Hi all, while I’m away soaking up the European sun, my gorgeous friend Nic has volunteered to share one of her dishes. I hope you enjoy this! I am definitely trying it when I get back!
This meal is by far my favourite to cook, mainly because it’s such a crowd pleaser. My brother asks for it on a weekly basis, it’s been used to coax friends into eating Asian food (authenticity aside, we were taking baby steps) and it’s pretty damn hard to mess up.
A few years ago a friend noticed how often we were eating this dish from those foodhall Japanese restaurants and remarked that it couldn’t be that hard to make at home. A couple of trips to my local Asian grocer and a few attempts at figuring out a recipe, I came up with this…
Chicken thighs are best, as they don’t break up when you pound them with a mallet.
Aim to get the chicken to between 3 and 5 cms thick (it wont be even but that’s fine). Be gentle, you don’t want to tear huge holes in the flesh.
I like to set up a little production line for the chicken (don’t tell anyone, I tend to talk to it as it goes into it’s little egg bath… words of comfort, if you will) with the flour, egg and panko crumbs.
Coat each thigh lightly in flour
A quick dunk in the egg wash
A leisurely tumble through the panko crumbs to finish…
Make sure to sprinkle and pat down the panko crumbs – they’re very light and a bit larger than regular breadcrumbs, so they sometimes need a bit of help to stick.
Marvel at your delightfully crumb-y fingers (frying optional).
Once you’ve got a nice little pile of thighs, you can start shallow frying them.
Aim for a lovely golden colour, but don’t have the heat too high – remember you’re cooking chicken and it needs to be fully cooked the whole way through. Each thigh should take around 3 minutes on each side.
While the chook’s on the cook, I like to get together all the sides – pickled ginger, rice, miso soup and a quick salad of shredded cabbage and carrot, which I like to dress lightly in soy and red wine vinegar.
Slice up the chicken in finger-width strips, being careful to keep the panko coating attached. Use your knife to lift the whole thigh onto the plate.
The real star of this dish is the sauce. Now, I’m a lazy cook and I know this can be made from scratch (although I’m yet to find a good recipe). I’ve tested around 6 or 7 different brands of “tonkatsu” sauce, and this one is exactly the same as the sauce most restaurants use. There are two kinds of Bulldog sauce, you’re looking for the one that specifies “tonkatsu” and has an orange label.
The other essential item is kewpie mayo. Most people already know about this stuff, as it’s used a lot in sushi rolls. Suffice to say, it’s not very good for you but one of the joys of cooking this meal at home is… you can have as much as you want!
Drizzle as much or as little sauce as you want over the chicken and rice… et voila! Enjoy!
- 4 or 5 chicken thighs (around 500g)
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- plain flour
- 1 bag Panko crumbs
- Olive oil for shallow frying
- Bulldog Vegetable & Fruit Sauce
- Kewpie Japanese Mayonnaise
- Using a mallet, pound each chicken thigh to around 3-5cm thickness.
- Lightly dredge each thigh in plain flour.
- Quickly dunk & coat the floured thighs in eggwash.
- Drop the thighs in the panko crumbs, roll and press to coat evenly and generously.
- Shallow fry each thigh (one or two at a time depending on the size of the pan) for approx 3-4 mins on each side to a deep golden colour.
- Drain on kitchen paper
- While still hot, slice each thigh to finger-width strips and using the knife, lift the sliced chicken onto your serving plate.
- Drizzle the Bulldog sauce across the chicken.
- Add a generous squirt of mayonnaise as desired.
- Serve with steamed white rice, shredded cabbage salad and pickled ginger.