Turning Japanese..I think I’m turning Japanese.I really think so ! Making and Eating Chicken Katsu
I have always had a love of Japanese food and culture. As early as me teens I was going out to Japanese restaurants and slurping up sushi. My Asian journey was helped by a good friend whose nickname Red Ed. He was called due to the fact that he had red curly hair and freckles and so people would know which Ed they were talking about ( I was called …..Ed. Sorry I won’t reveal more!). The thing about Red Ed was that he grew up in Japan and was fluent in the language. Besides introducing me to Japanese food and culture he also taught me some of the language (a skill that would serve me well later). A favorite prank of ours was to go to a party and speak Japanese to each other and watch as the whole room fell silent while trying to figure out what we were saying to each other. Anyway…
Fast forward 30 years. I was hired to run the Cafeteria at a large Japanese auto concern. It was a natural. I knew food and spoke some Japanese. One of the requirements of the position was to serve authentic Japanese food. In order to fill this requirement I hired a Japanese Chef. Now my background as a Chef is pretty deep but I was in awe watching this Chef work. It was such a pleasure and I learned so much more about Japanese cuisine than I thought I knew. One of the dishes we served was called Chicken Katsu. It’s basically Japanese fried Chicken but is very popular. We served it once a week and people would line up around the building just to order it.
Without further babbling I present to you Chicken Katsu:
Chicken Katsu Dinner for Two
2×4 oz chicken Breast
1 cup flour (all purpose)
1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
Bulldog brand Tonkatsu Sauce
Finely shredded cabbage*
Nishiki brand Japanese short grain rice
Black sesame seeds
1. Butterfly both chicken breast so that they are an even thickness through out.
2.Sprinkle each piece lightly with kosher and white pepper.
3.Make a batter with the egg milk and some of the flour. It should be the consistency of a thin pancake batter.
4.Dredge the chicken in the flour and then dip it in the batter. Place the battered chicken in the breadcrumb.
5.Using dry hand coat the chicken with the breadcrumb. Allow the breaded chicken to rest fir 1o minutes so the coating will set.
6.Fry the chicken at 350 degrees until golden brown and the internal temperature is 165 degrees.
7.Place shredded cabbage on the plate in a mound.
8.Run a knife through the chicken in order to cut it in strips.
9.Put on plate with the cabbage and drizzle with Tonkatsu sauce.
10.Serve with cooked rice sprinkled with black sesame seed.
* Soak the cabbage in cold water after shredding. It will get crisp as it absorbs the water.
- Panko breadcrumbs are available in all Japanese grocery stores and most groceries.
- I am not endorsing the rice brand as I know there are other brands of Short grain Japanese rice. It is, however the most recognizable brand in the U.S.
- While it is possible to make Tonkatsu sauce nobody in Japan really does because the commercial stuff is widely available. It’s like mayonnaise…Yeah I know how to make it but why go to the trouble if I don’t have to.
- Bulldog brand Tonkatsu sauce is the most widely available brand and can be found in Most Japanese (and Korean) groceries.
Nokorimono ni wa fuku ga aru
Luck exists in the leftovers.