slightly lighter chicken katsu & Asian slaw

Hello there – I’m feeling very guilty as I write this as I should be just home from yoga, but when the alarm went off at 5:15am this morning I pulled the covers over my head and hid in bed instead. Consequently I am off to a 9:30am class (bad, bad, bad for my work-day flow!) and have been working since 7:30am instead. Anyhoo, I am taking ten minutes to quickly share this wee gem of a recipe with you, it’s one I put together for Fairfax so appearing in newspapers around the country and on Stuff today. Basically it is my slightly lighter version of katsu chicken served on seasoned sushi rice, with a vibrant, flavour-packed Asian slaw on the side. To season about 2 1/2 cups (measured before cooking) of sushi rice I just whisk together 1/4 cup of  rice vinegar, a tablespoon of caster sugar and about 1/2 teaspoon salt, then stir it through the rice once cooked, while still warm – it gives it a fabulous flavour boost. The slaw also makes a great lunch without the crumbed chicken, just add some flaked hot smoked salmon or cooked prawns for protein instead.
Not much else to report at the mo, I had the world’s quietist weekend, and this week it’s (yoga aside) all business. Meanwhile Rich appeared on Te Radar on Saturday night looking gorgeous as ever (stand and deliver!) and had a fabulous time at Womad, while Henry and Will have secured an amazing flat in Melbourne – roll on moving day and Henry’s consequent miraculous apartment makeover. In not-so-good news Henry’s design course in Melbourne has been cancelled (long story), so he has the bloody conundrum of deciding what next having already completed two years of graphic design and one of interiors – blergh, poor darling, what a total pain!

Asian slaw:
1/3 cup Japanese Kewpie mayo (or Best Foods)
2 tablespoon Japanese rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon caster sugar
2 cups edamame beans (frozen)
2 celery sticks, finely sliced
¼ red cabbage, finely sliced
¼ small green cabbage, finely sliced
2 medium carrots, grated
3 spring onions, sliced (reserve 2 tablespoons for garnish)
1 red pepper, finely sliced
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds


Put mayo, vinegar, oil and sugar in a small jug and whisk to combine. Bring a pot of water to boil, drop beans in for 2 minutes then drain and refresh under cold running water. Drain again and leave to cool. In a large bowl combine celery, cabbage, carrot, spring onions and red pepper. Add cooled edamame beans and 1 tablespoon of sesame seeds then pour over dressing. Toss gently and garnish with remaining sesame seeds and reserved spring onions. Serves 6

Katsu-ish chicken
1.2 kilos skinless, boneless chicken breasts
2 eggs, whisked
3 cups panko breadcrumbs
¼ cup high smoke point cooking oil
1/3 cup Japanese Kewpie mayo (or Best Foods)
1/3 cup Katsu or Japanese Barbecue Sauce
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
seasoned rice to serve


Slice each single breast into three, cutting through the centre to make thinner pieces of chicken. If the chicken is still quite thick, place between two pieces of baking paper and bang gently with a rolling pin to flatten slightly – you want to finish with pieces approximately 2-3cm thick. Dip the chicken pieces into egg then coat well in breadcrumbs. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for half an hour. Heat two tablespoons of oil in a large frying pan and cook half the chicken in batches for 4-5 minutes each side or until cooked through, adding more oil as necessary. Serve 1-2 pieces of chicken per person on rice, with a drizzle of mayo and katsu sauces and a sprinkling of sesame seeds. Serves 6


  1. Hi Sarah!
    Katsu chicken recipe looks great! Thanks for sharing. I was able to find all the necessary ingredients, even those new to me, like Japanese Kewpie mayo.
    I was pleased to read an interview you gave to Dish, and poking around I found your recipe for Lemon Cheesecake Tart with Lemon Curd. Sounds fabulous–I simply adore lemons! But, I do have a few questions. First, what is custard powder? And, could you please explain the difference between icing sugar and caster sugar. Thank you in advance and know I so appreciate all
    your efforts for your blog. It is definitely one of the best, Sarah!

  2. Hi Jacklyn, thanks so much for your message 🙂 Custard powder is a commonly used custard base used in New Zealand, Australia and the UK- but I think you can use a pudding mix – se here for details:
    Icing sugar is powdered sugar, while caster sugar is superfine sugar. If it isn't available to buy you an just whiz regular sugar in a food processor 🙂 Hope this helps!

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