In my previous post, I made Curry Soba topped with chicken katsu (which is essentially buckwheat noodles in Japanese curry, served with deep-fried crumbed chicken cutlet).I thought I'd follow through by posting the recipe for Katsudon, since I also made katsudon on that same night specifically for the kids who have not acquired a taste for curry yet. Katsudon is a Japanese rice bowl dish, comprising a bowl of rice topped with deep-fried chicken or pork cutlet, eggs and onions in a dashi-based sauce. It's so easy to make these Japanese rice bowls at home that I hardly order them at Japanese restaurants anymore.
As explained in my Curry Soba post, my way of getting the chicken cutlet to turn out nice and moist is to gently pound the fillet with a meat mallet just to get it to uniform thickness, without flattening it too much. This also helps to tenderise the meat slightly, but still keep its shape. If it's too flat or thin, it might dry out too quickly during the deep-frying process and lose all its juices. Make sure the oil is hot enough, otherwise the crumb coating might just drop off into the oil. But if the oil is too hot, the chicken might brown too quickly on the outside before the interior is cooked.
These Japanese rice bowls are really super delicious one-bowl meals that don't use many ingredients and are relatively quick and easy to prepare. Here are some other rice bowls that you can try:
1. Steak and Onion Rice Bowl
2. Kakiage Don (Mixed Vegetable Tempura on Rice)
3. Oyako Don (Chicken and Egg on Rice)
4. Gyudon (Beef Bowl)
5. Tonkatsu Don (Deep-fried Pork Cutlet on Rice)
The recipe for today's Chicken Katsudon is adapted from Just One Cookbook (yes, again....my Japanese cooking bible!). Once you've tried preparing a Japanese rice bowl meal, you would probably not order it at the restaurant anymore, because it's so simple and easy to make!
Adapted from Just One Cookbook
250g (8oz) chicken breast fillet
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 egg lightly beaten with 1/2 tbsp water
1 cup Panko crumbs
Vegetable oil for deep frying
1/2 onion, thinly sliced into half-rings
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 servings of cooked white rice
1 scallion, thinly sliced
Ichimi togarashi (Japanese chilli powder)
2/3 cup dashi stock (or 1/3 tsp dashinomoto mixed with 2/3 cup water)
1 Tbsp sake
2 Tbsp mirin
2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp sugar
Cut the chicken in half on a slight diagonal so that you get an oblong shape. Cover with clingwrap and pound lightly with a meat mallet on both sides to get an even thickness of about 1/2 inch, but not too thin. Discard clingwrap. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Dust the fillets with flour, then coat with egg followed by panko crumbs and set aside on a plate for 5 minutes. Heat up oil in a wok or pan for deep-frying. Deep fry the chicken on medium-high heat for about 2-3 minutes each side until lightly browned. Drain on absorbent kitchen paper. Slice the cutlets into 3/4 inch strips. Set aside.
In a frying pan, bring seasonings and onion to a boil. Lower the heat to medium and cook onion until softened. Arrange the pieces of chicken katsu in it and turn the heat up to medium high heat. Pour and distribute egg evenly. Cover with a lid for a few seconds.
When the egg is half cooked, add scallions and turn off the heat. Scoop the rice into 2 donburi bowls and carefully slide the chicken and egg mixture over the rice. Serve with Ichimi togarashi (chilli pepper) on the side.