If you are looking for a quick and easy version of chicken katsu that uses minimal oil, you need to try this rolled air fryer chicken katsu. It has a crispy coating and gooey cheese inside that is guaranteed to satisfy your taste buds.
What is katsu?
Chicken katsu is a breaded chicken cutlet dish, it’s basically Japanese fried chicken. To make chicken katsu, coat thinly sliced chicken breasts in flour, egg, then Japanese panko breadcrumbs.
Tonkatsu is the same thing, except it uses pork loin instead of chicken breast. Both dishes are typically served with Japanese curry or a tonkatsu sauce.
Katsu was first developed in Japan in the late 19th century as Western influences began seeping into Japanese cuisine. With inspiration from dishes like chicken schnitzel, katsu was born.
By the early 1900s, tonkatsu started to become a popular Japanese dish, often served with a sauce, rice, miso soup and chopped cabbage. Since then, the tasty dish has spread across the globe and is particularly popular in Hawaii.
Katsu comes in several varieties, depending on the meat you use on the inside. Tonkatsu, which uses lean pork, is the most popular variety. But you can also make chicken katsu, tofu katsu and spam katsu.
Ingredients for Air Fryer Rolled Chicken Katsu
Before you make this recipe, make sure you have all of the ingredients listed below. Next to each ingredient is a list of possible alternatives. For the best results, I would recommend sticking with original ingredients.
|Deli chicken breast
|Deli turkey breast, deli ham slices, any other lunchmeat
|Mozzarella cheese sticks
|Any other cheese sticks or cheese slices
|Rice flour, corn starch, potato starch
|Salt and pepper
|Sea salt, kosher salt
|Egg beaters, vegan egg
|Regular breadcrumbs, whole wheat panko, whole wheat breadcrumbs
|Canola oil cooking spray, avocado oil cooking spray, vegetable oil cooking spray
|Tonkatsu sauce (optional)
How to make Air Fryer Rolled Chicken Katsu
On a flat surface, layer two slices of deli chicken breast. Place a cheese stick (sliced in half the long way) at one end of the slices and roll into a long cylinder. Repeat with one more roll.
In three separate shallow bowls, add the all-purpose flour, the beaten eggs and the panko. Add salt and pepper to the flour and gently mix together.
Coat the rolled chicken and cheese pieces in a layer of flour. Pat off the excess, then coat in the beaten egg. Let the excess egg drip off, then coat in the panko. Gently press the panko into each roll.
Preheat your air fryer for 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Use cooking spray to lightly coat each roll on all sides. Add the rolls to the air fryer basket in a single layer and air fry for 6-8 minutes, flipping halfway, or until your rolls are a light golden brown color.
To bake, preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.
Remove from the air fryer and cut in half. Serve with tonkatsu sauce or Japanese curry and white rice.
How to store for later
Have leftovers? You can easily store these air fryer chicken katsu rolls in the refrigerator for later. Store your leftover chicken katsu in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days. Reheat in the microwave, oven or air fryer until an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit is reached.
The best katsu sauce options
You can find katsu or tonkatsu sauce at any local grocery stores or a nearby Asian grocery store. This savory sauce is a mix between a ketchup and a teriyaki sauce.
To make homemade katsu sauce, combine sugar with oyster sauce or soy sauce, worcestershire sauce and ketchup. You can also buy katsu sauce online from retailers like Amazon.
The above links are affiliate links.
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the difference between chicken katsu and breaded chicken?
Chicken katsu is a kind of breaded chicken with Japanese origins. It is different compared to other kinds of breaded chicken like chicken parmesan or chicken schnitzel because it is coated in panko, which are Japanese breadcrumbs.
Another difference is with seasoning. Chicken katsu is very lightly seasoned with salt and pepper before cooking. It is then served with a flavorful sauce such as tonkatsu sauce or a Japanese curry. Chicken parmesan on the other hand is seasoned with various Italian seasonings and parmesan cheese.
Why didn’t my chicken get crispy in the air fryer?
Your chicken isn’t getting crispy in the air fryer because you haven’t added any or enough oil to the outer coating of your chicken. The oil interacts with the breadcrumbs and leads to a browning effect when heated.
Without any oil on the outside of the chicken, it might get crispy, but it will stay a light brown or yellow color throughout the cooking process. You also want to avoid adding too much oil since it will leave your chicken soggy.
Can you put aluminum foil in an air fryer?
Yes, you can put aluminum foil in your air fryer, but this may affect the air flow in the air fryer. The reason why air fryers are able to cook your food so fast is partially due to the air flow in the device.
By adding a layer of aluminum foil to the air fryer, it kind of defeats the purpose of the air fryer since it blocks off air flow. I would recommend leaving out the aluminum foil, even if it does mean more clean-up.
Do you coat food in oil before air frying?
Yes, you do need to add a light layer of oil on your chicken before adding it to the air fryer. The oil will help cook and brown the outside crispy layer of the katsu.
While using oil with the air fryer may seem like it defeats the purpose of using an air fryer in the first place, remember that you are still using significantly less oil than with deep frying or even shallow frying.
Do you have to clean the air fryer after every use?
You don’t need to, but I would recommend you do. If you don’t, the bits of food that are stuck in the air fryer basket might burn and lead to a lot of smoke and perhaps a mistaken smoke alarm going off.
If you tried this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment down below or tag me on social media @tasteitwithtia.
Air Fryer Rolled Chicken and Cheese Katsu
- 8 oz deli chicken breast
- 2 oz part skim mozzarella string cheese
- 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 egg beaten
- 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
- cooking spray
- tonkatsu sauce for dipping, optional
- On a flat surface, layer two slices of deli chicken breast. Place a cheese stick (sliced in half the long way) at one end of the slices and roll into a long cylinder. Secure with a toothpick. Repeat with three more rolls.
- In three separate shallow bowls, add the all-purpose flour, the beaten eggs and the panko. Add salt and pepper to the flour and gently mix together.
- Coat the rolled chicken and cheese pieces in a layer of flour. Pat off the excess, then coat in the beaten egg. Let the excess egg drip off, then coat in the panko. Gently press the panko into each roll.
- Preheat your air fryer for 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Use cooking spray to lightly coat each roll on all sides. Add the rolls to the air fryer basket in a single layer and air fry for 6-8 minutes, flipping halfway, or until your rolls are a light golden brown color.
- Remove from the air fryer and cut in half. Serve with tonkatsu sauce or Japanese curry and white rice.