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Air Fryer Chicken Katsu

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This Air Fryer Chicken Katsu is simultaneously juicy and crispy! You won’t believe that it’s not fried! It’s great for date night; simple recipe and has very few ingredients!

white bowl with air fryer chicken katsu under a bed of rice chopsticks next to it.

Air Fryer Chicken Katsu

If you would have told me a year ago that I’d be able to cook fancy dinners like this homemade chicken katsu, I would have told you that you’re crazy!

I’ve been completed obsessed with making chicken katsu that I’ve even made Air Fryer Katsu Chicken Sandwich, Air Fryer Katsu Chicken Thighs, and Air Fryer Katsu Chicken Tenders.

Every time I struggle to figure out what I want to make for dinner katsu chicken always pops up! Plus it’s super easy to make.

My Air Fryer has honestly been a lifesaver.

I’ve been able to cook nourishing meals like this Air Fryer Chicken Thighs and Potatoes, Air Fryer Chicken and Veggies, Air Fryer Chicken and Broccoli and this Air Fryer Chicken Breast and Potatoes recipe.

white bowl with air fryer chicken katsu under a bed of rice

Before my air fryer, I had barely cooked a meal in my life. Eating out or warming up prepared foods was my go-to.

Now let me tell you, this Air Fryer Chicken Katsu is one of my favorite things to make! I made it twice in one week. That’s how good it is.

And honestly I should have made a double batch because there was no leftovers! I don’t know how, but the air fryer just gives the chicken a crispy coating that you normally only get from frying.

white bowl with air fryer chicken katsu under a bed of rice pouring the katsu sauce on top

❤️ Why you’ll love this easy chicken katsu air fryer recipe

  • Budget Friendly – this chicken breast was on sale for $1.99/lb, I had already bought rice in bulk from SAMs club and the Panko bread crumbs were the only thing that I didn’t already have on hand.
  • Meal Prep – meal prepping has become a big part of my life, always being on the go. This chicken Katsu is perfect for that. Just make some rice. Stores great and reheats easily. Saving you time and money!
  • Intro to ethnic cuisines – if you aren’t very adventurous into trying recipes from different cultures, you’ll love this adapted version of a traditional Japanese Chicken Katsu. It’s Americanized and so is the sauce. Using Ingredients that you most likely will have in your kitchen.
white bowl with air fryer chicken katsu under a bed of rice fork next to it

What does Katsu mean?

In Japanese culture, “Katsu” refers to a cutlet of meat that is coated with panko breadcrumbs and then fried. In addition to chicken katsu, you can also make pork or seafood katsu.

If you go to a Japanese restaurant you will most likely see some type of Katsu recipe on the menu since it’s popular in Japanese cuisine.

In Western Culture, we refer to the traditional Japanese sauce that is served with Katsu as “Katsu sauce.” Katsu sauce is a sweet and tangy sauce, similar to a barbecue sauce.

Katsu sauce is traditionally called Tonkatsu sauce. These two names may be use interchangeably depending on where you read or hear it.

Ingredients

For the chicken

  • Boneless skinless chicken breast
  • Egg
  • Milk
  • Panko breadcrumbs
  • Seasonings: salt and black pepper
Ingredient photo for the chicken. (chicken breast, bread crumbs, salt, pepper, egg, milk)

For the Katsu sauce

  • Ketchup
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Soy Sauce
  • White Sugar
  • Fresh Garlic
katsu sauce ingredients (Worcestershire sauce ketchup, soy sauce, sugar and garlic)

✳️ Tips & Tricks

When you are using the meat mallet make sure the chicken breast is evenly pounded. This ensures that the chicken breast cooks evenly and remains juicy.

Tools to make this Chicken Katsu in the Air Fryer

  • Meat mallet – this is to tenderize and flatten the chicken breasts
  • Cosori Air Fryer – this is my favorite air fryer. The large air fryer basket makes it so easy to cook your favorite recipes
  • Tongs – tongs are easiest to remove and flip the chicken
  • Meat thermometer – You always want to make sure the internal temperature of ANY chicken 165F.

How to make Air Fryer Chicken Katsu

  1. Butterfly the chicken breast, then pound the chicken with the flat side of a meat mallet.
  2. In one mixing bowl add the egg and milk and whisk.
  3. In another mixing bowl add the panko bread crumbs, salt, and black pepper.
  4. Submerge the chicken into the beaten egg mixture then transfer to the panko bread crumbs. Make sure you coat both sides.
  5. Transfer the chicken breast to Air Fryer in a single layer and spray the top with avocado oil.
  6. Cook at 390F for 9 minutes.
  7. Once the timer goes off, flip the chicken breast and spray the top with avocado oil cooking spray. Place back inside the Air Fryer and cook for another 9 minutes.
  8. Remove from Air Fryer and transfer to a plate. Let the chicken rest for 3 minutes before you cut it.
  9. Pour your katsu sauce on top of the chicken.
  10. Serve and enjoy!

How to make homemade Tonkatsu Sauce (Katsu Sauce)

  1. Mix all the ingredients into a small mixing bowl and mix together

Oven Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400F
  2. Butterfly the chicken breast, then pound the chicken with a meat mallet.
  3. In a shallow bowl add the egg and milk and whisk.
  4. In another mixing bowl add the panko bread crumbs, salt, and black pepper.
  5. Submerge the chicken into the egg wash then transfer to the panko bread crumbs. Make sure you coat both sides.
  6. Transfer the chicken breast to a cooking sheet and spray the top with avocado oil.
  7. Cook for 25-30 minutes flipping halfway through.
  8. Remove from oven once the chicken is golden brown. For best results, let the chicken rest for 3-5 minutes before cutting.
  9. Pour the katsu sauce over the top.
  10. Serve and enjoy!

Substitutions

  • If you don’t have Panko crumbs, you can use Italian bread crumbs or regular bread crumbs. The chicken just won’t come out at light and crispy. You can also use a store bought Katsu sauce if you don’t want to make your own.
  • If you can’t find chicken breasts at the grocery store, look for chicken cutlets as a last resort you could even use chicken tenders or chicken thighs.
  • If you eat pork, you could even use pork cutlets, but on this blog we love to make juicy chicken recipes lol.
  • As for the cooking spray, I tend you only use avocado oil. I have this spray bottle where you just add your own avocado oil. That way there’s no additives. Just plain avocado oil.
white bowl with air fryer chicken katsu under a bed of rice mason jar behind bowl

What to serve with Chicken Katsu in the Air Fryer

My favorite thing to serve chicken katsu with is white rice and to top it with homemade katsu sauce. It’s also traditionally paired with shredded cabbage.

If you make extra katsu chicken you can also serve it over a salad.

How to store

  • Store leftover chicken katsu in a glass airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Honestly you probably won’t have many leftovers. It’s that good!
  • For meal prep, you can freeze a meal up to 3 months.

♨️ How to reheat

This reheats best in the air fryer. Set your temperature to 400F and cook for 2-3 minutes.

You can also reheat this in the microwave, Transfer the chicken to a microwave safe plate and microwave on high for 1-1.5 minutes. It made take longer to heat up if the chicken is not sliced.

white bowl with air fryer chicken katsu under a bed of rice chopsticks holding a piece of chicken

❓FAQs

What does chicken katsu taste like?

Chicken katsu tastes like deep-fried chicken. Crispy on the outside tender on the inside. But in this air fryer version, it’s air fried and light and crispy!

What does katsu refer to?

Katsu refers to a cutlet that has been coated in panko bread crumbs and then fried.

How do you eat Japanese Katsu?

Katsu is typically simply seasoned with salt or salt and pepper. It’s normal served with rice or rice and cabbage. It is sometimes served with Karashi (Japanese mustard) or Tonkatsu (the sauce served with Katsu in America)

What is Katsu sauce made of?

It’s typically made of Worcestershire sauce, ketchup and soy sauce. Then you can add in other flavors such as sugar, garlic, ginger, etc.

What is katsu batter made of

Ingredients needed to make chicken katsu include boneless skinless chicken breasts, panko breadcrumbs, flour, egg, salt and pepper.

Are tonkatsu and katsu sauce the same thing?

Yes, both refer to the tangy, Japanese condiment. Often you will see if on katsu chicken, or even used as a dipping sauce.

white bowl with air fryer chicken katsu under a bed of rice chopsticks next to it

More Air Fryer Katsu Chicken Recipes

Make sure you check out these super delicious katsu chicken recipes!

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white bowl with air fryer chicken katsu under a bed of rice fork next to it

Easy Air Fryer Chicken Katsu

This Air Fryer Chicken Katsu is simultaneously juicy and crispy! You won't believe that it's not fried! It's great for date night; simple recipe and has very few ingredients! 
4.96 from 41 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Total Time 28 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Japanese
Servings 2
Calories 450 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
  

Chicken

  • 1 lb Chicken breast boneless skinless
  • 1 Egg Large
  • 1 tbsp Milk
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • ¼ tsp Black pepper
  • 1 cup Panko bread crumbs

Katsu Sauce

  • 1 tbsp Ketchup
  • 1/2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp Soy sauce
  • 2 tsp Sugar
  • 1 clove Garlic Minced

Instructions
 

  • Butterfly the chicken breast, then pound the chicken with a meat mallet.
  • In one mixing bowl add the egg and milk and whisk.
  • In another mixing bowl add the panko bread crumbs, salt, and black pepper.
  • Submerge the chicken into the egg wash then transfer to the panko bread crumbs. Make sure you coat both sides.
  • Transfer the chicken breast to Air Fryer and spray the top with avocado oil.
  • Cook at 390F for 9 minutes.
  • Once the timer goes off, flip the chicken breast and spray the top with avocado oil. Place back inside the Air Fryer and cook for another 9 minutes.
  • To make the Katsu sauce, add all of the ingredients to a  small bowl and whisk together.
  • Remove the chicken from the air fryer basket and top with the katsu sauce. Serve with rice.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 450kcalCarbohydrates: 30gProtein: 56gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0.04gCholesterol: 228mgSodium: 1724mgPotassium: 1017mgFiber: 2gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 242IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 97mgIron: 3mg
Keyword air fryer chicken katsu, chicken katsu in the air fryer, homemade chicken katsu less fat
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white bowl with air fryer chicken katsu under a bed of rice fork next to it.

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