This air fryer chicken katsu means no frying and only minimal oil is needed to make your favorite Japanese chicken cutlets! It's incredibly easy to make and perfect for a quick lunch or dinner under 30 minutes!
If you're a fan of our classic tonkatsu recipe, you'll love this air fryer chicken katsu as well! Because this chicken katsu is air fried, you'll only have to use a little bit of oil and won't have to deal with cleaning up and handling the leftover oil.
Plus, we love this chicken katsu recipe because it's so easy to make for both lunch or dinner. You'll literally have it ready in less than 30 minutes!
Please scroll down to the recipe card for the ingredient quantities!
- Skinless boneless chicken breast - If you can't get chicken breasts that are boneless and skinless, you can always just remove it yourself. Also, most of chicken in US are pretty big, so we are slicing it in half to make two portions. If your chicken breasts are smaller, use two instead.
- All-purpose flour - Just some plain flour for the 3-stage breading process. The all-purpose flour acts like a layer of protection for the chicken breast, which keeps from drying out.
- Egg - Used in the 2nd stage of the breading process so the panko can stick.
- Panko - Also known as Japanese bread crumbs. Panko is much airier and coarser than bread crumbs. It produces much crispier and less greasy cutlets than bread crumbs.
- Cooking spray - You could also you oil if you prefer, but cooking spray is just so much more convenient and coats the chicken cutlets and the air fryer basket well.
- Ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, oyster sauce, sugar - These ingredients is what katsu sauce is made of. If you prefer, you could use store bough katsu sauce. We recommend the Bulldog brand katsu sauce.
- Salt and pepper - For seasoning the chicken
- Cooked white rice and shredded cabbage (optional to serve with)
How to make chicken katsu in the air fryer
For the chicken katsu:
1. Prepare the breading station with the flour, beaten egg, and panko, each in its own container.
2. With the chicken breast flat on the cutting board, slice the chicken in half. Try your best to keep the chicken breast even in thickness and be careful when cutting!
🌟 Pro tip: It is best to hold the chicken breast with your palm on top of it, to prevent being in the path of your knife. This will prevent you from getting cut, but still be careful!
3. Place the two pieces of chicken breast side by side and pound then out with the flat side of a meat mallet to about ¼ to ½ inch thick.
🌟 Pro tip: Use a piece of plastic wrap to cover the chicken breast when pounding. This will prevent the chicken from tearing and getting stuck onto the meat mallet.
4. Bread the chicken breasts using the 3 stage breading method, one at a time. Starting with the flour, coat the chicken on both sides and the edges. Lightly tap to dust off the excess flour. Dip the floured chicken into the beaten egg. Make sure to coat it completely.
5. Next, give the panko a shake to flatten it. Then, place the chicken into the panko. Scoop the panko on top of the chicken, then firmly pack the panko onto the chicken to help it stick. Repeat with the other chicken breast half.
5. Spray the bottom of the air fryer basket with cooking spray. Place the breaded chicken katsu in the air fryer basket and generously spray the top of the katsu.
6. Air fry the chicken katsu at 400°F for about 14 minutes, or until golden and cooked. Midway, flip the chicken katsu, then generously spray with cooking oil again and continue cooking.
📝 Note: Every air fryer is different, so if needed, please adjust the cook time and/or cooking temperature as you see needed.
7. Once done, remove the chicken katsu from the air fryer basket and let the chicken rest for 2 to 3 minutes before cutting.
For the katsu sauce:
While the chicken katsu is air frying, make the katsu sauce. Just combine all the ingredients (ketchup, Worcestershire, oyster sauce, and sugar) into a bowl and mix until well combined.
Cut the air fried chicken katsu into strips and serve with steamed white rice and thinly shredded cabbage. You can drizzle the sauce over the chicken katsu or serve it on the side for dipping. Enjoy!
What to eat with chicken katsu
We love eating our air fried chicken katsu with:
- Miso soup
- Steamed white rice
- Plain shredded cabbage or cabbage salad
- with a side of curry
- Don't break the breading when flipping the chicken katsu midway into cooking. This will allow the juices from the chicken leak out and cause the katsu to become soggy.
- Pound the chicken breasts out to about ¼ to ½ inch thick. If it's thinner or thicker, you may need to adjust the cooking time.
- Keep the chicken katsu in one single layer. If you overlap it, the chicken katsu won't cook evenly and will not have even colors. So if needed, air fry in batches.
- Every air fryer is different, so you may need to adjust the cook time and temperature as you see fit. Our recipe is based on our 7Qt PowerXL air fryer.
If you have leftover chicken katsu, preferably, don't cut it and keep it whole. Let it cool completely before storing it in the fridge, in an airtight container. The leftover katsu will stay good for 3 to 5 days in the fridge or up to 3 to 4 weeks in the freezer.
The katsu sauce will stay good in the fridge, if properly covered, for up to 1 week.
To reheat leftover chicken katsu, place them in the air fryer and reheat at 350°F for about 5 minutes or until heated through. For frozen ones, increase the time to about 7 or 8 minutes or until heated though.
You could also reheat in the oven at 375°F. You may need to increase the time by about 5 minutes for both the refrigerated and frozen chicken katsu.
Technically yes, you could use bread crumbs instead, but the texture of the the chicken katsu will be different.
Yes. We highly recommend pounding out the chicken breast so that they are even in thickness. This will promote even cooking.
At 400°F we usually air fry our chicken katsu for about 14 minutes. But depending on your air fryer and if you pounded the chicken breast to the right thickness, the cook time may vary.
If you’ve made this recipe or any recipes from our blog, please tag us on Instagram using #twoplaidaprons! You can also tag us in your Instagram stories using @two_plaid_aprons. We would love to see your creations! It absolutely makes our day! 🥰
Air Fryer Chicken Katsu
For the chicken katsu:
- 1 skinless boneless chicken breast (about 11.5 oz/ 326g) if your chicken breasts are smaller, you can use two chicken breasts and skip the cutting
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 large egg beaten
- 1 cup panko also known as Japanese breadcrumbs
- Salt and black pepper seasoned to your preference
- Cooked white rice (to serve with the katsu)
- Green cabbage thinly shredded (to serve with the katsu)
For the chicken katsu:
- Prepare the breading station with the flour, beaten egg, and panko, each in its own container.
- With the chicken breast flat on the cutting board, slice the chicken in half. Try your best to keep the chicken breast even in thickness and be careful when cutting!
- Place the two pieces of chicken breast side by side and pound then out with the flat side of the meat mallet to about ¼ to ½ inch thick. *We recommend covering the chicken with a piece of plastic wrap when pounding to prevent the chicken from tearing.*
- Bread the chicken breast, one at a time, starting with the flour. Coat the chicken on both sides and the edges with flour and lightly tap to dust off the excess. Dip the floured chicken into the beaten egg. Make sure to coat it completely. Lastly, shake the panko to flatten it then place the chicken into the panko. Scoop the panko on top of the chicken, then firmly pack the panko onto the chicken to help it stick. Repeat with the other chicken breast half.
- Spray the bottom of the air fryer basket with cooking spray. Place the breaded chicken katsu in the air fryer basket, and generously spray the top of the katsu.
- Air fry the chicken katsu at 400°F for about 14 minutes, or until golden and cooked. Midway, flip the chicken katsu, then generously spray with cooking oil again and continue cooking.
- Once done, remove the chicken katsu from the air fryer basket and let the chicken rest for 3 to 5 minutes before cutting.
For the katsu sauce:
- While the chicken katsu is air frying, make the katsu sauce. Just combine all the ingredients (ketchup, Worcestershire, oyster sauce, and sugar) into a bowl and mix until well combined.
- Once the chicken katsu is ready, cut them into strips and serve with steamed white rice, a bed of shredded cabbage, and the katsu sauce. Enjoy!
- Prepare your breading station before starting will save you time and keep everything super organized and stress-free.
- Leftover flour and panko can be stored in airtight containers and kept in the freezer for when you use it again. So if you prefer, use a little more flour and panko to make breading easier.
- The sauce recipe makes just enjoy for 2 chicken katsu. If you're a sauce lover, you can double the sauce.
- If you're increasing the amount of chicken katsu you're making, don't put them all in the air fryer at once! Keep the chicken katsu in a single layer so that they get even cooking and color.
- All air fryers are different, which means they may vary in temperature setting and cook time. So please adjust the cook time and air frying temperature as you see fit for your air fryer. Our recipe is based on our 7QT Power XL air fryer.