One of our favourite dishes on the Wagamama menu, Chicken Katsu Curry is all about comfort eating. A wonderful combination of Japanese curry plus Katsu (meat or seafood coated in panko breadcrumbs and deep-fried), this dish is easy to make and tastes so good.
We love this recipe from The Japanese Larder, a wonderful new cookbook from Luiz Hara, a le Cordon Bleu-trained chef, food and travel writer who specializes in Japanese and Nikkei cuisines.
Feel free to explore and use other types of meat such as pork, beef, lamb or seafood, or perhaps make it vegetarian.
As usual, we’d love to see how you get on, so send in pics of your efforts to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll feature on our social media.
JAPANESE CURRY | SHORT-GRAIN RICE | PANKO BREADCRUMBS | RED PICKLED GINGER | SOY SAUCE
2 quantities of steamed white rice
For the chicken katsu
6 boneless chicken thighs, skin on
2 tbsp dark soy sauce
2 garlic cloves
4–6 tbsp potato starch or cornflour (cornstarch)
2 eggs, beaten
100g (3½oz) Japanese panko breadcrumbs
sunflower oil, for deep-frying
For the vegetable curry
200g (7oz) baby onions 200g (7oz) carrots
400g (14oz) potatoes
400g (14oz) courgettes (zucchini) (about 2)
50g (1¾oz/¼ cup) butter
2 tbsp sunflower oil
800ml (28fl oz/3⅓ cups) fresh water
120g (4oz) Japanese hot curry tablets (S&B Golden Curry)
1–2 tbsp light soy sauce or salt to taste (optional)
For the garnish
50g (1¾oz) finely sliced spring onions (scallions)
50g (1¾oz) mange-tout, blanched in boiling water for 15 seconds, refreshed under cold water
50g (1¾oz) red pickled ginger (Japanese beni shoga)
- Cook the white rice and keep it warm. In a bowl, mix the chicken thighs with the soy sauce and garlic, and let them infuse for 30 minutes.
- Make the curry. Peel the onions, carrots and potatoes then chop them and the courgettes (zucchini) separately into irregular bite-sized chunks. Heat the butter and sunflower oil in a medium-sized pan over a medium heat until the butter is melted. Add the onions and fry gently for a couple of minutes until translucent but not coloured. Add the carrots and potatoes and stir well to coat in the hot oil. Add the measured water, bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes for the vegetables to begin to soften. Add the Japanese curry tablets and mix gently until completely dissolved.
- Continue simmering for another 5 minutes, stirring from time to time to ensure it is not catching on the bottom of the pan. Finally, add the chopped courgette (zucchini) or edamame peas and simmer for a final 5 minutes. The sauce should have thickened, the potatoes and carrots should be soft but not disintegrating and the courgette (zucchini) or edamame peas should still retain some bite and their beautiful green colour. Check for seasoning and add a little soy sauce if desired. Turn off the heat.
- In a medium-size pan heat enough sunflower oil to 160ºC (320ºF) to deep-fry the chicken. Take three deep but flattish plates or bowls, and separately place the potato starch or cornflour (cornstarch), the beaten eggs and the Japanese panko breadcrumbs in each. Take a couple of the chicken thighs and coat them first in the potato starch, then dip them in the egg, followed by a generous coating of panko breadcrumbs, pressing them gently so the breadcrumbs stick.
- Deep-fry the chicken thighs, two at a time, turning the pieces over occasionally until they are golden brown and crispy, this should take 6–7 minutes. Transfer to a plate lined with kitchen paper (paper towel) to drain and continue frying the remaining chicken thighs. Slice the chicken thighs.
- Divide the rice between six shallow bowls, spoon the vegetable curry beside the rice and place the sliced chicken over the curry. Top with the spring onions (scallions), mange-tout and red pickled ginger and serve immediately.
Find this recipe in The Japanese Larder
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