As my mum and auntie are both quite careful about what they eat (and of course look very glam and slim because of it!) we thought they would really appreciate this healthy version of Chicken Katsu with a sauce packed full of veggies and the chicken oven-baked but with no compromise on flavour or texture.
Turns out our guests hadn't tried Katsu before and they really liked it. The sauce was packed full of flavour, the rice was really lovely and sticky and the chicken was really crispy. I didn't even mind having a Quorn alternative as the panko breadcrumbs and tasty sauce made it actually very nice.
Also, not only is this Katsu nice and healthy, it is also dead easy to make - so easy in fact I think I'll be adding it to my mid-week meals repertoire.
We really enjoyed eating Japanese food yet again, and Roy was super excited that my blogging of my love for the country's cuisine had brought me in touch with his ex-student Rachel from days of yore who lives in Japan and has been giving me plenty of foodie advice since!
For the Katsu sauce
5 garlic cloves
1 heaped tbsp hot curry powder
600ml chicken stock
2 tsp honey
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp garam massala
For the chicken
4 chicken breasts
Salt and pepper
200g Panko breadcrumbs
Japanese sticky rice, freshly prepared to packet instructions
Start by making the Katsu Curry sauce. Peel the onions and garlic cloves and add to a large frying pan or wok. Cook for around two minutes. Meanwhile, peel and slice the carrots and add them to the pan also. Cover the pan and cook for 10 minutes over a low heat until softened.
Stir in the curry powder and leave for a couple of minutes while you get the rest of the sauce ingredients together.
Slowly pour in the stock to the pan and stir, ensuring the liquid is properly combined and lump-free. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and cook for around 20 minutes.
Remove the bay leaves then blend other contents of the pan until you have a nice thick sauce ready to be served with the rest of the meal. This sauce can be made in advance then reheated before serving.
For the chicken, preheat the oven to 200 degrees C. Place the flour and panko breadcrumbs onto separate plates. Place the egg in a bowl and beat well.
Take the chicken breasts and dip each one into the flour, followed by the egg, followed by the panko breadcrumbs and ensure an even spread. Place the breaded breasts onto a baking tray.
Bake the chicken breasts in the oven for around 30 minutes until the breadcrumbs are nice and crisp and the chicken is cooked through but perfectly tender and not dry. Reheat the Katsu sauce and prepare the sticky rice so that everything is ready at the same time.
Take the chicken out of the oven and slice into thin strips that can be easily eaten with chopsticks, before serving with the rice, sauce and a nice bit of salad.