chicken katsu curry



Chicken katsu curry! This comfort dish wasn’t one I grew up eating often, but it’s one I made a lot in college. I like using chicken thighs because they’re more flavorful and tender than breasts, and there’s a larger margin for error — even if you overcook it slightly, it’s still great. If you’re looking for a vegetarian option, check out my tofu katsu curry post.

The method I like to use with any katsu is shallow-frying: it uses much less oil compared to deep-frying, but gets the same results. Instead of submerging the entire piece of chicken under oil, you only use enough to fry one side at a time. If you don’t want to fry this at all, you can always bake it in the oven instead — but you won’t end up with the evenly golden brown, crunchy exterior.

For the curry, I use the boxed kind because they’re easy and a great foundation to start with. To get the most flavor, I like using a mixture of Golden Curry, Vermont Curry, and/or Java Curry. Usually I’ll mix a mild, sweet one and one medium hot, but you can adjust to your preferences.

Make sure to prepare some rice to eat this with, and enjoy!

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Servings: makes 3-4 servings



Chicken katsu:

  • 3-4 skinless, boneless chicken thighs

  • 1 cup all purpose flour

  • 1 egg

  • 1 ½ cups of Panko bread crumbs

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon paprika (optional)

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder (optional)

  • Vegetable or canola oil, for frying

  • digital thermometer (ideal, but not necessary)

Here are the brands of curry I like (Golden Curry should be the most popular and widely available) — feel free to use whatever your favorites are.

Here are the brands of curry I like (Golden Curry should be the most popular and widely available) — feel free to use whatever your favorites are.

Notes / FAQs:

What is shallow-frying?

  • I explained a bit above, but it’s a way to fry your food without using as much oil (like deep-frying does). With shallow-frying, you only use enough oil to fry one side at a time. You end up with the same results as deep-frying, without as much mess and required clean-up.

I’m trying to eat less meat! Can I replace the chicken with something else?

  • Yes! I love tofu katsu. Make sure to get extra firm tofu, and to press it down with some paper towels to release any extra moisture before breading and frying.

What kind of curry should I use?

  • The ones I listed should be pretty commonly found at Asian supermarkets: Golden Curry, Vermont Curry, and Java Curry. You’ll get the best flavor if you mix curries from different brands / boxes, so try experimenting to see what you like best! I personally like picking one that’s sweet and mild, and another that’s medium hot.


First things first: get a batch of rice cooking!

Making the curry

  1. Prepare all the vegetables by chopping them into medium-sized chunks (about 1-2 in). For the garlic, either mince it or press it with a garlic press (if you like cooking with garlic often, a garlic press is a great investment)!

  2. Heat up a medium or large pot over medium heat, and add 1 tablespoon of oil. Once warm, add the chopped onions and cook for 2 minutes or until slightly translucent.

  3. Add the minced garlic, and cook for another minute or until fragrant.

  4. Add the potatoes and carrots, and stir to mix well.

  5. Add enough low-sodium chicken broth (or water) to cover the vegetables by an inch, and turn up the heat to high. Once it starts boiling, lower the heat back to medium to keep it at a low boil. Cover and continue cooking for ~15 minutes, or until vegetables are cooked through to their center. You can use this extra time to prep your chicken and breading (check Breading your chicken).

  6. Once the vegetables are cooked through, it’s time to add the curry blocks! I used about 1 tablespoon each of the two curries: Vermont and Java. Stir well, and keep stirring until it’s completely dissolved, and the curry thickens (this should take a few minutes). If you like your curry thicker, you can add more blocks; if you like your curry thinner, you can add more chicken broth or water.

  7. I have a few ingredients that I listed as optional for the curry: the rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, honey, and black pepper. For me, these take the boxed curry to the next level by adding a bit of acidity (vinegar), umami (soy sauce), and sweetness (honey). I recommend tasting your curry, and adding these ingredients one by one to see how they affect the taste — this is how you become a better cook 🙂

  8. Once you’re satisfied with your curry, turn off the heat and set aside.

Breading your chicken

  1. Prepare 3 shallow plates or bowls: one with all purpose flour, one with egg (whisked well), and the last with Panko bread crumbs. If you decide to add the optional paprika and garlic powder, add them to the bowl of flour and mix well

  2. With a paper towel, dry the chicken thighs, and season them on both sides with salt. If your chicken thighs are very uneven, pound the thicker parts with the back of your knife or a meat tenderizer to flatten them a bit. Cut away any small extra chunks or pieces of fat to get a flat piece of chicken. This makes sure that the chicken cooks evenly when frying.

  3. With tongs or clean hands, place a chicken thigh in the bowl of flour and coat it on all sides, and lightly press the flour into the chicken so that it sticks well.

  4. Shake off any excess flour, then coat it with egg.

  5. Lastly, bread the chicken thigh in the Panko bread crumbs. Make sure you can’t see anymore chicken, and lightly press the crumbs in on all sides. This makes sure that the breading sticks onto it when you’re frying it.

  6. Repeat steps 3-5 with the other chicken thighs.

  7. If you haven’t yet, go back to the curry instructions and finish steps 6-8!

Frying the chicken

  1. For shallow-frying, I love using a small pot (one that will fit one chicken thigh), because small pot = even less oil needed. The high sides of a pot will also prevent the oil from splattering all over your stove.

  2. Over medium heat, add enough vegetable or canola oil in a small pot to fry one side of the chicken — the oil should fill up to about ½ to ¾ of an inch of the small pot. If you have a digital thermometer, 320-330F is the ideal temperature you want to reach. If you don’t have a thermometer, sprinkle a few Panko bread crumbs into the oil to check the temperature. If it sizzles, it’s ready. If it browns really quickly, it’s too hot.

  3. With tongs, carefully lower one breaded chicken thigh into the hot oil. Fry for about 4-5 mins or until golden brown, then flip to the other side and fry for another 4-5 mins.

  4. Once it’s golden brown on both sides, take it out and let it rest on a cooling rack (the air flow underneath will prevent the breading from getting soggy).

  5. Fry your other breaded chicken thigh by following the same steps above.

  6. Slice the chicken katsu into thick strips, and serve over the curry and rice.

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  1. Lianne loves this! - John

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