This Air Fryer Chicken Katsu recipe uses only a few ingredients, is easy to make, and is ready in under 30 minutes. With a crispy outside, tender inside, and covered in a sweet and savory sauce, this Japanese-inspired dish is great for special occasions or an easy weeknight dinner!
Air Fryer Chicken Katsu Recipe
Chicken Katsu is a popular Japanese dish that consists of breaded and fried chicken, typically served with a sweet and savory sauce called “tonkatsu” sauce on top. This dish is commonly served with white rice and shredded green cabbage.
Chicken Katsu has a crispy and crunchy texture on the outside due to the panko coating, while the inside is tender and juicy due to the chicken being lightly fried. The sauce that accompanies the Chicken Katsu is usually savory and sweet, which complements the mild flavor of the chicken.
Using my air fryer to cook is one of my favorite things because the recipes are super quick and easy to make. If you’re new to using an air fryer or want to learn more, here are some tips and tricks on how to use an air fryer and a guide on what is the best air fryer to buy for you and your family.
If you’re looking for more air fryer main dish recipes, be sure to try out Air Fryer Chicken Recipes Pistachio Crusted Air Fryer Salmon and Jalapeño Lime Air Fryer Steak, they’re some of my favorites!
Easy Air Fryer Chicken Katsu Ingredients
Chicken breasts: I recommend using boneless, skinless chicken breasts and cutting them in half to make thin cutlets easier to cook in your air fryer.
Slicing your chicken breasts in half also helps cut back on cook time. If you like, you can also use chicken thighs for this recipe.
Egg: using a large egg helps the panko, flour, and salt stick to the chicken during the dredging process.
Panko: I like to use Japanese-style panko crumbs for this recipe because they are light and flaky. These bread crumbs give your chicken cutlets the perfect amount of crunch. I recommend using plain panko, but if you want to add in some extra spices for flavor, you’re welcome to!
Kosher Salt: salt is the only seasoning in the breading for this recipe. This is because the Chicken Katsu sauce will bring such an intense and delicious flavor once served.
However, to add extra flavor to your Chicken Katsu, you can season the breadcrumbs with garlic powder, black pepper, and any other spices you like.
All-purpose flour: using all-purpose flour when dredging your chicken keeps it from drying out while it is in the air fryer.
Green cabbage: I love serving this chicken with cabbage or baby bok choy, it adds color to this dish and gives it a great crunch.
Homemade Katsu Sauce Ingredients
Ketchup: this may or may not surprise you, but ketchup helps with the consistency of your sauce and adds a sweet and savory flavor. All you need is a regular bottle of ketchup!
Worcestershire sauce: adds savory umami, tangy, and sweet and salty flavors to this sauce. A little bit goes a long way, so make sure not to add too much.
Sugar: adding sugar to your sauce is going to help cut any bitterness and adds the perfect sweet layer to your Air Fryer Chicken Katsu sauce.
Oyster sauce: imagine a sauce that is like soy sauce but also like fish sauce, and you have oyster sauce. This sauce is thick, like syrup, but brings a great sweet and salty flavor to the mix.
Soy sauce: using soy sauce in this recipe brings not only the perfect amount of salt but also a savory umami flavor that helps the sauce achieve its perfect combination of sweet and salty.
How to Make Air Fryer Chicken Katsu
1. Preheat the air fryer to 350° F.
2. Prep the chicken. Whisk the egg into a medium bowl and add the all-purpose flour and salt to a shallow bowl. Dip the chicken into the beaten eggs and then dip the chicken into the flour. Press enough to get a coating all over the chicken.
3. Bread the chicken. Add the panko to a shallow dish. Dip the floured chicken into the egg again and then into the panko. Press enough to cover all the chicken.
4. Air fry the chicken. Place the chicken into the air fryer basket and spray olive oil on both sides. Air fry the chicken for 18-20 minutes or until the internal temperature has reached 165 F and the outside is crispy and golden brown.
5. Slice the chicken. Let the chicken cool for a few minutes before slicing it into strips.
You can serve it in a rice bowl topped with green onions or in a bowl of ramen noodles with nori sheets and chili oil! If you’re serving it in ramen, you might want to make some soft-boiled eggs to go with it.
How to Make Homemade Katsu Sauce
Making homemade sauces is much easier than you might think. For this homemade katsu sauce, simply combine ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, oyster sauce, and soy sauce in a small bowl.
Drizzle the katsu sauce over the chicken just before serving.
- Make sure to flip the chicken halfway through to ensure the breading cooks evenly inside the air fryer. I like to use a spatula for flipping to keep the panko from falling off.
- Use panko bread crumbs, not Italian-style breadcrumbs: Japanese panko breadcrumbs are light and crispy, which is perfect for Chicken Katsu. They will give your chicken a nice crunch.
- Season the breadcrumbs: to add extra flavor to your Chicken Katsu, you can season the breadcrumbs with salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and any other spices.
- To get the perfect coating on your chicken, you’ll want to dip it in flour, then egg, and finally panko.
How is Chicken Katsu different from fried chicken?
While fried chicken often features chicken with the bone in, made by deep frying in oil; chicken katsu is typically thinly pounded, resulting in a more tender texture.
The breading is made with a crunchy panko coating, which creates a light and crispy exterior. It’s often served with a savory sauce called katsu sauce, which adds a distinct flavor to the dish.
Is Chicken Katsu just fried chicken?
You can think of Chicken Katsu as the Japanese style of fried chicken. They’re both made by covering a piece of chicken in breading and seasonings and then fried. This Chicken Katsu air fryer recipe is easier to make than your regular fried chicken, and it’s also healthier!
How to use panko breadcrumbs in an air fryer?
Using bread crumbs in the air fryer is super easy once you get the hang of it. The key is to make sure the breadcrumbs are really stuck to your chicken. You don’t want the breadcrumbs to come off while cooking; however, if they do, the air fryer makes it super simple to clean up.
Sometimes I will use a spatula to carefully flip the chicken instead of tongs so I don’t accidentally remove any of the breading from the chicken.
What is katsu sauce made of?
Traditional Japanese katsu sauce is packed full of flavor and is made up of ingredients like ketchup (or tomato sauce), Worcestershire sauce, and oyster sauce with a dash of sugar and soy sauce.
These ingredients together create the perfect sweet and savory sauce to put on top of your air-fried chicken. If you’d rather buy store-bought katsu sauce, I like this one.
What is chicken katsu breading made of?
Air Fryer Chicken Katsu breading is made up of panko, egg, salt, and flour. These four ingredients help create the best golden crispy crust on your chicken breast cutlets. This breading combination is great because it will even stay crispy once you put your sauce on it!
How do I store leftover Chicken Katsu?
Once cooked, allow the Chicken Katsu to cool down to room temperature before storing. Once cooled, store your leftover Chicken Katsu in an airtight container. Be sure the container is tightly sealed to prevent air from getting in and drying out the chicken.
To reheat it, you can put it back in the air fryer at 325 F for 3-5 minutes, or until it’s heated through.
More easy air fryer recipes to try
- Air Fryer Croutons
- Pretzel Crusted Chicken Tenders
- Miso Air Fryer Salmon Bites
- Air Fryer Twice Baked Potatoes
WANT TO TRY THIS AIR FRYER CHICKEN KATSU RECIPE?
PIN IT to your chicken recipes, air fryer dinner recipes, or Japanese inspired recipes board to save it for later!
Find me on Pinterest for more great recipes. I’m always pinning!
Did you make this recipe? Post a photo on Instagram and tag me @JZEATS or #JZEATS so I can see! Leave a comment below and let me know what you think, too!
Air Fryer Chicken Katsu
- Preheat the air fryer to 350° F.
- Whisk the egg into a medium bowl and add the all purpose flour and salt to a shallow bowl. Dip the chicken into the beaten eggs and then dip the chicken into the flour. Press enough to get a coating all over the chicken.
- Add the panko to a shallow dish. Dip the floured chicken into the egg again, and then into the panko. Press enough to cover all the chicken.
- Place the chicken into the air fryer basket and spray olive oil on both sides. Air fry the chicken for 18-20 minutes, or until fully cooked through and crispy on the outside.
- Let the chicken cool for a few minutes before slicing into strips.
Chicken Katsu Sauce
- While the chicken is cooking, combine the ketchup, wocesterchire sauce, sugar, oyster sauce, and soy sauce together in a small bowl.
- To serve, place the chicken on a plate with white rice and shredded green cabbage. Top the chicken with the chicken katsu sauce.