Don't let the title scare you. I'm not one of those chefs that believe "if it ain't spicy you ain't cookin'." But I do believe in bold flavors. I also believe that flavors have to balance in any dish you cook. They should be vibrant and soulful. But enough of that…
Let's talk about Chicken Katsu. I first had this dish at Grace's Inn in Honolulu when I lived there in the '90s. A friend took me there on my day off after surfing Diamond Head. As is my custom as a chef, whenever I go to a new restaurant I ask the server what is the best thing on the menu. Before I even finished the sentence, the words "Chicken Katsu" came out of her mouth. At that time I didn't realize that I was about to have a life-altering experience.
Chicken Katsu is a Japanese-style panko fried chicken cutlet that is served with a sauce made with Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce and the old culinary multi-tasker ketchup! Here is the recipe!
HAWAIIAN CHICKEN KATSU
Chicken Breasts 8 ea, 3oz
Flour 2 cups, all purpose
Eggs 6 ea, beaten
Panko 3 cups
Peanut Oil as needed
Ginger 2", fresh, minced
Garlic 4 cloves, minced
Ketchup 2 cups
Sake 3 cups
Mirin 1 cup
Soy Sauce ¼ cup
Worcestershire Sauce 1/3 cup
Sugar ¾ cup + as needed
Slurry as needed (equal parts cornstarch & water)
• First, make the sauce by combining the ginger, garlic, ketchup, sake, mirin, soy sauce, Worcestershire and sugar in a sauce pot.
• Cook on medium until sauce is reduced by half.
• Use slurry to thicken slightly.
• Next, prepare your breading station with the flour, eggs and panko
• Take each piece of chicken and dip into each station in order.
• Pan-fry the breaded chicken.
• Let rest for 5 minutes.
• Slice chicken in ½" strips and serve with the sauce and rice.
Now, Grace's Inn served their Chicken Katsu with Chow Fun (wide, flat Chinese rice noodles). I like to serve mine with a couple of scoops of steaming white rice and a scoop of macaroni salad. When you serve it this way the Hawaiians call this a plate lunch.
The plate lunch is really popular concept in Hawaii. The best thing about it is that you get a ton of food for just a little bit of money. As long as you include the noodles or rice and mac salad you can place any meat on it you want like mahi-mahi, shoyu chicken or BBQ short ribs.
Needless to say, Grace's Inn became a regular food spot for me while I lived in Honolulu.
Kroger has Perdue chicken breasts on sale this week for 50% off. This would be an inexpensive dish to serve your family this Saturday night. Click here to go to our online ad.
For more about Chef Steve, go to www.cookinwithkroger.com.
I love hearing from you! Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.