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Air Fryer Chicken Katsu

If you’re looking for an easy weeknight dinner with a Japanese twist, this air fryer chicken katsu recipe is for you. This comforting dish is delicious, versatile, and easy to make.

plate with slices of chicken katsu

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Panko breadcrumbs make this chicken katsu air fryer recipe irresistibly crispy and golden brown on the outside with tender, juicy meat on the inside.

The signature katsu sauce is tangy and savory, with just the right touch of sweetness. You’ll be amazed how simple ingredients can create such a flavorful masterpiece, and your family will surely agree.

Air fryer chicken katsu is a kid-friendly recipe that is versatile enough for even the pickiest of eaters. 

Serve it with rice and veggies, enjoy it on a sandwich, or pair it with french fries and various sauces. There is no wrong way to enjoy this dish! 

Since we’re cooking chicken katsu in the air fryer, it has the added bonus of being way healthier than traditional deep fried versions.

This is one of my favorite things about cooking in the air fryer. We can have perfectly flaky, golden brown bites with no gallons of oil or giant greasy messes involved!

Here’s what I’m going to teach you in this post: 

  • Everything you need to make this easy chicken katsu in the air fryer.
  • Step by step instructions for making perfectly crispy air fryer chicken katsu.
  • Recipe suggestions to serve alongside your chicken katsu. 

This chicken katsu air fryer recipe is easy and irresistibly delicious. It’s the perfect idea for your next chicken dinner.

I made this recipe using the 5.8 QT Cosori Air Fryer. Its square basket makes it the perfect size for our family of 4.

ingredients to make chicken katsu

How to Make Air Fryer Chicken Katsu 

A full printable version of this recipe with ingredient measurements is available at the bottom of this post.

STEP ONE: Pat dry your chicken breasts and slice them in half horizontally with a sharp knife, creating four filets. Use a meat mallet to make each piece ½ inch thick—season with salt and pepper.   

STEP TWO: Spray the inner basket of your air fryer with cooking spray and preheat to 350 degrees F.

raw chicken and breading in bowl

STEP THREE: Whisk together the water and egg in a wide, shallow bowl until well combined. Place the Panko bread crumbs in a separate bowl. Dip each chicken piece in the egg mixture before evenly coating it with the Panko crumbs. Repeat this process to double coat each piece.

STEP FOUR: Arrange chicken in an even layer in the basket and spray the top with cooking spray. Air fry the chicken for 16-18 minutes, flipping often and spraying with cooking spray. Repeat this for all chicken pieces. Chicken will be golden brown and should reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees F when done.

air fryer with chicken katsu

STEP FIVE: While your chicken is cooking, make your katsu sauce by combining all ingredients and whisking until combined. Feel free to adjust to taste.

cooked chicken katsu in air fryer basket

STEP SIX:  Transfer cooked chicken from the air fryer to the cutting board and allow it to rest for 5 minutes before slicing. Serve over rice with vegetables and your prepared katsu sauce. Enjoy!

What is Chicken Katsu Made Of?

Chicken Katsu is a popular Japanese comfort food.  Thin cutlets of chicken are dredged in an egg mixture before being coated in panko crumbs, fried, and served with signature katsu sauce.

You end up with chicken that is perfectly golden brown and crispy on the outside and tender and juicy on the inside. 

Katsu sauce is similar to barbeque sauce, usually containing a mixture of Worcestershire sauce, soy or oyster sauce, tomato, spices, and sugar. 

You can make the easy katsu sauce included in this recipe or opt for a store-bought variety like this Kikkoman katsu sauce.

Does Panko Work in the Air Fryer?

Yes! Panko breadcrumbs are what make this air fryer chicken katsu so crispy and delicious. Just be sure they are well adhered to the surface of your food to avoid too much mess.

platter with air fryer chicken katsu

What Do You Serve With Air Fryer Chicken Katsu?

Traditionally, katsu is served up with a heap of steaming rice and vegetables. Here are some easy recipes to get you started:

Air fryer chicken katsu is also perfect to enjoy as a sandwich or as chicken fingers. Try pairing it with some of these recipes to make it a meal:

air fryer chicken katsu with sauce on top

What is the Difference Between Chicken Katsu and Chicken Cutlet?

Japanese chicken katsu and western chicken schnitzel are similar, with a few key differences. Both are thin, breaded cuts of chicken that are fried to perfection.

Chicken Katsu is different because it uses panko bread crumbs rather than regular bread crumbs. This gives the dish that distinctively golden brown, flaky crust that sets it apart from schnitzel.

And, of course, we can’t forget the katsu sauce that the whole dish is named after. Katsu sauce gives this air fryer chicken katsu that savory sweet, and distinguishing kick of flavor. 

chopsticks holding a piece of chicken

Other Air Fryer Chicken Recipes You’ll Love:

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Yield: 4 servings

Air Fryer Chicken Katsu

platter with air fryer chicken katsu

This panko breadcrumb-crusted chicken katsu air fryer recipe has a crispy exterior and juicy interior, making it irresistible.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Resting Time 5 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 ½ cups Panko bread crumbs

Katsu Sauce

  • 3 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon oyster sauce (or soy sauce), plus more to taste
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar

Serve with

  • Steamed Rice
  • Steamed Vegetables
  • Katsu Sauce

Instructions

  1. Dry the chicken breasts with paper towels, then use a sharp knife to cut them in half horizontally, creating four filets. If necessary, use a meat mallet to pound each portion to about ½-inch thickness. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  2. Preheat the air fryer to 350 degrees F, spraying the inner basket with cooking spray.
  3. In a wide, shallow bowl, whisk together the egg and water until well combined. To a second bowl, add the Panko bread crumbs. 
  4. Dredge the chicken in the egg, then press them into the bread crumbs, coating evenly. Repeat the process a second time with each piece, double coating them.
  5. Place the chicken in an even layer in the air fryer basket, spraying the top with cooking spray.
  6. Air fry for 16-18 minutes, carefully flipping the chicken halfway through and spraying with cooking spray before continuing to cook until golden brown and 165 degrees F internally. Repeat with the remaining pieces of chicken.
  7. Transfer the katsu to a cutting board to rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing. Serve over rice, with vegetables and katsu sauce.

KATSU SAUCE:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk well to combine. Adjust the flavors to your liking, making it saltier or sweeter as desired. Refrigerate any leftover sauce.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 482Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 176mgSodium: 894mgCarbohydrates: 58gFiber: 4gSugar: 10gProtein: 38g

This nutrition information is based on the exact products I used in this recipe. Brands and sizes of products could alter exact nutrition and should always be calculated independently.

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samantha

About Samantha

I’ve always had a love of cooking and creating new recipes, so it only made sense to create a food blog so I could share those recipes with you. This site is designed to provide easy and flavorful recipes with as little ingredients as possible. That means you still get great flavor combinations without all that extra time and effort. Read more...

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2 thoughts on “Air Fryer Chicken Katsu”

    • I use everything from olive oil to EVOO, vegetable oil, and avocado oil! My go-to has just always been vegetable oil and EVOO.

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