Easy Katsu Sando Recipe – Authentic Japanese Pork or Chicken Cutlet Sandwich

Easy Katsu Sando Recipe - Homemade Japanese Breaded Chicken or Pork Sandwich

Elevate your sandwich game with this mouthwatering Katsu Sando, a Japanese culinary masterpiece featuring a crispy breaded cutlet nestled between pillowy milk bread slices.

Dive into the world of Japanese comfort food with this irresistible Katsu Sando recipe. Born from the bustling streets of Japan, this sandwich has taken the culinary world by storm, captivating food lovers with its perfect balance of textures and flavors. From trendy Los Angeles eateries to convenience stores in Tokyo, the Katsu Sando has become an iconic dish that’s as Instagram-worthy as it is delicious.

At the heart of this sandwich is the star ingredient: a golden, crispy katsu cutlet. We’ll show you how to achieve restaurant-quality results at home using a secret technique: homemade nama panko. This fresh breadcrumb coating will give your katsu an unparalleled crunch that will have your taste buds singing.

Paired with tangy Bull-Dog sauce, crisp shredded cabbage, and cloud-like Japanese milk bread, this Katsu Sando is a symphony of textures and tastes that will transport you straight to a Tokyo café. Whether you’re a seasoned Japanese cuisine enthusiast or new to the world of katsu, this recipe promises to deliver a sandwich experience like no other.

The Secret to Perfectly Crispy Katsu

The key to achieving that coveted crunch lies in the breading. While many recipes call for store-bought dry panko, we’re taking it up a notch with homemade nama panko. This fresh, fluffy breadcrumb coating is the secret weapon of top restaurants, creating a katsu that’s lighter, crispier, and more golden than ever before.

Crafting Nama Panko Magic

Transform ordinary Japanese milk bread into extraordinary nama panko with these simple steps:

  1. Slice day-old milk bread and remove the crusts
  2. Let the bread stale for a day
  3. Pulse in a food processor or use a grater attachment for fluffier results

The result? Airy, shredded breadcrumbs that will envelop your cutlet in a golden, crispy embrace.

Perfecting Your Katsu Cutlet

Whether you choose juicy chicken or succulent pork, these tips will ensure your katsu is cooked to perfection:

  • Opt for fatty cuts like pork sirloin or chicken thighs for maximum moisture
  • Pound the meat to a uniform 1/4 inch thickness for even cooking
  • Season generously with salt and pepper
  • For chicken breasts, salt a few hours ahead for enhanced flavor and juiciness

The Supporting Cast: Cabbage, Bread, and Sauce

Elevate your Katsu Sando with these crucial components:

Crisp Cabbage Slaw

Finely shredded cabbage adds a refreshing crunch. Our sesame-infused dressing takes it from simple to sublime, complementing the rich katsu perfectly.

Pillowy Milk Bread

Thick slices of Japanese milk bread provide the ideal canvas for your katsu creation. A light toasting prevents sogginess and adds an extra textural element.

The Iconic Sauce

No Katsu Sando is complete without Bull-Dog tonkatsu sauce. This sweet and tangy condiment is the perfect finishing touch to your sandwich masterpiece.

Katsu Sando (Japanese Breaded Pork or Chicken Cutlet Sandwich)


For the Cutlet:

  • Eight 1-inch-thick slices day-old Japanese milk bread, divided (see note)
  • 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, about 8 ounces (225g); or 2 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, 4 to 5 ounces (110 to 140g) each; or 2 boneless pork sirloin cutlets, 4 to 5 ounces (110 to 140g) each
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (about 5 ounces; 140g)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon water (30ml)
  • Neutral oil such as vegetable, canola, or peanut oil, for frying

For the Cabbage:

  • 2 cups finely shredded green cabbage (about 4 ounces; 115g)
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon Kewpie mayonnaise, plus extra for serving
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar

To Assemble and Serve:

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cutlet tonkatsu


  1. Create fresh panko: Trim crusts from 4 bread slices. Cut into 1 1/2-inch batons. Process in food processor with grater attachment. Set aside in a large, shallow bowl.
  2. Prepare chicken or pork: For chicken breasts, slice horizontally into 2 thin cutlets. Pound to 1/4-inch thickness. Season with salt and pepper. Rest in refrigerator 4 hours to overnight. For chicken thighs or pork, pound to 1/4-inch thickness and season.
  3. Prepare cabbage: Soak in ice water for 20 minutes. Drain and dry thoroughly.
  4. Make dressing: Grind sesame seeds. Whisk with mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, and sugar. Toss with cabbage.
  5. Bread cutlets: Dredge in flour, then beaten egg, then fresh panko, pressing to adhere.
  6. Fry cutlets: Heat oil to 350°F (175°C). Fry cutlets until golden brown, about 6-7 minutes total, flipping occasionally. Drain on paper towels and season with salt.
  7. Toast bread: Melt butter in skillet. Toast bread slices on one side until golden.
  8. Assemble sandwiches: Spread mayo on toasted sides. Top with cutlet, tonkatsu sauce, and dressed cabbage. Close sandwich and slice if desired.


If Japanese milk bread is unavailable, substitute with thick slices of white bread or pain de mie.

Bull-Dog brand tonkatsu sauce is highly recommended for authentic flavor.

If your food processor lacks a grater attachment, use the normal blade for smaller but still effective panko flakes.

Make-Ahead and Storage

Homemade fresh panko flakes can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
1609 Calories
81g Fat
145g Carbs
75g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2
Amount per serving
Calories 1609
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 81g 104%
Saturated Fat 26g 129%
Cholesterol 506mg 169%
Sodium 1749mg 76%
Total Carbohydrate 145g 53%
Dietary Fiber 10g 34%
Total Sugars 9g
Protein 75g
Vitamin C 21mg 106%
Calcium 395mg 30%
Iron 12mg 68%
Potassium 1030mg 22%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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