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. Recipe with step-by-step photos.

chicken katsu curry on white plate with rice

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.

chicken katsu curry on white plate

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.

chicken katsu curry with rice on white plate with fork

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.

chicken katsu curry with s&b spicy curry powder

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

Step 1

Heat some vegetable oil in a large saucepan, and sauté the onions and garlic with a sprinkle of sea salt until softened.

onions and garlic sauteing in cast iron pot

Step 2

Add the curry powder and cook for 1-2 minutes.

onions and garlic with japanese curry powder in cast iron pot

Step 3

Add the carrots and potatoes, and give everything a good mix.

katsu curry with carrots and potatoes in cast iron pot

Step 4

Pour in the chicken stock, together with the soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce and sugar.

katsu curry in cast iron pot

Step 5

Peel and coarsely grate the apple into the sauce.

adding grated apple to katsu curry in cast iron pot

Step 6

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.

katsu curry in cast iron pot with wooden spoon

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.

step by step photos for making chicken schnitzel
{Recipe for Chicken Schnitzel with step-by-step photos}

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?!

chicken katsu curry on plate with bowl of curry sauce

More Japanese Recipes

If you are looking for more Japanese recipes, you might also enjoy:

Chicken Teriyaki Meatballs

Japanese Milk Bread

Udon Noodle Soup

Yakisoba (Japanese Stir-Fried Noodles)

Print

Chicken Katsu Curry

5 from 2 reviews

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.

  • Author: Thanh | Eat, Little Bird
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 40 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: Serves 4
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: Japanese

Ingredients

For the Katsu Curry sauce

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 brown onion, finely diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • sea salt
  • 34 heaped teaspoons Japanese curry powder
  • 2 medium carrots, diced small
  • 34 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

To Serve

  • steamed Jasmine rice

Instructions

For the Katsu Curry sauce

  1. Heat the oil in a small saucepan.
  2. Sauté the onions and garlic with a sprinkle of sea salt until they have softened.
  3. Add the curry powder and cook for 1-2 minutes.
  4. Add the carrots and potatoes and give everything a good mix.
  5. Add the stock, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce and sugar.
  6. Peel the apple and coarsely grate it into the sauce.
  7. Simmer gently for about 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
  8. 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. 
  9. Taste the sauce for seasoning.

For the Crumbed Chicken or Chicken Schnitzel (For step-by-step photos, please see my recipe for Chicken Schnitzel)

  1. In a shallow bowl, add the flour.
  2. In a second bowl, whisk together the egg, mustard, salt and pepper.
  3. In a third bowl, add the panko breadcrumbs.
  4. 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.
  5. Heat the oil in a large saucepan, enough to shallow fry the chicken (about 1cm depth of oil).
  6. Cook the chicken in the oil until lightly golden on each side.

To Serve

  1. Thickly slice the crumbed chicken.
  2. Serve the chicken alongside some steamed Jasmine rice and spoon some Katsu Curry sauce over the rice and chicken.

Kitchen Notes

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

CONVERSIONS
To convert from cups to grams, and vice-versa, please see this handy Conversion Chart for Basic Ingredients.

Nutrition

  • 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

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment below and share your photos by tagging @eatlittlebird on Instagram and using #eatlittlebird

Update

This recipe was first published on 12 February 2017. It has been updated with new photos and more comprehensive recipe notes.

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45 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
  22. Shez 14 March 2018

    Our children love Japanese curry too! I tried this tonight and it was so delicious. I added a lot of peas and carrots to the sauce – it was perfect!

    Reply
  23. Julia 16 April 2018

    YUM YUM YUM! Looks very tasty! And I want to make these asap.

    Reply
  24. Ruth 10 July 2019

    Thanks for the recipe! I am pregnant and almost everything I eat the second day I cannot stomach. This was delicious the first day as well as the second day as leftovers. And my husband also loved it, so a win win in my book.

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 19 July 2019

      Hi Ruth,
      So glad you enjoyed this recipe! Katsu Curry does get better as it sits, so leftovers are always a great idea 🙂 All the best with your pregnancy!

      Reply
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