Chicken Katsu, a Hawaiian lunch plate special, is a favorite of ours. Crispy pan fried chicken drizzled with a rich, tangy tonkatsu sauce served with white rice and macaroni salad brings the islands to you.
It’s a deary Monday here guys but I have to say, I’m kind of loving it. The rain is bringing cooler temperatures making it feel a liiiitle bit like fall. We’re supposed to be back up to almost 90 again tomorrow so I’m going to cherish it today.
The only hard things about days like these are that you don’t want to get up and put on real clothes and do all the things. I had to wake both of my kids up this morning. I never, seriously NEVER, have to wake up Noah. He’s a 6 am early riser EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. The kids also spent the weekend at my parents house so I’m sure that had something to do with it too. Grandparents are way more fun and entertaining.
So to bring some light, happy vibes today I’m sharing this Chicken Katsu. And when I say light I don’t mean in calories friends. Sorry. I mean in the memories and happiness department.
Chicken Katsu is a Hawaiian plate lunch classic and it’s something I fell in love with when I was lucky enough to travel to Hawaii as a teenager. It’s one of those meals that gets me in the feels. It brings back lots of warm, happy memories. Aren’t those just the best?
I used to make this often in college and in my early days of marriage for many reasons. First, it’s super simple and takes less than 30 minutes. Second, no weird or unusual ingredients are required. Everything is a pantry or refrigerator staple but your end results are something different and special. Those reasons completely fulfill the philosophy behind this little blog of mine so this recipe seems especially fitting to share.
I have to say as much as we love this chicken, I haven’t made it in quite some time. But after hearing about my in-laws recent trip to Hawaii my need for Chicken Katsu was sparked.
Back when I first made this, I used someone else’s recipe that I found online but of course now that creating recipes is my thing, I played around and created my own.
Let me tell you how it’s made.
I start by mixing up the sauce to allow a little time for the flavors to mingle. Ketchup, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce and sugar and you’re done. Set it aside if you’re getting dinner ready or cover and refrigerate if you’re prepping it for later.
You’ll need a breading station for the chicken so set up three rimmed dishes (I like to use pie plates or cake pans). Flour goes in the first, eggs in the second and panko bread crumbs in the third. Dredge your thin chicken cutlets through the breading station then fry them up in a shallow pan of vegetable oil.
Once they are cooked through, remove them to a rack to drain and cool a bit then slice and drizzle with that delicious tonkatsu sauce you made.
I went classic Hawaiian lunch plate and served this Chicken Katsu with white rice and a Hawaiian style macaroni salad. Super simple and totally delicious.
For the Tonkatsu Sauce:
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
- 2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 1 Tbsp. granulated sugar
For the Chicken:
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- Black pepper
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- 4 thin chicken cutlets
- In a small bowl, whisk together the ketchup, soy sauce, Worchestershire sauce and sugar. Set aside while cooking or refrigerate for later use.
- Heat a large skillet with 1/2-inch of vegetable oil over medium heat. Set up a breading station with three rimmed dishes (I like using pie plates or cake pans). Add flour, 1/4 teaspoon salt and a few cracks of black pepper to the first dish. Crack the eggs and scramble in the second dish. Add the panko, 1/4 teaspoon salt and a few cracks of black pepper to the remaining dish.
- Dredge (coat) the chicken in the flour mixture then dip into the eggs, coating both sides. Lastly, dredge through the panko bread crumbs. Set onto a plate while repeating process with remaining chicken cutlets.
- Set a cooling rack over a rimmed baking sheet or plate. Set aside. Drop a small pinch of flour into the oil. If it sizzles, it's ready for the chicken. Fry the chicken 2 to 4 minutes per side, until golden brown. Remove chicken to cooling rack to drain for 2 minutes. Slice chicken and either drizzle with sauce or serve on the side for dipping.