fried chicken– Japanese-style breaded chicken breast slices – is a comfort food that still warms my bones like my first chilly afternoon at a small Tokyo restaurant.
It was a wet November day.
We’ve been walking for hours, tired and hungry (do you feel that way after get off work?).
We followed our noses to a hidden basement restaurant, grabbed our picture menu, and pointed out what seemed the most ideal meal at the moment: juicy chicken breaded, fried, and served with a dish commonly known as tonkatsu sweet and sticky Asian sauce.
It’s simple, satisfying, and just what the moment needs.
Chicken tonkatsu is different in how it’s mashed, uses panko bread crumbs (to make it more crunchy), and how it’s served: with shredded cabbage, rice, lemon wedges, and tonkatsu sauce.
If your family loves crispy breaded chicken (and so do I!), then you’ll love fried chicken.
Today’s recipe is my grilled chicken cutlet that the average American cook can use.
- Instead of frying, I grilled the chicken over high heat so that it was crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside.
- To mimic the indulgence of deep frying, I toasted the bread crumbs with a little butter before breading the chicken. It works like a dream!
fried chicken sauce
Chicken cutlets are often served with tonkatsu sauce, a sweet and tangy Japanese condiment made from fruits and vegetables such as tomatoes, celery, onions, dates and plums, as well as soy sauce and more than 10 spices. Very complicated!
In the US, you can buy it from many grocery stores or your local Asian market.I’ve also included a quick recipe for chicken katsu sauce below, which I adapted from only one cookbook.
How to Make Chicken Cutlets
This grilled chicken chop uses buttered toasted breadcrumbs to create delicious, crispy chicken without the fuss of a deep fryer.
Serve it the traditional Japanese way (with chopped cabbage, rice, lemon, and tonkatsu sauce), or do a cultural mashup and choose your family’s favorite dipping sauce, such as BBQ sauce, Greek Yogurt Ranch Dipor my house honey mustard dip Honey Mustard Chicken Tenders.
- Chick. Mash the chicken chops until they are nice and thin to help make them more tender. Plus, they flash by! You can buy chicken already sliced, or cut your own from regular chicken breasts.
To make the chicken easier to slice, place it in the refrigerator for 15 minutes before slicing.
- butter. Toasting panko in butter adds a rich, mouthwatering flavor to the crumb coating without the need for a deep fryer.
- Pankow. Creates the perfect crunchy coating.
- flour + egg. Helps the eggs and crumbs adhere to the outside for maximum crispness.
- Mash the chicken and season with salt and pepper.
- Toast crumbs in a frying pan with butter. Add flour to a separate bowl. In another bowl, beat eggs.
- Lightly dredge each chicken chop in flour.
- Then, dip it into the egg.
- Finally, dip it in the breadcrumbs.
- Arrange the steaks on a baking sheet with an oven-safe rack, then coat each one with nonstick spray.
- Grill chicken chops at 425°F for 12 to 14 minutes. Remove and let stand for 5 minutes. Serve with tonkatsu sauce and desired noodles. Dig in!
Made in the Air Fryer
Here’s how to make chicken cutlets in the air fryer (my fan Air Fryer Chicken Breast will love this! ):
- Follow the instructions in step 6.
- Coat the air fryer basket with nonstick spray. Cook chicken chops in a single layer at 390°F (you may need to make several batches) for 4 minutes.
- Flip the chicken over and cook for an additional 2 to 5 minutes or until it is fully cooked. Repeat the above steps for the remaining chicken.
- storage. Refrigerate remaining breaded chicken in an airtight storage container for up to 2 days.
- reheat. Reheat leftovers on a baking sheet in a 350°F oven or microwave.
- freeze. Freeze chicken in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
Meal Prep Tips
Mash the chicken up to 1 day in advance. Refrigerate in an airtight storage container until you are ready to finish the recipe.
Recommended tools for making this recipe
- bakeware. I love everything from roasted vegetables to chicken tonkatsu.
- pie plate. Great for flour, egg and breadcrumb mixtures.
- meat tenderizer. Great for pounding chicken.
Every bite of fried chicken takes me back to that cozy restaurant in Tokyo.
I hope it warms and nourishes your family too!
Frequently Asked Questions
If you want to make a chicken katsu Parmesan version, you can add grated Parmesan cheese to the breadcrumb mixture (after the breadcrumbs are baked in butter and cooled).
To make dairy-free chicken cutlets, swap the butter for canola or olive oil.
fried chicken video
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For chicken wins:
- 4 Chicken breast fillets*
- 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt divided into
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper powder
- 2 spoon unsalted butter**
- 1 Cup Bread crumbs
- 1/4 Cup White whole wheat flour or all-purpose flour
- 1 large egg
- non-stick cooking spray Recommended: Olive Oil Spray
- Tonkatsu Sauce***
- shredded cabbage
- Lemon slices
- cooked rice White is traditional; use brown rice for added nutrition or cauliflower rice
Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Place an oven-safe rack on top and coat liberally with nonstick spray and set aside.
Lightly pound chicken chops to an even 1/2-inch thickness. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and black pepper over chicken chops.
In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add the breadcrumbs and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Stir to coat the crumbs with melted butter. Cook, stirring constantly, until the crumbs are lightly toasted and golden brown, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a wide, shallow bowl or plate (a pie plate works great).
In a separate shallow bowl, place white whole wheat flour. In a third shallow bowl, beat eggs.
Set up your workstation: chicken, flour, eggs, panko, baking sheet. Working one at a time, lightly dip each chicken chop in flour.
Then, dip the chicken into the eggs.
Finally, dip the chicken into the panko. Dab the panko as needed to adhere. Arrange on a baking sheet so the patties don’t touch. Spray the top with nonstick spray.
Grill the chicken katsu in the upper third of the oven until the chicken is cooked through (it should reach an internal temperature of 165F; I made it a few degrees earlier to let the rest of the cooking finish), about 12 to 14 minutes.
Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes.
To serve, slice the chicken chops into thin slices (if desired). Drizzle with tonkatsu sauce. Serve with cabbage, a small bowl of rice, and lemon wedges, and serve with extra tonkatsu sauce in a side bowl.
- *Chicken breast fillets are cut in half horizontally to create two thinner pieces of chicken. You can buy it already cut or carefully cut it yourself. Alternatively, you can pound very small chicken breasts to ½ inch.
- **Traditional chicken cutlets are deep fried in vegetable oil or peanuts; to mimic that indulgent spin, I toast them with melted butter; you can roast them in canola or olive oil if you prefer.
- ***Tonkatsu sauce is available at many grocery stores or local Asian markets. Alternatively, you can make your quick version by mixing 2 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste, 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, and 1 tablespoon oyster sauce.Add a pinch or two of sugar to taste (sauce adapted from only one cookbook).
- storage: Refrigerate the chicken in an airtight container for 2 days.
- reheat: Place leftovers on a baking sheet and reheat in a 350°F oven or microwave.
- freeze: Freeze chicken in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
Serve: 1(4 in total)Calories: 344kcalcarbohydrate: 16Gprotein: 41Gfat: 12GSaturated fat: 5GPolyunsaturated Fats: 1GMonounsaturated Fats: 3GTrans fat: 1Gcholesterol: 165mgPotassium: 685mgfiber: 1Gsugar: 1GVitamin A: 286IUVitamin C: 2mgcalcium: 50mgiron: 2mg
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