reply
  17. Jacqueline (PiperCooks) 18 February 2017

    I’ve only made this once, but I’m going to try your recipe – your curry sauce recipe looks really interesting. Nice recipe!

    Reply
  18. April 19 February 2017

    I love how you plated this. It looks too good to eat. I bet it was amazing. I feel your pain. I lived near a restaurant my kids and I adored but then one day we went there and it had closed down. We were so bummed!

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 24 February 2017

      Thanks, April! It’s not exactly how I plate it for the family – dinner in our home is a bit more … rustic 😉

      Reply
  19. I certainly can’t resist your crumbed chicken and curry sauce, your photos make me want to dive straight in and eat it! I love the sound of your curry sauce with hidden veggies in it, need to keep an eye out for some Japanese curry powder.

    Reply
  20. Manju | Cooking Curries 20 February 2017

    Never had a Japanese curry before, I should try that soon! That crumb chicken looks crispy and delicious!

    Reply
  21. Danielle 24 February 2017

    Great recipe! I’ve never made Japanese curry before, but I do love it! This is the first time coming to your blog, and the photos are beautiful! I aspire to be able to take pictures like these for my blog. Everything looks delicious.

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 24 February 2017

      Hi Danielle,
      Thank you for your lovely words! I’m still learning everyday, but blogging is a fun hobby 🙂 Off to have a peek at yours now!

      Reply

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