Lighter Chicken Katsu

Introducing Angela Nilsen’s delicious, lighter chicken katsu recipe! Thanks to her incredible cooking skills, she has managed to create a healthier version of this popular Japanese dish. By cleverly swapping ingredients, she’s managed to reduce fat and calories without sacrificing taste. The result is a guilt-free cooking masterpiece that will please even the most health-conscious person. Prepare to enjoy the crispy, golden brown breaded chicken with a delicious curry sauce while keeping your waistline in check. Don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy this delicious dish!


  • 150 ml buttermilk
  • 4 x chicken breasts without skin and bones, total weight 550g, preferably organic
  • 50g Japanese panko breadcrumbs
  • 4 tsp self-raising flour
  • 1½ tbsp rapeseed oil, plus ¾ tsp
  • 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp coarsely grated ginger
  • 2½ tsp garam masala
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • ¼ tsp hot chili powder (or mild if you prefer less heat)
  • 1 tsp tomato paste
  • 250 ml hot chicken stock
  • 1 large carrot (approx. 200 g), cut into small pieces
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • ½ tsp clear honey
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 200g raw Thai sticky rice, cooked
  • 50g mixed leaves – watercress, spinach and rocket


Freeze the sauce

The sauce freezes beautifully, so it’s worth making a large batch to save time for the next meal

How we made Chicken Katsu healthier

• Instead of deep-frying the chicken, we fried it in a minimal amount of oil until brown and crispy and then finished cooking it in the oven, reducing the fat and saturated fat content. • Use of rapeseed oil to reduce saturated fat levels. • Reduced the salt content by using less soy sauce and replacing half of the broth needed for the sauce with water. • Reduce the sugar content by adding carrots to the sauce to add their natural sweetness, so less honey is needed.

Preparation steps

  1. Pour the buttermilk into a wide, shallow bowl and season with pepper and a small pinch of salt.
  2. Pat the chicken breasts dry with paper towels, place them in the dish and toss them in the buttermilk to coat them well.
  3. Leave the chicken in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
  4. Heat a large, non-stick frying pan.
  5. Toast the panko breadcrumbs and flour in the dry skillet for 2-3 minutes until light brown, stirring regularly.
  6. Place the crumb mixture in a bowl, season with pepper and set aside to cool.
  7. In a medium saucepan, heat the oil and add the onion, garlic and ginger. Sauté for 6-8 minutes until the onion is soft and starting to brown.
  8. Stir in garam masala, turmeric, chili powder and tomato puree and fry for 1 minute.
  9. Pour in the broth and 250 ml of water. Add carrot, soy sauce and honey. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer gently until carrots are tender, about 20 minutes.
  10. Mix the cornstarch with 2 teaspoons of cold water, stir into the sauce and simmer for 1 minute.
  11. Remove the sauce from heat and pulse in a food processor until smooth.
  12. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve, place over a large bowl and press well with the back of a wooden spoon.
  13. Season the sauce with a small pinch of salt and set aside.
  14. Preheat the oven to 230°C/210°C fan/gas. 8. Line a baking sheet with foil and place a rack on top.
  15. Transfer the crumb mixture to a large plate.
  16. Lift the chicken breasts out of the buttermilk, allowing the marinade to cling to them, and toss each in the crumbs, one at a time, to coat evenly.
  17. Heat 1½ teaspoons oil in a large non-stick frying pan.
  18. Add 2 chicken breasts and fry over medium-high heat for 1½ minutes.
  19. Flip the chicken, add another ¾ teaspoon oil and fry for 1 minute more.
  20. Using a fish slice, transfer the chicken to the rack and repeat with the remaining oil and chicken.
  21. Bake the chicken in the oven for 15 minutes until cooked through and crispy.
  22. Warm the sauce briefly.
  23. Remove the chicken from the grill and cut each into 5 pieces.
  24. Serve the chicken with the sauce, sticky rice and mixed leaves.

Nutritional Information

Equipment and tools

  • sheet
  • frying pan
  • dulcimer
  • Knife
  • grater
  • measuring spoon
  • measuring cup
  • mixing bowl
  • Whisk

Allergen information

This recipe contains the following allergens:

  • Gluten (from breadcrumbs and flour)
  • soy

Storage and leftovers

If you have leftovers, you can store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, place the chicken katsu in a preheated 350°F (180°C) oven for about 10-15 minutes or until heated through. Do not microwave as the chicken may lose its crispiness.

Health Benefits of “Lighter Chicken Katsu”

Chicken Katsu is a popular Japanese dish consisting of breaded and fried chicken cutlets. Although undeniably delicious, traditional chicken katsu recipes can be quite high in fat, calories, and sodium due to the deep-frying process. However, this Lighter Chicken Katsu recipe offers a healthier twist on the classic dish without compromising on taste. Let’s explore the health benefits of this revamped recipe.

1. Reduced fat and saturated fat content

Instead of deep-frying the chicken, this recipe recommends deep-frying it in a minimal amount of oil to achieve a golden brown and crispy texture. The chicken is then finished cooking in the oven, significantly reducing the fat and saturated fat content. This method allows you to enjoy the same crunchy deliciousness without excess unhealthy fats.

2. Heart-Healthy Canola Oil

This recipe uses canola oil to lower the saturated fat content. Unlike other oils, canola oil is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, which are known to promote heart health by lowering bad cholesterol levels. It also contains omega-3 fatty acids, which have been linked to various health benefits, including reducing inflammation and improving brain health.

3. Lower sodium content

The original recipe often contains a generous amount of soy sauce, which can contribute to high sodium levels. To reduce sodium content, this recipe recommends using less soy sauce and replacing half of the chicken broth needed for the sauce with water. This way, you can still enjoy the savory flavor of the dish while keeping your sodium intake under control.

4. Natural sweetness from carrots

Carrots are added to the sauce for their natural sweetness, reducing the need for additional honey or sugar. Not only does this help reduce added sugar, but it also provides an additional nutritional boost. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, an antioxidant that is converted into vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A is important for maintaining good vision, supporting immune function and promoting healthy skin.

By following this Lighter Chicken Katsu recipe, you can still treat yourself to a delicious and healthy meal while making healthier choices. So why not try this recipe and enjoy the flavors of the traditional dish with a healthier twist?

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