Living a five minute walk from Wagamama’s is the biggest love and loathe in my life and guess what… I’m a sucker for a chicken katsu curry. So after finishing uni for the year and wanting to experiment with cooking, I decided I could attempt to fake my own Wagamama’s and save a few £££.
I wanted to create the simplest katsu without using exotic ingredients. After being inspired by Polly, I decided to experiment and create my very own curry sauce from scratch. However, I found that I didn’t have most of the ingredients Polly used but found cheap alternatives perfect for every student out there.
100g flour (ish), seasoned with salt and
1 free-range egg, beaten lightly
1 slice of white bread, blitzed into breadcrumbs
1 chicken breast
100ml sunflower oil
steamed rice and salad to serve
For the curry sauce
1 tbsp sunflower oil
1 white onion, peeled and chopped
5 whole garlic cloves, peeled
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons plain flour
1 tablespoon medium curry powder
600ml (ish) chicken stock
2 tsp honey
1 tbsp soy sauce
Within the original recipe I followed, which I found online from Gizzi’s Magic Kitchen’ by Gizzi Erskine there was an abundance of ingredients such as gram masala, bay leaf, panko breadcrumbs and groundnut oil that I couldn’t find in my local supermarket so experimented with my own ideas.
Although I planned for it to be a quick make, the sauce took longer than expected as the flavours had to combine and blend together so I suggest giving yourself a good hour to create this bad boy.
To create the all important and experimental sauce I began by heating the oil in a pan. Whilst that was warming up I chopped the carrots, onion and garlic and then added it to the pan. I kept them on a medium heat for a good five minutes, until the onion was caramelised. I found that keeping the lid on the pan meant the onions stuck to the base of the pan so scrapped that idea and added the curry powder and flour and stirred until it was all mixed together.
By this point the mixture was quite dry so I poured in the stock. Top tip: add the stock slowly to avoid lumps. Then I added the soy sauce and honey to make the sauce stick together and give both colour and flavour. At this point the sauce was quite runny but filled with so much flavour so I reduced the heat and left to simmer whilst I moved onto the chicken.
To prep the chicken breast I was told it needed to be flattened, but I didn’t have I rolling pin (I know, student life right?!) So as a compromise I used the base of another sauce pan, which I scrubbed thoroughly before – don’t worry. Once that horrific ordeal was over I got out three Tupperware boxes, as I don’t own three little plates, and added the mixed salt, pepper and flour to one, the egg to another and breadcrumbs to the other dipping the chicken into each box in that order.
I then began to boil the rice as there was the perfect amount of time left before the meal would be ready.
After checking on the sauce and giving it a good stir I heated the remaining oil in a frying pan at a medium heat and fried the chicken for five minutes on each side until each side was ‘golden and cooked through’. I then removed the sauce from the heat and drained out the carrot, onion and garlic, but you’re more than welcome to keep the ingredients in for that chunky but funky vibe.
I wanted to do that cool thing with rice when chef’s create a little dome with it so I used an empty yogurt pot to create the same visual effect (I tried and it sort of worked). Then added the chicken and drizzled over the sauce before adding a cheeky bit of salad so I looked like I knew what healthy was.
Now I’m not gonna lie to you it was delicious and definitely worth the time, but I’m not sure it was worth the washing up! I was super impressed with myself who usually relied on pasta and risotto to get me through the week. I saved myself at least £8 considering I already had most of the ingredients and had left overs for the next day #winning.
Give it a go, it will be so worth it.
Peace and love,