Tried and tested: Chicken katsu curry

Chicken katsu curry is a wonderful thing. I find it addictive!

Before I made it at home for the first time, I thought it would be complicated and involve, as a fair number of Japanese recipes do, a lot of ingredients which may be difficult to source. But I was pleasantly surprised to find out how few ingredients are needed and how simple it is to make.

I’ve tried a few recipes, but the best I’ve come across is one by Gizzi Erskine, from her Kitchen Magic book. Her recipe is available online on the Happy Foodie website.

I make double the quantities of the sauce so that I can have some in the freezer because it is delicious not just with the breaded chicken it’s most well known for being eaten. I really enjoy cooking a breaded celeriac ‘steak’ to have with the sauce, rice and some stir-fry veg. It also pairs well with a piece of cod, oven chips and peas. And with a bit of leftover sliced roast pork, some onion and peas, I can replicate a Chinese chip shop pork curry classic!

I have made a few tweaks to Gizzi’s sauce recipe; reducing the amount of garlic and honey, adding a little chilli powder (either my curry powder isn’t as spicy as hers or I like mine hotter than she does) and rather than pass the sauce through a sieve, I remove the bay leaf and blitz until smooth. Doing this thickens the sauce and results in no waste. I also like to make the sauce early in the day and let it sit and the flavours develop.

Here’s my version of the sauce:

Serves 4

Ingredients Equipment to have ready
1 tbsp groundnut or vegetable oil Chopping board
1 onion, roughly chopped Sharp knife
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped Medium saucepan with a lid
2 carrots, roughly chopped Stick blender
2 tbsp plain flour Teaspoon and tablespoon measures
1 tbsp medium curry powder
1/2 tsp chilli powder
600 ml chicken stock
1 tsp honey
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 bay leaf
½ tsp garam masala


  1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over a low heat.
  2. Add the onion and garlic and cook for a few minutes before adding the carrots.
  3. Cook with the lid on for around 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, to allow the vegetables to soften a little and caramelise a little.
  4. Stir in the flour, curry powder and chilli powder and cook for a minute.
  5. Slowly pour in the stock, stirring as you go, to create a smooth sauce.
  6. Add the honey, soy sauce and bay leaf and bring to the boil.
  7. Reduce the heat and simmer for at least 20 minutes until the carrot is cooked through. If you have time, allow the sauce to cook slowly for about an hour to develop the flavour.
  8. Remove the bay leaf and add the garam masala before blitzing with a stick blender until smooth.

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