An easy and authentic recipe for Chicken Katsu Curry which you can make at home from scratch. The chicken is coated with panko breadcrumbs for extra crunch, and the curry sauce contains a secret ingredient for the best flavour. Recipe with step-by-step photos.
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.
One dish which my son absolutely loved at Wagamama’s was their Chicken Katsu Curry. The childrens’ 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.
As Wagamama is sadly no longer operating in Zurich, it has given me the perfect opportunity to make my own Chicken Katsu Curry at home.
What is Chicken Katsu Curry?
Chicken Katsu is the Japanese version of crumbed chicken or Chicken Schnitzel.
When it is served with rice and a Japanese curry sauce, it is called Chicken Katsu Curry.
Crumbed chicken features on our menu at home often, and 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.
A popular option for making Katsu Curry at home is with the packaged stock cubes which are sold at many Asian grocers. When time is tight, it is indeed a quick and easy way to get dinner on the table.
But making a Katsu Curry from scratch actually takes not much more time than using the stock cubes. Plus, you can control the seasoning better, as well as the quality of the ingredients.
Katsu Curry Recipe
What I think is an essential ingredient to a Japanese curry sauce is a Japanese curry powder.
Many Katsu Curry 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, for this recipe, 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.
My other essential – and secret – ingredient for this Katsu Curry recipe is freshly grated apple. The apple gives a subtle sweetness to the curry, and it also cooks down to help thicken the sauce. Plus, it’s a good way of sneaking in extra fibre into the dish, especially for the kids!
How to Make Chicken Katsu Curry
Heat some vegetable oil in a large saucepan, and sauté the onions and garlic with a sprinkle of sea salt until softened.
Add the curry powder and cook for 1-2 minutes.
Add the carrots and potatoes, and give everything a good mix.
Pour in the chicken stock, together with the soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce and sugar.
Peel and coarsely grate the apple into the sauce.
Simmer the curry sauce over medium heat for about 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
Turn up the heat so that the sauce is boiling rapidly. Slowly pour in the cornflour slurry, stirring as you do so. Add enough slurry until the curry sauce has thickened to your liking.
How to Make Chicken Schnitzel
My recipe for Chicken Schnitzel, or crumbed chicken, can be found below. For step-by-step photos and more detailed instructions, please see my recipe for Chicken Schnitzel.
Make It Kid-Friendly
Whenever our children have their friends over for dinner, I like to make a milder version of Chicken Katsu Curry for them.
Simply reduce the amount of curry powder in the sauce – about 2 to 3 teaspoons should be ok, but you might need to do trial and error.
And for the Chicken Schnitzel, I like to crumb chicken tenderloins so that, in effect, they are like big pieces of chicken nuggets. And who can resist chicken nuggets dipped in curry sauce?!
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Chicken Katsu Curry
An easy and authentic recipe for Chicken Katsu Curry which you can make at home from scratch. The chicken is coated with panko breadcrumbs for extra crunch, and the curry sauce contains a secret ingredient for the best flavour.
- Prep Time: 20 mins
- Cook Time: 40 mins
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Yield: Serves 4
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Stove Top
- Cuisine: Japanese
For the Katsu Curry sauce
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 brown onion, finely diced
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- sea salt
- 3–4 heaped teaspoons Japanese curry powder
- 2 medium carrots, diced small
- 3–4 small potatoes, cut into large chunks
- 500 ml (2 cups) chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 small dessert/sweet apple
- 2 tablespoons cornflour (cornstarch) mixed in a little water to make a slurry
For the Crumbed Chicken or Chicken Schnitzel
- 4 small chicken breast fillets
- sea salt
- freshly cracked pepper
- 1/2 cup plain flour (all-purpose flour)
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2 cups panko breadcrumbs
- vegetable oil for frying
- steamed Jasmine rice
For the Katsu Curry sauce
- Heat the oil in a small saucepan.
- Sauté the onions and garlic with a sprinkle of sea salt until they have softened.
- Add the curry powder and cook for 1-2 minutes.
- Add the carrots and potatoes and give everything a good mix.
- Add the stock, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce and sugar.
- Peel the apple and coarsely grate it into the sauce.
- Simmer gently for about 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
- Bring the saucepan to a rapid boil and quickly stir in some of the cornflour slurry until the curry sauce has thickened to your liking. You may not need all of it, or you may need to make more.
- Taste the sauce for seasoning.
For the Crumbed Chicken or Chicken Schnitzel (For step-by-step photos, please see my recipe for Chicken Schnitzel)
- In a shallow bowl, add the flour.
- In a second bowl, whisk together the egg, mustard, salt and pepper.
- In a third bowl, add the panko breadcrumbs.
- To crumb the chicken, first coat the chicken in the flour, then dip it into the egg mixture, and finally cover it in the breadcrumbs. Gently pat the breadcrumbs into the chicken to ensure that it is fully coated all over.
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan, enough to shallow fry the chicken (about 1cm depth of oil).
- Cook the chicken in the oil until lightly golden on each side.
- Thickly slice the crumbed chicken.
- Serve the chicken alongside some steamed Jasmine rice and spoon some Katsu Curry sauce over the rice and chicken.
MAKE IT CHILD-FRIENDLY
Japanese curry powder, or any curry powder, can be a bit spicy for children. For this recipe, I generally use 2-3 teaspoons of curry powder for a mild taste. But curry powders vary in potency, so you will need to do a bit of trial and error.
MAKE IT VEGETARIAN
You can skip the Chicken Schnitzel and bulk up the vegetables in the Katsu Curry sauce for a vegetarian option. Vegetables which work well in this curry include:
* broccoli, cut into florets
* cauliflower, cut into florets
* green beans, cut into short lengths
* frozen peas
To convert from cups to grams, and vice-versa, please see this handy Conversion Chart for Basic Ingredients.
- Serving Size: 4
- Calories: 392
- Sugar: 12.5g
- Sodium: 901.8mg
- Fat: 10g
- Carbohydrates: 40.2g
- Fiber: 4.5g
- Protein: 34.7g
- Cholesterol: 139.5mg
This recipe was first published on 12 February 2017. It has been updated with new photos and more comprehensive recipe notes.