Make a hearty and delicious katsu curry sauce in just 20 minutes with this easy recipe. Fragrant, umami and slightly sweet with less than 10 everyday ingredients and so many serving options. Enjoy with breaded chicken or pork or serve with tofu or veggies for a quick and healthy weeknight dinner. With no hard-to-find ingredients, blending or straining (unless you want to) this recipe is a go-to in my household and sure to become a regular for you too.
The post contains additional information and helpful tips to ensure the recipe turns out great the first time. Please use the link above to jump to the recipe card at the end if you are in a hurry!
✅ 5 reasons why you'll love this recipe:
- Ready in less than 20 minutes
- Warming and comforting
- Make ahead and freezer friendly
- Made with simple everyday ingredients
Japanese katsu curry sauce is a thick and hearty curry sauce commonly served over rice with meat and vegetables and is often served with a breaded fried piece of pork of chicken.
In recent years katsu curry has gained popularity outside of Japan and is enjoyed in western countries like the US, Australia and UK where it is one of the most popular dishes in the British Asian restaurant Wagamama.
In Japan katsu curry sauce is commonly made with instant curry roux which contains curry powder, oil and other seasonings. It's likely you'll need to venture into an Asian grocery sauce to buy curry roux outside of Japan, but fortunately, a tasty katsu sauce can be made without curry roux and this tasty recipe will show you how.
Katsu curry sauce is one of my favourite curry dishes to make at home because it's quick, tasty, versatile and requires simple ingredients that I often have in my fridge and pantry.
One of the best things about katsu sauce is that it isn't a dish you need to shop and plan for. You just need onion, carrot, curry powder, stock, garlic powder and honey.
I like to use S&B curry powder because it is sweeter than regular curry powder and gives the sauce the well-known Japanese katsu sauce flavour. You will need to order it online or visit an Asian grocery store but other curry powders that you can find in your usual supermarket are also fine to use. I use medium curry powder, but feel free to use hot if you prefer a spicier sauce.
This recipe has been tested with oxo powdered chicken stock but you can use fresh homemade stock if you prefer.
You can also use veg stock instead to make the sauce vegetarian or vegan-friendly.
This is mixed with water to form a slurry that thickens the sauce. If you don't have cornflour you can use regular all-purpose/plain flour instead. However, it won't have the same glossy smoothness as cornflour. Plain/all-purpose flour also doesn't have the same thickening power as cornflour so you'll need to double the amount.
Chunky or smooth
Onions and carrots are simmered in seasoned chicken broth to bring umami flavour to the sauce. You can leave them in the sauce if you like a chunky texture, or you can strain the sauce through a sieve when it's ready if you prefer a smooth texture.
🧑🍳 Katsu Sauce in 4 easy steps
1. Make the slurry
Mix the cornflour and water in a small mug or bowl and set aside.
2. Sauté the onion and carrot
Place a frying pan on a medium to high heat and add oil. Add the onion when the oil is hot and fry for a few minutes until translucent. Then add the carrot and fry for a couple more minutes.
Add the curry powder, garlic powder, salt and garam masala (if using). Pour on the stock and simmer for 10 minutes.
Reduce the heat to low, pour in the slurry and stir until thickened. Add the honey and serve immediately for a chunky sauce, or strain through a sieve if you prefer a smooth consistency.
👍 Top tips
- Make the sauce vegetarian/vegan-friendly - just swap the chicken stock for the same volume of powdered or fresh vegetable stock.
- Use a curry powder to suit your taste - use mild, medium or hot curry powder depending on how hot you want your sauce.
- Smooth or chunky - the choice is yours. I prefer a chunkier texture so I leave the onions and carrots in, but you can strain them through a sieve at the end if you prefer a smooth consistency.
What to eat with katsu curry sauce
Katsu curry sauce is super versatile and the ultimate comfort food. It's an excellent option for a quick impromptu dinner and a great way to put leftover meat and veggies to good use.
Katsu curry sauce is most commonly enjoyed with panko chicken breasts or breaded pork. If you're looking for a quick and easy recipe try my pork katsu curry or my panko chicken.
Vegetarian katsu curry
There are lots of vegetarian alternatives to katsu curry. These are often made with breaded tofu, but can also be made with Quorn, sweet potato, aubergine/eggplant or pumpkin.
Other curry options
If panko beef, pork or tofu seems like a hassle or you are after a lighter option katsu curry sauce can be enjoyed with chicken, pork, turkey, tofu or hard-boiled eggs. I often throw in the leftover veggies that are in my fridge. Carrots, courgette/zucchini, mushrooms, peppers and green beans all work well.
- Rice: Japanese short-grain rice is my go-to, but basmati, jasmine or brown rice will also work well.
- Salad: Salads are cool and fresh and complement the rich umami flavour of the curry sauce. I often serve katsu curry with my mooli salad or a simple green salad with wafu dressing.
Katsu curry is a Japanese dish consisting of a breaded pork or chicken cutlet served with rice and a generous amount of curry sauce. The rich and flavourful sauce is made from a spice blend or curry powder, with honey or apple added for sweetness and the umami flavour from soy sauce and garlic. It is different from Tonkatsu sauce which is also traditionally served with a breaded meat cutlet and is a thinner dipping sauce made from ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, oyster sauce and sugar.
Katsu curry sauce has a similar taste to some types of Indian curry sauce but with added sweetness (usually from apple or honey) and deep umami flavour from soy sauce or garlic. Curry powder was introduced in Japan by British people and katsu curry sauce is very similar to the curry sauce you find in a British Chip shop.
There are a few things that distinguish katsu curry from other curries. The first is that it's commonly made with a breaded meat cutlet dredged in flour, egg and breadcrumbs and then fried. Like most curries it is served with rice and a plentiful amount of sauce made from a mild to medium spice blend, onions, garlic and soy sauce and apple of honey for sweetness.
Traditionally, katsu sauce is made with chicken stock or broth but the sauce can be made vegan by simply using vegetable stock instead.
📦 Storing leftovers and freezing
Katsu curry sauce can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days and reheated on the stove or in the microwave.
The sauce also freezes well and can be frozen for up to 3 months. Perfect for a spot of batch cooking.
😋 Check out my other tasty curry recipes
Curries are warming, delicious and nutritious. They also create tasty leftovers and freeze well. My curry recipes are simple, quick and oh so yummy and include my Easy 20 minute prawn curry, my rich and delicious peanut butter chicken curry and my healthy nutritious butternut squash curry.
Did you try this recipe? It would be really great if you could leave a comment and a star rating ⭐️. I would love to receive your feedback and know that other readers find it helpful too.
Don't forget to tag #knifeandsoulrecipes on Instagram or @knifeandsoul on Pinterest!
- 1 saucepan
- 3 tbsp cornflour/cornstarch
- 6 tbsp water
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 2 medium carrots sliced
- 2.5 tbsp curry powder (Note 1)
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- salt to taste (Note 2)
- ½ tsp garam masala optional
- 800 ml (3 ½ cup) chicken or veg stock (Note 3)
- 1.5 tbsp honey
- Make the slurry by mixing the cornflour and water in a small jug or bowl.
- Place a pan on a medium to high heat and pour in the oil.
- Add the onion when the oil is hot and fry for a few minutes until translucent.
- Add the carrot and fry for a couple more minutes.
- Stir in the curry powder, garlic powder, salt (note 3) and garam masala if using.
- Pour on the stock and simmer for 7-10 minutes until the carrots are tender.
- Add the slurry, stir until thickened and add the honey. Pour on a little more stock if the sauce seems too thick.
- Serve immediately, or strain through a sieve if you prefer a smooth consistency.
- I like to use S&B curry powder because it is sweeter than regular curry powder and gives the sauce an authentic Japanese katsu sauce flavour, but other curry powders are also fine to use.
- The amount of salt required will vary depending on the saltiness of the stock used. Add to taste. I add around ½ tsp.
- You can use fresh or powdered chicken stock. You can also use veg stock to make the sauce vegetarian or vegan.
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