Time for something savoury, don’t you think? This dish was inspired by my neighbours, a wonderful Japanese and Chinese couple, who are sadly moving very soon. Last week they invited us round for a delicious leaving apéro – my does she know how to cook – I was in Japanese finger food heaven. One of the highlights were the pork panko meatballs. I don’t know what it is about panko, but when it comes to breaded meats – panko breadcrumbs win, 200% of the time. Your good old classic breadcrumbs are lame in comparison.
Determined to try make something using the panko breadcrumbs, I ended up attempting a Japanese classic – chicken katsu curry. Not too bad for a first go. Sorry for the picture – definitely not a stunner.
Chicken Katsu Curry
adapted from bbcgoodfood
4 x skinless, boneless chicken breasts, total weight 550g, preferably organic
50g Japanese panko breadcrumbs
4 tsp self-raising flour
11⁄2 tbsp rapeseed oil, plus 3⁄4 tsp
1 tbsp rapeseed oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tsp coarsely grated ginger
21⁄2 tsp garam masala
1⁄4 tsp turmeric
1⁄4 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp tomato purée
250ml hot chicken stock (I used beef stock.. oops)
1 large carrot (about 200g), cut into small pieces
2 tsp soy sauce
1⁄2 tsp clear honey
2 tsp cornflour
Rice and Salad Leaves to serve
- For the chicken: pour the buttermilk into a shallow dish and season with pepper and a small pinch of salt. Place the chicken breasts in the dish and coat with the buttermilk. Leave in the fridge for at least 1 hr.
- Meanwhile, heat a large, non-stick frying pan. Tip in the panko breadcrumbs and flour, and toast in the dry pan until they turn pale brown. Tip the crumb mix into a bowl, season with pepper and set aside to cool.
- For the sauce: heat the oil in a medium saucepan. Tip in the onion, garlic and ginger, and fry for 6-8 mins until the onion is tender and starting to brown. Stir in the garam masala, turmeric, chilli powder and tomato purée, and fry for 1 min.
- Pour in the stock and 250ml water. Add the carrot, soy sauce and honey, bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer uncovered gently for 20 mins, until the carrots are tender.
- Mix the cornflour with 2 tsp cold water, stir into the sauce and simmer for 1 min. Remove from the heat and whizz the mixture to a smooth purée in a food processor. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve into a large bowl or another pan (yes, I actually did this, and it was probably worth it), pressing it through well with the back of a wooden spoon so enough of the purée goes through. Set aside.
- Once ready to eat, heat oven to 210C fan. Line a baking tray with foil and sit a wire rack on top. Tip the crumb mix onto a large plate, then lift the chicken from the buttermilk (leaving the marinade clinging to it) and roll each one in the crumbs, coating evenly.
- Heat some oil in a large non-stick frying pan. Add the chicken and fry for 1 1⁄2 mins (without moving them), over a medium-high heat. Turn the chicken over, add some more oil to cover the base of the pan, and fry for 1 min more. Transfer the chicken to the wire rack. If your pan is too small you may have to do this in 2 batches.
- Bake the chicken in the oven for 15 mins until cooked and crisp. Warm the sauce through briefly, remove the chicken from the rack and slice each one into 5/6 pieces. Serve with the sauce, sticky rice and mixed leaves.
Funnily enough I have never actually eaten katsu curry before… not sure what the Japanese would think of my interpretation 🙂