Test Kitchen - Almond Chicken Katsu

I love doing Test Kitchen posts because I get to hear back from you all on Facebook on what you'd like to see done with the ingredient OR what you've done before that I can make my own version of. Last week's was the common ingredient of almond, and I got a whole lot of awesome suggestions. I'll probably go through the ones I didn't use at first at a later time. Thanks to Lori & Brenda for the idea of using the almond as some form of crust on meat. I came up with an almond chicken katsu; tonkatsu in Japanese cuisine is usually a pork cutlet but variations do include using chicken. I used chicken breast for this version for a leaner cut but feel free to use chicken thighs for something juicier. There was also an accompanying maple mustard sauce put together using pure Vermont maple syrup I procured from Bruxie!

Step 1: Ingredients (yields 4-6 servings)
  • 2 large chicken breasts, 1/2" slices
  • 1 cup panko crumbs
  • 3/4 cup whole almonds
  • 1 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • oil for frying
      Maple Mustard Sauce
  • 3 tbsps pure Vermont maple syrup
  • 2 1/2 tbsps whole grain mustard
  • 2 tbsps soy sauce

Step 2: Prepping the ingredients
This is actually a fairly simple dish. I wish I had done this earlier! Slice up the chicken breasts length-wise so you have a nice, wide piece of chicken (see picture). The pieces should be about 1/2" thick. If the breast is really large, you can halve each slice as well. I had to do that with some pieces and thus ended up with about 10 pieces. In a food processor, pulse together almonds, garlic salt, and pepper before mixing in a shallow bowl with the panko crumbs. In a large skillet, fill with about 1/4" oil of choice and heat.


Step 3: Frying
Test how hot the oil is by flicking a piece of the panko breading mixture to watch for a sizzle. It should gently sizzle and not spatter. If it pops, the oil is too hot so the heat needs to be turned off for a little bit to let it cool. Resume heat at medium this time after about two minutes of cool down. In a small bowl, beat the egg and then pour over chicken pieces to thoroughly coat. Then, place each piece of chicken into the coating and pat down firmly on both sides to bread before placing into oil. It should gently bubble/fry.


Step 4: Finishing
Golden brown is the color you want! While the chicken is getting to the color you want it to be, you can make the sauce by mixing the sauce ingredients together (adjust for taste as desired). For the chicken, you'll know when to flip to the other side once the edges of the chicken meat turn white and the edges of the breading get to golden-just-before-golden-brown. We want to make sure you cook the chicken thoroughly after all. Serve with your favorite sauce/curry/rice and get plenty of greens in there to offset what you just fried!


This week's Test Kitchen ingredient: pineapple sage
There's a little story behind the pineapple sage which I will gladly tell in the recipe post when it goes up next week. I'll get into that later but for now, know that the picture of it below is actually a live plant I have access to. It's starting to get a little out of control in terms of size so let's prune it a bit. Let me know what you think I should do with it when I post up the picture on Facebook later today!

Some Wikipedia knowledge: "The leaves and flowers of S. elegans are edible. The plant is extensively used in Mexican traditional medicine, especially for the treatment of anxiety, and also for lowering of blood pressure."

Photography by Minerva Thai.



  1. I think I know where, but where's the egg in here? Pre-panko right?

    1. Pre-panko, yes. Sorry I didn't take a picture of that step! It's in the directions though =]