Japanese-style fried chicken cutlets, topped with a spicy tomato sauce (a cheats version of Japanese Tonkatsu sauce), an unbelievably flavourful Asian spring onion omelet and seasoned sushi rice “buns” come together in this Chicken Katsu Sushi Burger, for a creative and incredibly delicious marriage of two distinct Japanese dishes!
As you guys may have noticed, we’ve been eating our fair share of sushi at home these days. Sushi rolls of course, and then sushi rice bowls, and most of all these fantastic Sushi Burgers!
I have previously shared my Teriyaki Steak Sushi Burger recipe on this blog before (I updated some of those pictures the other day too), and today I’m sharing the chicken version, Chicken Katsu Sushi Burger!
So what is Chicken Katsu you ask? Originating from Japan, it’s deep fried, flattened and breaded (usually panko) chicken cutlets, usually made with chicken thighs. So it’s Japanese-style fried chicken, and it’s served with Tonkatsu sauce, which is a sweet and spicy fruit-based sauce that you can easily find in Asian stores.
And let me also say that this recipe is inspired by the Japanese chicken katsu. I’ve put my own spin on it, so it’s not the authentic Japanese dish. And besides I’m using a homemade cheats tonkatsu sauce. The idea was to marry two popular Japanese dishes in a unique and inventive way and of course have something amazing come out of it! 🙂
The first time I had chicken katsu was in New Zealand. There used to be a small Japanese restaurant in the Christchurch square, tucked away in a small alley. It was an open, cafe-like setting with just a few chairs, and the chef made everything on a grill, out in the open for everyone to see. I had a selection of Japanese dishes that I loved eating from there, like Okonomiyaki, Katsu (typically it’s pork katsu, but you can also get chicken katsu like the one I’ve made here), Katsudon (or in my case Oyakodon), Yakitori, Karaage and so much more!
Katsudon is a pork cutlet with rice, but when served with chicken instead, it’s called Oyakodon, and it was and still is one of my absolute favourites! It’s chicken katsu, cooked with stock, spring onions and an egg, served over rice. What’s not to love?
Being a huge anime fan, I’ve seen Katsudon make an appearance on these shows! Recently I was watching “The Devil is a part-timer” (thank you Netflix), where Katsudon is a recurring theme and I couldn’t figure out the significance of it and why it was always showing up in police stations while the cops were interrogating suspects. And then I found out that “Katsu” means victory and it’s a way of wishing or hoping for good luck or victory for kids – and mothers would make katsu for their kids on special occasions or just before an exam. And as for the cops, apparently offering a bowl of katsudon to their suspects, makes them feel nostalgic and breaks their resistance and makes them fess up. 🙂 Who knew!
So it’s my own memories of Chicken Kastu and the amazing flavours of Oyakodon (Katsudon) that inspired this Chicken Katsu Sushi Burger! They are breaded and fried chicken breast cutlets (you can use thighs as well), topped with a slightly spicy tomato ketchup (it’s a rough, cheats version of the original Tonkatsu), an insanely delicious spring onion omelet (seriously, you guys should try it just on it’s own if you can!), all encased in seasoned sushi rice “buns”! Can’t imagine how chicken and sushi could be more flavourful than this together.
I know I went into detail about how to make sushi rice buns in my Steak Sushi Burger, but I’ll go through it quickly so you don’t have to click through – unless you want to, I do HIGHLY recommend it! 🙂
You can either use ring molds to create the rice buns (I used egg rings), or just use your hands. I have used both methods, and prefer using the mold. Which ever technique you use, make sure that the surfaces are wet – this will ensure that the sushi rice will not stick to the rings or your hands.
So here are some variations you could try at home.
Instead of chicken breast, use flattened, boneless chicken thigh pieces. Or flattened pork cutlet (which is the traditional katsudon).
I made the omelet in the same egg rings that I used to make sushi burgers. Alternatively, you can make a thinner omelet and fold it up to the size you want.
Tonkatsu sauce should be available in your local Asian grocery store, so use that if you can get your hands on it. My recipe here tastes similar to tonkatsu, but the base is not fruity (although you could argue that tomato is technically a fruit 🙂 ). I spiced it up a little with some crushed chilli (red pepper) flakes for that extra kick.
If you don’t feel like making this Chicken Katsu Sushi burger (or any sushi burger) – that’s OK! I made this same meal as a sushi bowl for my husband to take to work the very next day. Just layer the rice at the bottom and top it with a juicy omelet and Chicken Katsu cooked together. He made sure that I added some cheats Tonkatsu and Furikake too!
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Chicken Katsu Sushi Burger
- 1 cup of sushi rice 8oz, washed till the water runs clear, and then left in the strainer for a few minutes.
- 1 cup of cold water
- ¼ cup black sesame seeds optional
Sushi Seasoning (Recipe from Masaharu Moshimoto)
- ¼ cup mirin
- ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
- ¼ cup white sugar
- 1 tbsp salt use less if using seasoned rice wine vinegar
- 1 chicken breast will make 2 cutlets, OR 2 thigh pieces
- 1 egg
- Splash of milk
- Panko Crumbs
- Oil for shallow frying
- 1 tbsp Soy Sauce
- 1 tbsp Rice wine vinegar
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper reduce if you like it less spicy
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
Spicy Tomatoe Sauce (Cheats Tonkatsu Sauce)
- ½ cup ketchup sauce
- 2 tbsp mirin
- 1 tsp crushed chilli flakes
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- Splash of water
Asian Spring Onion Omelet
- 2 eggs
- 2 tbsp milk
- Generous splash of fish sauce or soy sauce
- 3 spring onions sliced thin
- Furikake Seasoning
Sushi Rice Buns
- Place all the ingredients in a small saucepan and heat on medium heat. Stir to make sure the sugar and salt dissolve. Once it comes to a light boil, remove from the heat and set aside.
- Let the washed rice dry in a colander or sieve for about 5 -10 minutes. Place the rice and the water in a rice cooker and let it cook according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Keep the rice warm until ready to use.
- Please note that sushi rice is best eaten on the day it's cooked. It can dry out and taste extremely stale later. Therefore, cook the rice and keep it warm until ready to be mixed with the seasoning.
- When you're ready to make the sushi burgers, spread the rice in a larger bowl or container (bamboo container is better, but I used a glass container). Sprinkle ¼ cup of black sesame seeds on top. Keep a wet cloth handy.
- Measure out roughly a 1/4 cup of the sushi seasoning and sprinkle on top of the rice, and using a wide spoon (like a rice paddle) “chop” and fold the rice lightly, taking care not to squash or break the rice.
- Roughly divide the rice into 4 equal portions (about ½ cup each)
- Shaping sushi "buns" by hand - with wet hands, shape each portion into a burger bun. Keep them on a plate covered with the wet cloth.
- Shaping sushi "buns" with an egg ring - place wet egg rings on a parchment paper and place one portion of rice in the egg ring. Using a wet spoon, press the rice into the egg rings until it forms a compact, molded rice "bun". (See video here).
- In a small non stick frying pan, brush some oil and sear just one side of each rice bun for about 3 - 5 minutes on medium heat, or until it starts to caramelize a little. Set aside and keep covered with a wet cloth.
- Butterfly the chicken breast and cut it into half so you have 2 thin (1cm thin) chicken breast fillets. Or you can use a meat hammer to pound chicken thighs into thin fillets.
- Add the marinade ingredients into a bowl and add the chicken fillets and let them marinate for a few hours (optional).
- In a bowl, place the eggs, cream, salt and whisk to combine. Dunk the chicken in the egg wash and coat completely. Then coat with the panko bread crumbs. Set aside until ready to be fried.
- Heat oil in a pan on medium high heat to shallow fry the chicken cutlets. When the oil is heated (about 350°F), carefully place the breaded chicken cutlet (do not over crowd the pan) and fry it 4 minutes on each side until golden brown and cooked through (mine took 4 minutes on each side). Set it on a draining rack to drain the oil. You can keep it warm in the oven until needed.
Spicy Ketchup Sauce (Cheats Tonkatsu Sauce)
- Place all the ingredients in a small pan. Under medium heat, bring the ingredients to a simmer while mixing. Set aside to cool. If it's too thick, add a splash of water.
Asian Spring Onion Omelet
- Whisk the eggs, cream and fish sauce in a bowl.
- Place two egg rings in a non stick pan and heat on medium heat. Spray the egg rings with some oil spray to prevent the eggs from sticking.
- Divide the egg mix between the two rings. Add spring onions to the top of the omelet and let it cook until the eggs are set.
- If you don’t have egg rings, make 1 omelet at a time in a small pan, sprinkle spring onions and fold it once to make smaller omelets to fit the burger.
Assembling Sushi Burgers
- Slice the breaded chicken cutlets.
- Brush the sushi rice bun with the spicy ketchup sauce (Tonkatsu sauce). Place the sliced chicken on the rice bun. Spoon some spicy ketchup sauce (or Tonkatsu sauce) on top of the chicken.
- Place the omelet on top of that, followed by the kewpie or mayonnaise. Top with a second sushi rice bun. Enjoy!
“This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.”
So, what did we learn today?
We learnt how to make Sushi rice buns, and tips to make sure you get perfect sushi buns, like using wet utensils, and an egg ring mold.
Also, egg ring molds are not only for eggs! You can use them to form rice buns, and even omelets and GF crumpets (like in this recipe!)
We learnt a little about a few distinct Japanese recipes – Katsu, Katsudon, Oyakodon and of course Sushi.
If you don’t feel like making the Sushi rice buns – no worries! You can EASILY transform this into a Sushi rice bowl instead!
Want to make Mini Sushi Burgers, for appetizers or tapas style parties? Use a smaller ring mold, or just make sushi rice balls and gently flatten them!
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