Every time we go to Wagamama Michael will order the same thing: Chicken Katsu Curry. I can’t say I blame him as it’s a cracking dish and always guaranteed to taste good. The main reason I don’t order it very often is that I’m working my through the rest of the menu like a culinary magpie.
If you don’t know Katsu Curry then what’s wrong with you?! Just kidding – it’s a Japanese dish comprising a fillet of deep-fried, breadcrumbed meat (usually chicken or pork) accompanied by an almost-sweet curry sauce.To me its flavour isn’t a million miles from a “chip-shop curry”, which is never a bad thing. With something fried and something curried as your main ingredients you can’t really go wrong.
It may be a little brave making it at home, as I can be almost sure that it won’t taste the same as that found in a restaurant, but I quite like to challenge myself from time to time and why not pick a favourite dish with which to do it? If it doesn’t go down well then we chalk it up to experience and try something different next time!
With respect to the recipe below… There is no officially available recreation of the Wagamama version to my knowledge, so the curry sauce used here is based on a recipe that I found repeated across the internet in very similar form. I would love to give credit but the ingredients vary so little between multiple sites that there’s no way of knowing who created it first and I could fill this whole post with a list of websites. Whatever its origin it certainly tastes good and has the right mix of sweet and spicy for my liking.
When combined with the crisp, succulent chicken I have to say I’m more than happy with the resulting dish… I’m tempted to make up a bigger batch of the sauce next time and keep it in the freezer just in case we need an emergency pick-me-up for dinner!
Chicken Katsu Curry
for the Sauce
- 2 tbsp Vegetable Oil
- 2 Onions peeled and chopped
- 5 cloves Garlic peeled and crushed
- 2 Carrots peeled and cut into half moons
- 1 Apple cored and chopped
- 2 tbsp Plain Flour
- 4 tsp Mild Curry Powder
- 500 ml Chicken Stock
- 1 tbsp Clear Honey
- 1½ tbsp Light Soy Sauce
- ½ tsp Garam Masala
for the Chicken
- 4 Skinless and Boneless Chicken Breast Fillets
- 2 tbsp Plain Flour
- 2 Eggs beaten
- 100 g Panko Breadcrumbs
- 250 ml Vegetable Oil for frying
- 300 g Rice cooked according to pack instructions. This should be sushi or sticky rice but it's your call
Make the Sauce
- Put the vegetable oil in a deep frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 10-15 minutes until softened and translucent.
- Add in the carrot, apple and garlic, then put on a lid and cook for another 10-15 minutes until it is also tender.
- Sprinkle over the flour and curry powder then stir well to distribute throughout the sauce. Cook out for a minute or so.
- Add in the stock a ladle at a time, stirring well between each addition - you want to create a smooth sauce with no lumps at this stage.
- Once all of the stock has been added follow with the honey and soy sauce, then bring to the boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes until thick and well reduced. Once it has reduced, stir in the garam masala and remove from the heat.
- Strain the sauce through a sieve - you want a silky smooth sauce and don't need the vegetables any more. Of course, you blend the sauce if you wanted but that's your call... Keep the cooked sauce warm whilst you cook the chicken.
Prepare the Chicken
- You want your chicken to be nice and thin. My preferred way to do this is to put the chicken breasts, one at a time, into a zip-lock bag or between two sheets of good cling film, then bashing them a few times with a rolling pin.
- Put the flour, beaten egg and breadcrumbs onto three plates. Coat each chicken breast with flour first, tapping off any excess, then dip them into the egg making sure they're well coated. Finally dip them into the breadcrumbs on all sides until well coated. Put them onto a baking sheet or plate until you're ready to cook them.
- Put about 2cm of oil into a deep frying pan and put over a medium-high heat. When the oil is shimmering you're ready to cook - you can always check by dropping in a little bit of bread and making sure it sizzles and browns.
- Lower each breast fillet into the pan before cooking for 3 minutes on each side, until the breadcrumbs are golden brown and crisp. Don't overcrowd the pan - you may need a couple of pans or to keep the cooked chicken warm as you cook the other breast fillets.
- Cut the cooked chicken into strips then serve over the rice, with a generous topping of the curry sauce. Enjoy!