Crispy chicken katsu served with savory sauce and eggs over rice, this Chicken Katsudon (Chicken Cutlet Rice Bowl) is a typical lunch enjoyed by all ages in Japan. Make this delicious rice bowl for your family today!
Today’s recipe Chicken Katsudon (チキンカツ丼) might “look” time-consuming but it’s actually not. It’s perfect for a busy day. I usually serve this dish with a bowl of miso soup and a small salad. Because it is served in a donburi (rice bowl) style, katsudon makes a balanced meal that is fulfilling.
A more typical Katsudon is served with Tonkatsu (deep-fried pork cutlet). Chicken Katsudon is also a favorite, especially with the children. It’s a popular lunch dish in Japan and you can find it on the menu at every corner of shops, cafeterias, and restaurants.
My mom always makes Chicken Katsu with chicken tenders so that’s how I make it, but you can use chicken breasts or thighs. If you use chicken breasts, make sure to cut each piece thin so it will cook faster (Here’s the basic cutting technique to cut breasts thin).
Shallow Fry instead of Deep Fry the Chicken Katsu
When it comes to home cooking, I know most of you try to avoid deep frying as much as possible. For this recipe, I apply the shallow frying technique instead of deep-frying to prepare the chicken katsu. It uses less oil and creates less mess on the kitchen counter. The chicken will brown beautifully with a crispy char on the surface and tender inside.
Alternatively, you can prepare the chicken using the oven with my Baked Chicken Katsu (揚げないチキンカツ) recipe.
To enjoy Chicken Katsudon, serve the golden fried chicken cutlet with savory-sweet onions cooked in dashi and eggs over hot steamed rice in a bowl. Top it off with mitsuba (Japanese wild parsley), and you will have a satisfying meal for the family.
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For the Chicken Katsu
- 7 oz chicken tenders (4 chicken tenders for 2 servings)
- kosher salt (Diamond Crystal; use half for table salt)
- freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour (plain flour)
- 1 large egg (50 g w/o shell) (beaten)
- 1 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
- 3 cups neutral-flavored oil (vegetable, rice bran, canola, etc.) (for deep-frying)
For the Katsudon
- ½ onion (thinly sliced)
- 2 large egg (50 g w/o shell) (beaten)
- 2 servings cooked Japanese short-grain rice (1 rice cooker cup (180 ml) yields roughly 2 servings (1¾ US cups); see how to cook short-grain rice with a rice cooker, a pot over the stove, an Instant Pot, or a donabe)
- 4 sprigs mitsuba (Japanese parsley) (chopped; or substitute green onion)
- ichimi togarashi (Japanese chili pepper) (for a spicy kick)
For the Seasonings
- ⅔ cup dashi (Japanese soup stock; click to learn more) (I use a standard Awase Dashi made with kombu and katsuobushi; for vegan/vegetarian, make Vegan Dashi)
- 1½ Tbsp sake
- 1½ Tbsp mirin
- 1½ Tbsp soy sauce
- 1½ tsp sugar
- Gather all the ingredients.
To Make the Chicken Katsu
- Place the flour, beaten egg, and panko in individual bowls or plates. Season the chicken tenders with salt and pepper. To bread the chicken, dust each piece with the flour. Then, dip it into the beaten egg. Finally, coat the chicken completely with the panko. Set the breaded cutlets on a plate.
- Heat the oil in a frying pan and shallow-fry the panko-coated chicken at 350ºF (180ºC) until golden brown. Remove the chicken and place it on a wire rack or plate lined with paper towels to drain the extra oil.
To Make the Katsudon
- In another (or a clean) frying pan, add the onion slices and all the ingredients for the Katsudon seasonings. Cover and bring it to a boil over medium heat. Once boiling, lower the heat to medium low and cook the onion, covered, until wilted.
- Put the chicken katsu on top of the onion slices and turn the heat up to medium. Evenly distribute the beaten eggs over the chicken katsu and onion. Cover to cook until the eggs are set to your liking, roughly 30 seconds.
- Top with the chopped mitsuba (or green onion) and turn off the heat. Divide the steamed rice into individual bowls. Gently transfer the simmered katsu and eggs on top of the steamed rice. Sprinkle the top with ichimi togarashi (Japanese chili pepper) for a spicy kick. Enjoy!
- You can keep the leftovers in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for a month.