Juicy, tender, and crispy baked chicken katsu served with a bright spring salad. In this recipe, chicken breast is coated in toasted panko and baked in the oven until golden brown. It makes a much healthier stand-in for greasy fried chicken. So simple and easy, you want to make this tonight!
Japanese food is typically pretty healthy, but we do have a love for deep-fried food. If you are comfortable with deep frying, popular Japanese dishes like Chicken Katsu and Tonkatsu are easy to make at home. However, the majority of people prefer eating these dishes at restaurants because they prefer to avoid the mess and clean-up after deep frying food.
If you can relate to this, then today’s recipe is for you. This crispy Baked Chicken Katsu recipe is super easy, which makes it possible to make for a weeknight dinner. Since the chicken is oven-baked with my toasted panko method, it is a much healthier option and you can enjoy without any guilt.
Baked Chicken Katsu with Toasted Panko
My mom is really good at deep frying. Her deep-fried foods are always super crispy, and they never look or taste too oily. Although I enjoy deep-fried foods and occasionally make these special treats for my family, I try to go for the healthier options whenever I can.
This Baked Chicken Katsu is a wonderful choice if you want to eat a healthier version of my Chicken Katsu recipe or if you prefer not to deep fry at home.
Why Do We Toast Panko?
- Even golden color – If you don’t use toasted panko and bake, the panko never gets even golden color due to the oven’s hot spot. With this method, your baked chicken katsu looks just like deep-fried chicken katsu.
- Extra crispy panko texture – Toasting helps to remove any moisture in the panko and makes it extra crisp and crunchy.
I used organic chicken breast in my recipe so it turned out really juicy and flavorful. With the crispy crust, this Baked Chicken Katsu is very close to the deep-fried version.
Now if you want to substitute chicken with pork to make baked Tonkatsu, you need to make sure the pork is thin so it will be cooked completely.
Light and Healthier Choice
My mom is really good at deep frying and her deep-fried foods are always super crispy and never taste too oily. Although I enjoy making and eating deep-fried foods, I try to go for healthier options whenever I can.
I was really surprised how well this Baked Chicken Katsu turned out and best of all, my children loved it as well. The chicken is crunchy on the outside and tender on the inside. It makes a complete meal when served with a bright spring salad and a delicious tonkatsu sauce.
Watch How To Make Baked Chicken Katsu
Juicy and tender crispy baked chicken katsu! Chicken breast is wrapped in a toasted panko crust and it tastes just like deep-fried chicken katsu!
Japanese Ingredient Substitution: If you want to look for substitutes for Japanese condiments and ingredients, click here.
Baked Chicken Katsu
For Pre-Toasted Panko
- 1 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
- 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast
- kosher/sea salt (I use 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)
- 1 Tbsp water
- Gather all the ingredients. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 400ºF (200ºC). For a convection oven, reduce cooking temperature by 25ºF (15ºC). Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
To Pre-Toast Panko
- Combine the panko and oil in a frying pan and toast over medium heat until golden brown. Transfer panko into a shallow dish and allow to cool.
To Prepare Katsu
- Butterfly the chicken breast and cut in half. Using a mallet or rolling pin, pound the chicken to equal thickness if necessary. Season salt and pepper on both sides of the chicken.
- In a shallow dish, add flour and in another shallow dish, whisk together the egg and water.
- Coat each chicken piece in the flour and shake off any excess flour. Dip into the egg mixture and then coat with the toasted panko, pressing firmly to adhere to the chicken.
- Place the chicken pieces on the prepared baking sheet (I recommend putting on a wire rack as I did in this recipe) and bake at 400ºF (200ºC) until the chicken is no longer pink inside (internal temperature should be 165ºF (74ºC)), about 25-30 minutes. Serve immediately or transfer to a wire rack so the bottom of the katsu doesn't get soggy from the moisture.
- Serve with salad and tonkatsu sauce on the side.
- You can keep the leftovers in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days and in the freezer for a month.