Crispy Baked Chicken with Tonkatsu Sauce

After a couple of days of not being exactly sure of where we were, I definitely know where we are now.  We’re on the West Coast of the USA and in the beautiful city of San Francisco.  (I don’t mean to spoil the illusion but this is a virtual tour – it’s just I’ve had a few comments from people thinking I’m covering great distances in a super-sonic jet).

Crispy Baked Chicken with Tonkatsu Sauce

Crispy Baked Chicken with Tonkatsu Sauce

It’s now Day 6 of our 10-day series and thanks for letting me know you’re enjoying it.

Browning the panko crumbs and olive oil

Browning the panko crumbs with the olive oil

Here in San Francisco lives Japanese-born Nami from Just One Cookbook.  She lives here with her husband and two primary-school aged children.  Nami started blogging around four years ago and has created an enormous and loyal following with her intriguing, interesting and easy-to-follow Japanese recipes.

Coating the seasoned flattened chicken breasts in flour

Coating the seasoned flattened chicken breasts in flour

I have been following Nami’s blog for a couple of years and have learnt so much about Japanese cuisine, from the sushi, the sauces, the desserts and especially the very well-presented Bento boxes.  Everything on Nami’s blog is done beautifully; from the photography, the styling of the food, the plating-up to the u-tube videos where you can see Nami in action.

Ready for the oven

Ready for the oven

Nami’s blog is, for her, a full-time concern and it keeps her extremely busy.  She does however, always take time to visit the bloggers who follow her and her comments reveal what a humble and generous and encouraging person she is.

Tonkatsu Sauce

Tonkatsu Sauce

In terms of what goes on at the Hotly Spiced kitchen, Japanese cuisine is not something that’s cooked very often.  I’m really not sure why except to say that while I was growing up, it was not a cuisine we ate, nor were there many (or any), Japanese restaurants in the vicinity of where we lived.

I did however, learn Japanese in high school.  It was my most favourite subject and while being an unremarkable student in most other subjects, Japanese was where I elevated myself out of the average category.  Shame I can no longer speak it!

Baked not fried!

Baked not fried!

One of the things we did as students of Japanese was go on an excursion to a Japanese restaurant for lunch.  As there were no Japanese restaurants anywhere near the school, we were put on a bus and taken into the city.  We arrived at one of those authentically Japanese restaurants where you have to take off your shoes and sit on cushions on the floor and then there was a drop-down section so your legs could dangle under the table.  At the restaurant we were given a bowl of miso soup followed by some crunchy fried chicken with a dipping sauce.

When I was thinking of what to cook from Nami’s blog, I remembered my very first Japanese meal and wanted to recreate that experience.  I remembered a recipe I’d seen on Nami’s blog where the chicken was crispy and crunchy yet the meat hadn’t been deep-fried but rather, baked.  I wanted to give this a go to see if I could create crispy chicken without the use of a deep-fryer.

Japanese, crispy chicken

Japanese, crispy chicken

The chicken is served with a tonkatsu sauce that is very easy to make.  This is a family-friendly meal in that everyone in your household (that’s not vegetarian) will enjoy.  It’s affordable, it’s easy to do and it doesn’t require impressive cooking skills.  The panko crumbs seal in the moisture and give the chicken a beautiful crunch.  The tonkatsu sauce has great depth of flavour and goes so well with the mild chicken flavours.  A simple salad was the only other thing this dish needed however I also added some of the pickled watermelon I made a few days earlier because it goes so well with chicken.

5.0 from 3 reviews
Crispy Baked Chicken with Tonkatsu Sauce
Recipe type: Poultry
Cuisine: Japanese
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
Crispy Baked Chicken with Tonkatsu Dipping Sauce
  • 2 cups Panko bread crumbs
  • 2 tbspns olive oil
  • 500gms (1lb) chicken breast fillets, washed and patted dry
  • ¼ cup plain flour
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tbspn water
  • For the Tonkatsu Sauce:
  • 1 tbspn tomato sauce
  • 2½ tspns Worcestershire sauce
  • 1½ tspns oyster sauce
  • 1⅛ tspn sugar
  1. Preheat the oven to 200C (400F).
  2. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
  3. Combine the panko and oil in a frying pan and toast over medium heat until golden brown. Transfer panko into a shallow dish and allow to cool.
  4. Butterfly and cut the chicken breasts in half. Pound the chicken to equal thickness where necessary.
  5. Season the chicken on both sides.
  6. In a shallow dish add flour and in another dish combine beaten egg and water.
  7. Dredge each chicken piece in flour to coat well then shake off excess. Dip chicken in egg mixture and when thoroughly coated, dredge in panko crumbs. Press the panko crumbs onto the chicken to make sure they adhere.
  8. Arrange chicken pieces on prepared tray and place in the oven.
  9. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink in the middle.
  10. For the Tonkatsu Sauce:
  11. Combine all ingredients in a small jug and mix well. Adjust seasonings if necessary.
  12. Serve chicken with tonkatsu sauce and a simple salad if desired.

If you’d like to visit Nami, you can find her at Just One Cookbook or follow her on Instagram.

Missed some of this 10-part series?  You can catch-up by browsing the following links…

Asparagus and Potato Tart from The Orgasmic Chef.

Melting Moments from The Mother Hubbard’s Kitchen.

Bundy and Coke Braised Beef Ribs from The Intolerant Chef.

Easy Pickled Watermelon Rind from Kitchen Riffs.

Flourless Double Chocolate Cake from That Skinny Chick Can Bake.

Serve with a simple salad

Serve with a simple salad

Tomorrow we’re getting out of our depth.

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  1. I never knew tonkatsu sauce was that easy to make – that is fantastic. I’m intrigued where you’re going tomorrow now:) I’m loving this virtual trip x

  2. Charlie – I don’t think I can hold back any longer – I have to say there’s so much love I am feeling right now — I love your “travelling posts” – and love your presentation – and love your dishes and love Nami! You are right, no matter how busy she is, i you visit her blog, she most definitely returns the favor and her dishes are delightful!

  3. Yummy just started following her blog… Thanks Charlie!

  4. Wow Charlie you are traveling fast. Nami is a very lovely person and you picked such a good recipe to make. this would go down very well with Skater.

  5. I would think that Japanese would be a difficult language to learn. Like you, though, I excelled at language (German).

    I’m not familiar with Japanese food, having never eaten it.

  6. You’re finding all my favourite people. Nami’s been a blogging friend for such a long time. Her food is wonderful (even though she eats things I sometimes raise an eyebrow over) and her photography is outstanding. How she gets everything done and raises two kids is beyond me.

    I love this series, Charlie!

  7. Beautiful photographs of the finished dish.

  8. Crispy chicken with only 1 tablespoon of oil- sounds good to me!

  9. Wouldn’t it be lovely for you if the tour was real (albeit perhaps not so lovely with the travel)! I am certainly enjoying it – a very fun series.

  10. Hey, even Bill would eat this chicken 😉 I’m a huge fan of Nami’s, too! And I need to make both her chicken and tonkatsu sauce. Love this journey you’re on!!!!

  11. I’m loving your tour! And I’m definitely going to make this recipe. My kids love chicken cutlets and I can’t wait to try this baked version. XO

  12. When I run out of the sauce I’m currently using, I’ll have to give this one a try. Great recipe for the chicken, and when I can face poultry again, I’ll make some. 🙂

  13. Hi Charlie, great virtual tour….love this sauce!

  14. I am loving this tour of blogs and recipes, what fun! And the chicken looks fantastic! Looks very crispy and so refreshing without being deep fried. 🙂

  15. Am loving these recipes, can’t wait to try the watermelon one, when we finally get them here about December….lol. Have a fantastic weekend 🙂

  16. Awww…Charlie! You just made a healthy, yummy and well-styled Japanese dish! Nami’s the Japanese go-to girl 🙂

    Gourmet Getaways

  17. It’s hard to believe that this chicken is baked it look so crisp, golden and crunchy. You definitely have inspired me to try out the recipe in my kitchen. Thanks for sharing it!

  18. I heart panko crumbs…. I’ve been getting my panko crumb on everything recently. 🙂 I like that you baked rather than fried. Much healthier option, yours looks way delish.

  19. Crispy chicken has got to be on everyone’s favourites list Charlie! I don’t tend to cook much Japanese at home either- unless you count my instant miso soup for lunch 🙂 Littlej takes Japanese at school as well and lives me to take her to Japanese restaurants. Last time I took her and another girl from her class to just a nice sushi train style place, they wolfed down $90 worth! Definitely cheaper to make at home, and I know she’ll live this recipe- yummo xox

  20. Dear Charlie,

    Nami’s blog is pretty awesome, love her Japanese recipes but I’m curious about your pickled watermelon now.

  21. Oh Charlie! You’re so sweet! Thank you so much for your kind words and introduction about me/my blog. And I’m so glad you tried this recipe and enjoyed it! I learned Spanish for 2 years in college and I barely remember it (and I did get all As!)….what a shame! If I was your neighbor, you’d be coming to my house for Japanese food AND we could brush up your Japanese! =P Thank you again! xoxo

  22. I can’t wait to try this, Charlie. I love the a crispy chicken and I don’t like to fry. So this is a perfect recipe to try. I’ve only had Tonkatsu in restaurants and I’m excited to have a good recipe. You certainly plated it beautifully, too!

  23. I love the idea of baking this. I’ve eaten fried Tonkatsu in Japan, but never tried to make it.

  24. What a wonderful recipe to try, Nami is beyond talented and I love her blog to bits just like I love yours 😀
    Delicious looking Japanese dish!

    Choc Chip Uru

  25. I’m hoping to meet Nami at some stage in the future! She is such a lovely soul and such a great recipe developer-two things that many of my friends are! 😉 Her nama chocolate recipe is amazing but she seems to develop all of the recipes that I want to make!

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