Chicken katsu with tomato egg sauce... two of my favorite dishes that I didn't think I'd ever say in the same sentence!
I usually eat my chicken katsu with Japanese curry, but one day I thought I'd try pairing it with a Chinese tomato egg stir-fry. I thought it'd work well because tomato egg is a bit acidic and lightly sweet, so it'd cut through the fried chicken katsu nicely!
This tomato egg sauce follows my usual tomato egg stir-fry recipe, except it's a bit saucier. I cook down the tomatoes more than I usually would, and add a bit more water.
I'm so happy with how it turned out that now this dish is on my regular dinner rotation 🙂
Should I use chicken thighs or chicken breast for chicken katsu?
My personal preference is to use chicken thighs for chicken katsu. Chicken breasts are easy to overcook, which will make them dry. Chicken thighs stay juicy even if you cook them a few minutes more than you need to, and I find them much more flavorful than chicken breasts.
What's in the batter and breading for chicken katsu?
The most traditional method of breading chicken katsu for frying is first coating it with flour, then egg, then Panko bread crumbs. This method works fine most of the time, but sometimes I find that the egg doesn't always stick to the chicken, and have a hard time holding on to the Panko.
My new preferred method is to mix a wet batter for the chicken. This involves mixing together flour, an egg, salt, chicken powder (optional), and water. This mixed wet batter coats the chicken thoroughly and evenly, and never has any problem sticking to Panko bread crumbs. You won't get that annoying separated egg layer even after frying!
What kind of tomatoes should I use for this chicken katsu with tomato egg sauce?
Use the best-tasting tomatoes for the best tomato egg sauce. If it's summertime (when tomatoes are in season), heirloom tomatoes are great! However, they can be pricey, so I like vine tomatoes or roma tomatoes for accessibility -- these are the options I use year-round.
Check out these other popular smellylunchbox recipes:
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Chicken Katsu with Tomato Egg Sauce
for the chicken:
- 2 boneless skinless chicken thighs
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
for the batter:
- ½ cup all purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon powder
- 1 large egg
- 5 tablespoon water
- 1 cup Panko bread crumbs
tomato egg sauce:
- 4 large tomatoes I like vine or roma over hot house tomatoes
- 1 large egg
- 2 stalks scallions sliced, greens and whites separated
- 1 inch knob of ginger julienned or grated
- 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon oyster sauce
- 1 teaspoon ketchup
- cornstarch slurry: 1 teaspoon cornstarch + 1 tablespoon room temp water
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- Neutral oil for cooking and shallow frying
Make the tomato egg sauce
- Slice the tomatoes into wedges, and remove the stems. Slice the scallions (keep the whites and green parts separate) and ginger.4 large tomatoes, 2 stalks scallions, 1 inch knob of ginger
- Heat up a pan on medium heat, and add 1-2 tablespoon of oil. Once it’s warm, add the ginger and scallion whites. Stir fry for 1-2 min or until fragrant.Neutral oil for cooking and shallow frying
- Add the sliced tomatoes, salt, Shaoxing wine, and brown sugar. Mix and continue cooking until tomatoes have completely softened — this should take at least 4-5 minutes.¼ teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine, 2 teaspoon brown sugar
- Add the oyster sauce and ketchup. Mix well.1 teaspoon oyster sauce, 1 teaspoon ketchup
- Mix the cornstarch slurry, add a little to the pan, and stir. Add more slurry if you want the sauce thicker, and add more water if you want the sauce thinner.cornstarch slurry: 1 teaspoon cornstarch + 1 tablespoon room temp water
- Drizzle a beaten egg over the tomato sauce. To get the beautiful egg ribbons, let it set for 30 seconds before gently mixing with your spatula.1 large egg
- Finish with sesame oil and scallion (greens). Turn off the heat and set aside.1 teaspoon sesame oil
Prepare the chicken thighs
- Place chicken thighs onto a clean cutting board, and wrap a piece of plastic wrap over them. Pound them with a heavy-bottomed pan to create even and flat pieces, but make sure to not get them too thin!2 boneless skinless chicken thighs
- Season with salt, garlic powder, and black pepper on both sides.¼ teaspoon garlic powder, ⅛ teaspoon black pepper, ¼ teaspoon salt
- In a bowl, mix all the batter ingredients together until there are no lumps. Pour Panko bread crumbs onto a separate large bowl or plate.½ cup all purpose flour, 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon powder, 5 tablespoon water, 1 large egg, ¼ teaspoon salt
- Heat up a pan on medium or medium high heat, and add about ½ inch of oil to shallow-fry the chicken. You can also choose to deep-fry the chicken by using more oil (enough to submerge the entire chicken thigh).Neutral oil for cooking and shallow frying
- Coat each chicken thigh thoroughly in the batter, and drip off any excess. Place into the Panko bread crumbs, and lightly press the crumbs into the chicken on all sides.1 cup Panko bread crumbs
Shallow fry the chicken
- The oil is ready when it’s 350F. You can also test it with a sprinkle of Panko — they should sizzle but not brown immediately, otherwise it’s too hot!
- Carefully place the breaded chicken thighs into the oil and cook each side for 3-4 minutes or until golden brown. After flipping, I also like to use a spoon to baste the top of the chicken (the side that’s not touching the oil) to get a more even, golden brown color.
- Remove onto a wire rack to rest. After a few minutes, slice and enjoy with the tomato egg sauce and rice!