Chicken Katsu Recipe


5 from 36 votes
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This homemade chicken katsu recipe tastes like something you’d get at a Japanese restaurant! It features panko breaded chicken cutlets fried until golden brown and crispy.

Love Japanese recipes? Try chicken tempura, beef katsu, and pork katsu.

chicken katsu.

Katsu chicken has always been my go-to order at Japanese restaurants. You can never go wrong with crispy breaded chicken, especially if it’s paired with all the fix-ins, like steamed white rice, cabbage salad, and lemon wedges.

After taking several Japanese cooking classes, I perfected my favorite dish and now make it in the comfort of my own home! 

Table of Contents
  1. What is chicken katsu?
  2. Ingredients needed
  3. How to make chicken katsu
  4. Alternative cooking methods
  5. Tips to make the best recipe
  6. Storage instructions
  7. Frequently Asked Questions
  8. More Japanese recipes to try
  9. Chicken Katsu Recipe (Recipe Card)

What is chicken katsu?

Often referred to as Japanese chicken schnitzel, chicken katsu is made up of pounded chicken breast deep-fried in a light and crispy panko breadcrumb batter.

Topped with katsu sauce, it’s often served with rice (katsu don) or with a side salad (often a Kani salad) as a side dish.

This dish may look incredibly fancy, but it’s one of the easiest and quickest crispy chicken recipes you’ll ever encounter. Here are some reasons why I LOVE this recipe:  

  • Ready in 10 minutes. From prep to the finished dish, this chicken cooks in no time at all.
  • Incredible flavor and texture. The texture of the chicken cutlets are crispy on the outside and perfectly moist and juicy in the middle. It’s seasoned just the right amount so you can slather the katsu sauce over the top.
  • Oven and air fryer options. While frying yields the most traditional results, I’ve tested this recipe in both the oven and air fryer so you can lighten then up if you like!

Ingredients needed

As mentioned above, the ingredients for this recipe are ridiculously simple. They are actually quite similar to any kind of breaded chicken recipe. 

  • Chicken breast. Choose equal-sized chicken breasts so they all cook evenly and at the same time. You can also slice larger breasts in half which would also be easier to pound down.
  • Soy sauce. A quick marinade substitute to give the chicken extra juiciness and flavor.
  • Panko breadcrumbs. A must for anything fried or deep fried and the signature crunch!
  • Egg. It helps the panko stick to the chicken.
  • All-purpose flour. Helps with browning and keeping all the moisture inside. If your flour has clumps, be sure to sift it well first.
  • Salt and pepper. To taste.
  • Oil. I used peanut oil because it has a high smoke point, which is great for deep frying. Canola oil and vegetable oil are two other great options.
  • Chicken katsu sauce. The sweet, savory, and umami-forward sauce that makes this dish that much more delicious.

How to make chicken katsu

I’ve included step-by-step photos below to make this recipe easy to follow at home. For the full printable recipe instructions and ingredient quantities, scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

Step 1- Prep the chicken. Season both sides of chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Drizzle with the soy sauce.

floured chicken cutlets.

Step 2- Bread the chicken. Place the flour, eggs, and bread crumbs in three shallow bowls. First dredge the chicken with flour, shaking off any excess from it. Then dunk it in the egg, remove excess, then dip it in the panko crumbs, pressing down slightly so the crumbs adhere to the chicken.

crumbled katsu chicken.

Step 3-Fry the chicken. Add some oil to a large skillet and place it over medium-high heat. When the oil becomes hot, add the breaded chicken cutlets and cook each side for 3 to 4 minutes or until golden brown. 

katsu chicken recipe.

Alternative cooking methods

While I prefer frying the chicken, I’ve tested this recipe in both the air fryer and the oven in case you’d like a lighter and healthier option. Chicken katsu using these methods turns out almost as crispy as you’d expect, but just not as greasy!

Air fryer method: Prep the chicken as instructed. Next, place a single layer of the chicken in a greased air fryer basket. Spray the top of the chicken with cooking spray. Now, air fry at 200C/400F for 8 minutes, flip, spray the other side with cooking spray, and cook for another 8 minutes.

Oven baked method: Prep the chicken as instructed. Place it on a lined baking sheet and bake at 180C/350F for 30 minutes, flipping halfway through.

Tips to make the best recipe

  • Use other cuts of chicken. While chicken breasts are preferred, chicken tenderloins or chicken thighs can work, but you’d need to adjust the cooking time. 
  • Pound the chicken. If your chicken breast fillets are too thick, use a meat mallet to pound them down to around 1/2 inch thick. I find this the ideal thickness for a balance of crispy batter to juicy chicken.
  • Always monitor the temperature of the cooking oil. We use an instant-read thermometer to check the temperature and ensure it is always between 350-375F to prevent it from over or under-cooking. Remember, if the oil is too cold, the katsu will be greasy and heavy.
  • Cook the chicken immediately. Unlike other fried chicken recipes, there is no need to brine the chicken as the batter is designed to keep it moist and juicy.

Storage instructions

To store: Place leftovers in airtight containers and store them in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days. 

To freeze: Allow the chicken to cook completely to add to the freezer-safe bags and freeze for up to 3 months.

Reheating: Reheat in a hot skillet, in the oven, or in the microwave for 20-30 seconds.

katsu chicken.

Frequently Asked Questions

What makes katsu different from fried chicken?

Katsu and fried chicken both involve breaded and fried meat, but they differ in terms of breading, origin, and ways it’s served. Katsu features a panko breading and is served with rice and side dishes. Fried chicken uses a flour and spice coating, is universal, and is served in a plethora of ways.

Is this gluten-free?

This recipe is suitable for celiacs when made with gluten-free flour and gluten-free panko bread crumbs.

More Japanese recipes to try

chicken katsu recipe.

Chicken Katsu Recipe

5 from 36 votes
This homemade chicken katsu recipe tastes like something you'd get at a Japanese restaurant! It features panko breaded chicken cutlets fried until golden brown and crispy. Watch the video below to see how I make this in my kitchen!
Servings: 4 servings
Prep: 2 minutes
Cook: 8 minutes
Total: 10 minutes




  • Pound the chicken breasts into 1/2-inch thickness. Season both sides with salt and pepper and drizzle with soy sauce.
  • In one bowl, add the flour, in a second bowl, add the panko bread crumbs, and in the third, add the egg.
  • Dip each chicken breast fillet in the flour, followed by the egg, then the panko bread crumbs.
  • Add oil to a non-stick pan. Once the oil reaches a temperature of at least 350F, drop the crumbed chicken breasts and fry for 4-5 minutes, flipping halfway through. Remove the chicken from the heat once golden brown.
  • Place the cooked chicken katsu on a paper towel to soak up extra oil before slicing and serving.


* Use oil with a high smoke point, like peanut oil. 
TO STORE: Place leftovers in airtight containers and store them in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days. 
TO FREEZE: Allow the chicken to cook completely to add to the freezer-safe bags and freeze for up to 3 months.
TO REHEAT: Reheat in a pan, oven, or air fryer. 


Serving: 1servingCalories: 287kcalCarbohydrates: 14gProtein: 29gFat: 12gSodium: 1052mgPotassium: 490mgFiber: 1gVitamin A: 102IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 43mgIron: 2mgNET CARBS: 13g
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Japanese
Author: Arman Liew
Tried this recipe?Give us a shout at @thebigmansworld or tag #thebigmansworld!

Recipe originally posted November 2022, but updated to include new information and a recipe video for your benefit.

Arman Liew

I’m a two time cookbook author, photographer, and writer, and passionate about creating easy and healthier recipes. I believe you don’t need to be experienced in the kitchen to make good food using simple ingredients that most importantly, taste delicious.

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5 from 36 votes (33 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    You alway have great
    Recipes I would love to save all of them and try them all out. They’re so easy and looks so yummy. Thank you for sharing.

  2. 5 stars
    We love trying all your very tasty and wonderful recipes. Katsu Chicken will surely be very tasty for dinner. Thank you Arman

  3. 5 stars
    Spent 3 weeks in Japan and I have to say this was 80% of our dinners with the sandwich our goto bento for train trips – thank you for sharing – and yes, the weight gain was worth every mouthful! 🙂