chicken katsu and experimenting in the kitchen

Although this is one of my favorite dishes, I try not to make it often. It tastes great and has lots of crispy, crunchy goodness, but it’s oily. Pan frying it in a pool of oil doesn’t exactly say healthy or leave me with a happy stomach. I heard about people baking the katsu rather than frying it so I experimented tonight. Big mistake! It came out dry on the outside.. the panko flavor, that crispy goodness was missing. Just dry and crunchy. Especially true in this case, fat adds much needed flavor/texture. There’s no need to mess with this classic Japanese dish. Everything in moderation, right?

chicken katsu with shredded cabbage
serves 4

1 ¼ lb of chicken thighs, pounded to about 1/3 inch thickness
½ cup of flour
1 egg
1 cup of panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
1 tsp of salt and pepper
2 cups of shredded cabbage
½ tomato, sliced into wedges
vegetable or canola oil
donkatsu sauce

salad dressing
3 TB mayonnaise
1 TB sugar
1 tsp red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp ketchup

Pound your chicken thighs until they’re nice and thin (can use a mallet or the bottom of a skillet). Season both sides with salt and pepper.

Prepare the chicken for the dredging and breading. Take a gallon size Ziplock bag and pour in the flour. Have 2 bowls, one with a beaten egg and one filled with panko.

Carefully place 2 thighs at a time into the flour, seal, and shake until they’re completely coated. Dust off excess flour. Next, put it in the egg bowl and make sure both sides are covered. Hold up each piece to allow excess egg to drip off. Place it the panko bowl and cover it with breadcrumbs. Gently press down on the thighs so the panko adheres and covers it completely.

Get a frying pan and turn on medium heat. Once the pan is heated, add a generous layer of oil (canola or vegetable). Pan fry each piece for about 5 minutes on each side or until cooked throughout. Set aside a large plate covered with paper towels to soak in the oil.

Prep your salad dressing by whisking all the ingredients in a bowl. Serve chicken katsu sliced into strips with a side of rice, cabbage, and tomato. Enjoy!

And a few pictures from a trip to the farmer’s market.

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