Lemon Chicken Katsu Sauce + Furikake Rice

Estelle  Chait
by Estelle Chait
4-8 cutlets
25 min

Lemon Chicken Katsu Sauce is the perfect tangy citrusy sauce to serve over our favorite Katsu Chicken! Follow my seasoning method for the juiciest chicken, bread for that crispy crunch, and serve with two scoops of white rice and Furikake for the real Hawaiian lunch feels. It’s so Ono!

Lunch is a serious occasion in the Hawaiian Islands.

I always love a good plate lunch with some crispy golden Chicken Katsu and sides(fried rice, Mac salad, or white rice with furikake!).

We also love juicy Kalbi Ribs, Huli Huli Chicken, and a gorgeous Ahi Katsu with a side salad- but today we’re banking on Katsu, and doing it a little different!

My family is a little(maybe a little more than a little?) obsessed with Katsu. To keep things interesting we switch up the sauces once in a while.

When I have guests for dinner we make a fancy version of Honey Garlic Chicken Katsu.

If the kids get to bed early and it’s dinner for just the two of us, I make Spicy Korean Chicken Katsu– which is the hot tamale of the bunch.

And in the summer I get out the lemons and make this tangy Lemon Chicken Katsu Sauce! The citrus pairs perfectly with the super crunch of that golden breading.

It’s dinner heaven!!!

TIP: How to Make the Juiciest Chicken

This is the best tip I have for making the juiciest flavorful chicken! Salt it.

Cut. This recipe is for 2-4 chicken breasts. First thing you’ll need to slice each breast in half and pound it to even thickness to ensure it cooks evenly all the way through. Use a meat mallet for this or use a rolling pin to flatten out the thicker areas of meat.

Salt. This step is so simple but so worth it! Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon of salt over each cutlet(you’ll have 4-8 cutlets). You don’t need to measure exactly but try not to use more than that amount because you don’t want to over-salt the meat.

breaded and fried cutlets

Flip the cutlets and sprinkle another 1/4 teaspoon on each side. Let the chicken sit for 15 minutes. During this time the salt will tenderize the meat and draw out moisture.

After 15 minutes, dab the chicken with a paper towel to get all the water- make sure to dry off the meat really well so it can crisp up in the pan. With this tip the chicken will be extra JUICY!!!!

Katsu Sauce

After breading and frying the chicken we drizzle this tangy lemon sauce over the sliced cutlets. The sauce is simple- Mix everything in one saucepan and let it bubble till it thickens slightly!

sliced golden Katsu

What you need:

  • Half a lemon and it’s zest(always zest before you juice! even zest before you slice the lemon-its much easier to hold that way)
  • soy sauce
  • sugar
  • garlic clove(you can grate this or crush it)
  • ginger
  • vinegar
  • chicken stock OR water and 1/2 teaspoon of chicken soup mix- a simple substitution if you don’t have chicken stock on hand!

Can you Freeze Katsu?

A good question. If you want to freeze Katsu for make-ahead purposes, salt and bread the chicken as normal. After it’s breaded, stack the cutlets with a piece of wax paper/parchment paper in between each one and place in a ziplock, airtight bag, then in the freezer.

The wax paper keeps the chicken from sticking to each other once frozen, and you can easily remove cutlets and pop them straight from the freezer to the pan when you are ready to serve.

The Lemon Sauce can be made in advance as well- keep it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week and heat it up before serving. Keep in mind that the sauce does thicken up as it cools, so be sure not to over cook it. You want a nice drizzle-able consistency!

Furikake Rice

The perfect finish for this dish is the Furikake Rice. White rice with a sprinkling of delicious Furikake Seasoning- a true Hawaiian favorite.

What is Furikake

Furikake is a Japanese seasoning made with nori(seaweed), toasted sesame seeds, salt, and a pinch of sugar. It is packed with umami and adds amazing flavor to any asian dish! Especially rice!!


Furikake is sold in a salt shaker style bottle in most Japanese supermarkets. The popular brands are not kosher, so I make it myself. It is very simple to make at home and keeps very well when stored in a cool place in the kitchen in an airtight container. If you’ve never tried Furikake- now is the time!

I will be sharing my own homemade furikake recipe here soon -so make sure you subscribe to the blog to get that recipe!

I hope you love this Lemon Chicken Katsu Sauce with Furikake Rice like we do! If you make it be sure to leave a comment/review, and come visit on Insta to share your food photos!!!

Lemon Chicken Katsu Sauce + Furikake Rice
Recipe details
  • 4-8  cutlets
  • Prep time: 15 Minutes Cook time: 10 Minutes Total time: 25 min
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  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 2 tsp salt, divided
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 cup golden breadcrumbs or panko crumbs
Lemon Katsu Sauce
  • 1/2 TBSP oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 3 TBSP sugar
  • 3 TBSP soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock sub with 1/2 cup water plus 1/2 tsp. chicken soup mix
  • 1/2 TBSP rice vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp grated ginger sub 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 lemon zested and juiced
to serve
  • prepared white rice
  • furikake seasoning
Salt Chicken
Cut each chicken breast in half, so you have 4-8 cutlets, depending on how many you are making. With a meat mallet or rolling pin, pound meat to even thickness.
Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon of salt on EACH cutlet, flip and repeat to the second side. Let sit for 15 minutes. (at this point i like to start cooking my rice, so it's ready at the same time)Dab the chicken with paper towels to remove all moisture that seeped from the chicken. Make sure both sides of chicken are dry before continuing.
Bread and Fry
Lay out three shallow bowls. In one add the 3 eggs and whisk to combine. In the second add the flour, and in the third pour the breadcrumbs. Lay out a fourth clean plate for the finished chicken. Working one cutlet at a time, dip in the flour first, then in the egg, and lastly in the panko crumbs, making sure to coat all sides and nooks of the chicken.
When all the cutlets are breaded, heat up oil in a shallow frying pan. Use about a 1/2 inch of oil. To tell if the oil is hot enough, place a wooden spoon in the pan. When you see bubbles form around the bottom of the spoon, you are ready to fry. Add the cutlets and fry until golden, flip, and fry the second side. This should take about 2 minutes per side. Remove to a plate with a paper towel to drain while you prepare the sauce.
Prep Lemon Sauce
In a small saucepan, add the oil and grate or crush in the garlic clove. Once the garlic is just turning golden, pour in the soy sauce, sugar, chicken stock, rice vingear, and ginger. Let it come to a boil. Stir to dissolve the sugar and let cook for 3 minutes. Lower the heat and squeeze in the juice of the lemon and add the zest. Let simmer for one more minute. Remove from heat.
Slice and Serve
To make pretty rice mounds, get out a small bowl and fill it with warm rice. Place the bowl upside down on the serving plate and gently lift the plate, letting the rice form a mound in the shape of the bowl you used.
One at a time, lay each cutlet on a cutting board and positon your knife on the diagonal. Slice cutlet into strips about 1/2 inch wide. Slide the knife under the cut strips, taking care to keep the shape of the cutlet. Transfer the cut slices to the serving plate, leaning the slice on the rice mounds like pictured. Drizzle lemon sauce over the centre of the cutlets and sprinkle furikake on the tops of the rice mounds. Serve immedietly.
Estelle  Chait
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