Recipe: Chicken Katsu-Don

Perfect for the January blues, gives a simple recipe for this Japanese comfort bowl

Image: Jack Richardson

Image: Jack Richardson

This Japanese rice bowl is hearty and filling, perfect for long winter nights and hangovers. This version is easier to make than the original, and very versatile — you can add vegetables, substitute the chicken for just about anything with breadcrumbs, or coat and deep-fry pork cutlets for truly authentic katsu-don. Everything comes together in the last five minutes, and with a bit of practice you can work out all the timings to perfection.

Ingredients (Serves 1):

  • 1 breaded chicken breast
  • 1 cup/250ml rice (sushi/sticky rice works best)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 small red onion
  • ½ red pepper
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 200ml water

1. If you have a rice cooker, set it off about an hour before you start cooking so the rice is ready to be served as soon as everything is cooked. Otherwise follow the pack instructions so the rice is ready as close to finishing time as possible, depending on whether you buy packet or microwaveable.

2. Put the chicken breast in the oven at 180 degrees. Mix the soy sauce, sugar and water in a glass and put to the side. In a bowl, whisk the two eggs with a fork until the white and yolk are completely blended.

3. With five minutes to go, gently fry the onion in a saucepan until browned but still crispy.

4. Once cooked, take the chicken out of the oven and partially slice it into strips. The aim is to have the bottom layer of breadcrumbs still holding the entire piece together, but to be able to separate them with chopsticks or a fork whilst eating. Nestle it into the frying onions, then pour the soy sauce mix, followed by the egg, covering as much as possible.

5. Put the saucepan on high heat and cover for about 3 minutes while you serve the rice in a bowl.

6. Take the saucepan off the heat and tip the contents on top of the rice. Serve immediately.

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