Air Fryer Chicken Katsu With Homemade Tonkatsu Sauce

Crispy, crunchy Air Fryer Chicken Katsu with Homemade Tonkatsu Sauce is ready in less than 30 minutes! Golden brown chicken cutlets are cooked to crispy perfection and topped with a savory sauce your family will love.

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I’m sure you know how much I love my air fryer. I can cook anything I normally would in an oven but in half the time – and with better results!

And this breaded chicken is another winner. Mmmm, mmmm, mmmm, it is SO good. Your guests will not believe it is not deep-fried or that it was made in your air fryer. It’s restaurant-quality and destined to become a new family favorite.

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Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • You will love the juicy chicken and crunchy Panko coating.
  • Quick to make in the air fryer.
  • Less oil than traditional deep frying.
  • Easy recipe for making Japanese fried chicken at home.

Recipe Ingredients

Only simple ingredients are used to make this air fryer katsu chicken recipe:

Ingredients for air fryer Chicken Katsu recipe arranged on a wooden table, including boneless chicken breasts, flour, eggs, Panko breadcrumbs, salt, and pepper.

Ingredient Notes

  • Chicken Breasts. I used boneless, skinless chicken breasts. You can also use boneless chicken thighs instead.
  • Flour. I used all-purpose flour, but you could also use cornstarch.
  • Panko Bread crumbs. These Japanese breadcrumbs give the chicken cutlets a crispy coating you can’t get with regular breadcrumbs.
  • Sauce. The homemade Tonkatsu sauce has ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, brown sugar, and garlic powder. You could also use Bulldog sauce, Japanese barbecue sauce, or regular BBQ sauce instead.

See the printable recipe card below for quantities and a full list of ingredients.

Variations

  • Gluten-Free. Use gluten-free flour and gluten-free Panko.
  • Spicy. Add some cayenne pepper to the Panko mixture.
  • Baked. Instead of air frying, bake the breaded chicken on a wire rack placed over a baking sheet at 400°F for 25 minutes until crispy and golden.

How To Make Easy Air Fryer Chicken Katsu

Step by Step Instructions

A wooden meat mallet flattening a chicken breast in a plastic bag.

Step 1: Cut each chicken breast in half to create thin cutlets. Pound with a meat mallet or rolling pin to an even thickness of about ½ inch. 

A chicken cutlet being dredged in a shallow bowl of flour.

Step 2: Set up a dredging station with three shallow bowls. Place the flour, salt, and black pepper in the first bowl, add the beaten large eggs to the second bowl, and add the Panko crumbs to the third bowl. Coat each piece of chicken with the flour and shake off any excess.

Top Tip

Place each chicken breast in a freezer bag and seal it up. That way, when you pound it thin, it doesn’t splatter.

A chicken piece being dipped into the egg mixture in a shallow bowl.

Step 3: Dip each piece into the egg mixture.

A chicken piece being coated in Panko breadcrumbs.

Step 4: Then coat each piece in the crispy Panko breadcrumbs. Use your fingers to push the crumbs into the chicken.

Two chicken pieces placed in the air fryer basket and getting sprayed with avocado spray.

Step 5: Preheat your air fryer to 400 degrees F. Place the pieces of chicken in a single layer in the air fryer basket, spray lightly with avocado spray or cooking spray, and cook for 6 minutes at 400 degrees F.

The breaded chicken being flipped over in the air fryer basket with a chopstick.

Step 6: Flip them over, spray with cooking spray again, and cook for 6 more minutes at 400 degrees F. Cook until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.

Top Tip

The breading is very delicate while it’s cooking. I recommend using chopsticks to carefully flip the chicken over.

The ingredients for the Tonkatsu sauce in a small saucepan.

Step 7: While the chicken is air frying, make the sauce by whisking ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, brown sugar, and garlic powder in a medium saucepan. Simmer the sauce over low-medium heat until ready to serve, stirring occasionally.

Sliced chicken katsu on a white dinner plate with steamed rice and edamame beans.

Step 8: When the chicken is done, remove it from the air fryer, cut it into slices, and serve it with homemade tonkatsu sauce and white rice. 

Expert Tips

  • The cooking time will depend on the thickness of the chicken and how hot your air fryer cooks.
  • For best results, use a digital meat thermometer to check for doneness.
  • If cooking in batches, keep the chicken pieces warm in the oven on a wire rack on a baking sheet to prevent them from going soggy.

Recipe FAQs

What is Chicken Katsu?

Chicken Katsu is a popular Japanese dish with a breaded, deep-fried chicken cutlet. It’s usually served with Tonkatsu sauce, white rice, and green cabbage.

What is the texture of the chicken cutlets after being air-fried? 

After being air-fried, the chicken cutlets are wonderfully crispy outside and tender and juicy inside.

How spicy is the tonkatsu sauce? 

The Tonkatsu sauce is not spicy. It has a rich, savory flavor with a slight sweetness.

Can I make this recipe with pork instead of chicken?

Yes, you can use pork cutlets instead of chicken, turning it into the traditional Tonkatsu (Japanese pork cutlet).

Crispy golden brown breaded chicken in the air fryer basket.

Storage

Refrigerator

Leftover chicken katsu can be stored in an airtight container for 3-4 days.

Freezing Instructions

Wrap each piece individually in plastic wrap and place it in a freezer bag. Store for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight.

Reheating Instructions

Heat in the air fryer basket for 3-5 minutes until crispy and hot.

Crispy chicken cutlet thinly sliced on a plate with rice, beans, and chopsticks.

More Easy Air Fryer Recipes You’ll Love

If you like this Air Fryer Chicken Katsu Recipe, please take a moment to leave a star rating 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 and share it on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest!

📖 Recipe

Golden crispy Chicken Katsu served on a white plate with a side of steamed white rice and green edamame, garnished with a lemon wedge and drizzled with tonkatsu sauce.

Air Fryer Chicken Katsu with Homemade Tonkatsu Sauce

Crispy, crunchy Air Fryer Chicken Katsu with Homemade Tonkatsu Sauce is ready in less than 30 minutes! Golden brown chicken cutlets are cooked to crispy perfection and topped with a savory sauce your family will love.

Prep Time 15 minutes

Cook Time 12 minutes

Total Time 27 minutes

Course All Recipes, Main Course

Cuisine Japanese

Servings 8 servings

Calories 205 kcal

Instructions 

  • Cut each chicken breast in half and pound each piece to an even thickness of about ½ inch. Repeat with remaining chicken breasts.

  • Set up a dredging station with three shallow dishes. Place the all-purpose flour, salt, and black pepper in the first dish. Add the beaten eggs to the second dish. In the third, spread out the Panko breadcrumbs.

  • Coat each chicken breast in flour, shaking off any excess. Then, dip it into the beaten eggs, then into the Panko breadcrumbs. Use your fingers to push the breadcrumbs into the chicken.

  • Preheat the air fryer to 400°F. Place the breaded chicken cutlets in the air fryer basket in a single layer and spray lightly with cooking spray.

  • Cook the chicken for 6 minutes, then flip it over. Spray lightly with cooking spray again and cook for 6 more minutes at 400°F. Cook until the chicken is golden brown and reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.

  • While the chicken cooks, make the sauce by whisking ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, brown sugar, and garlic powder in a medium saucepan. Simmer the sauce over low-medium heat until ready to serve, stirring occasionally.

  • When the chicken is fully cooked, remove it from the air fryer, cut into slices, and serve with homemade Tonkatsu sauce or barbecue sauce.

Notes

  • Pound the chicken to an even thickness.
  • Do not overcrowd the basket. Cook in batches if needed.
  • For a thinner sauce, add a splash of water. For thicker sauce, simmer a few extra minutes.

Nutrition

Calories: 205kcalCarbohydrates: 25gProtein: 17gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.01gCholesterol: 83mgSodium: 627mgPotassium: 335mgFiber: 1gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 161IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 46mgIron: 2mg

The provided nutritional information is approximate per serving and is meant as a guideline only.



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