I've yet to travel to Japan. It's top of my list. I love love love the diversity of Japanese food and top of that list is Chicken Katsudon (A close second is, Katsu Curry, but that's another post). Katsudon is a breaded cutlet, pork or chicken over rice and cooked with a deliciously flavoured egg mix. Like a lot of Japanese food, it's unlike anything else I've ever eaten and it's incredibly moreish!
Japanese Comfort Food
The slight crispy/soggy texture of the cutlet is deliberate - it soaks up the cooking liquid which itself is salty, slightly fishy and sweet. Sounds odd, but it's utterly delicious. Katsudon is one of those comfort dishes that you crave when the weather is miserable. It's hearty, warming and incredibly filling.
Traditionally, this dish used leftover katsu as a kind of quick and easy throw together kind of dish, but these days, the it's made fresh and remains crisp and crunchy. I'm torn, as I do love a crispy katsu, but I also love the soggy bits. What I'll do, is be strategic with my egg pouring to leave some of the katsu untouched, in turn getting the bits of crisp and bits of soggy.
Being a fan of anything breaded and an even bigger fan of eggs - It's one of my top 10 dishes to cook at home. As they say in Japan: あなたの食べ物の愚痴をお楽しみください
How to make my Chicken Katsudon
- 2 small chicken breasts (pounded into flat cutlets)
- 2 tbsp plain flour
- 1 egg
- 3 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 3 cup vegetable oil
- 1 medium onion (halved and thinly sliced)
- 1 small bunch spring onions (finely sliced)
- pickled ginger (for garnish)
- Seaweed rice seasoning (for garnish)
- 1 cup freshly boiled water
- 2 tsp Hondashi
- 2 tbsp Japanese soy sauce
- 2 tbsp sake
- 3 tsp sugar
- 2 tbsp mirin
- 4 eggs
- 2 cup Japanese white rice (I love Nishiki rice!)
- Create a coating station! 1 small bowl of flour, another of egg and the last one of panko breadcrumbs.
- Take a chicken cutlet and press into the flour on both sides. Shake off any excess flour then dip into the egg to coat fully. Shake off the excess egg then place into the panko. Press firmly to fully coat the chicken on both sides. Set onto a plate while you repeat the process with the second cutlet. Place the chicken in the fridge for 30 minutes. This time to dry will stop the breadcrumbs falling off when you fry the chicken. Discard the leftover coating ingredients.
- Heat the oil in a deep frying pan until rippling hot, but not smoking. Carefully slide in each chicken cutlet and fry for 4 minutes each side until fully cooked (depending on the thickness). Drain on paper towels and set aside.
- Cook the rice gently in 4 cups of simmering water until all the liquid has evaporated. Remove from the heat. Cover with a clean tea towel, then a lid and set aside. Alternatively, change your life forever and buy a rice cooker - TRUST ME!
- To make the katsudon, you'll need 2 small frying pans as you'll be making each portion separately but at the same time!
- To make the seasoning sauce combine the Hondashi mix with the hot water and stir to dissolve. Mix with all the other seasoning sauce ingredients and set aside.
- Break two eggs into two bowls and beat. Set aside.
- Divide the the onions equally between the two frying pans. Pour over half the seasoning sauce into each pan. Turn on the heat and bring each pan to a light simmer. Pop over a lid and let the onions cook gently for 5-6 minutes until soft.
- Take your cutlets and slice each one into 1 inch slices. Leave the cutlets in their original shape as you carefully place them on top of the simmering onions. put the lids back on and cook for 30 seconds.
- Pour the beaten egg over each cutlet and return the lids. Let the eggs cook for 1-2 minutes before removing from the heat.
- Divide the rice between 2 Asian soup bowls. Using a flipper, gently slide each cutlet and soft egg over the rice (it should slide from the pan in one layer like a soft omelette) - tuck the edges down. Garnish each with the spring onion, pickled ginger and Seaweed seasoning and serve!
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