BONUS Recipe Included: Togarashi-Style SeasoningJump to Recipe
Low-Carb Baked Katsu Chicken is a healthier version of the popular Japanese-style fried chicken that is delicious served with homemade Tonkatsu sauce.
At Hawaiian restaurants, my mom loves ordering Katsu chicken. Since it is usually made to order, she expects to wait longer for her entree. But, it is always worth the wait!
Katsu, or “cutlet” in Japanese, refers to meat pounded thin prior to cooking. Traditionally, chicken Katsu is made by dredging thin chicken breasts in flour, egg, and panko. Then, the chicken is either deep fried or pan fried.
Rather than coating the chicken in all purpose flour and panko, this low-carb baked katsu chicken is breaded in almond flour and pork rinds. By baking the chicken, the chicken will still be crispy without frying. Because the chicken is baked, it will have fewer calories that if it is fried.
Many people like to serve Katsu chicken with white rice and Tonkatsu sauce. To pay homage to the original, we’ll serve ours with a homemade, quick, low-carb Tonkatsu sauce. For a full meal, serve with a side of cauliflower rice.
As a bonus, I’m including a recipe for Togarashi-style seasoning. If you want to spice up your Katsu chicken, add this seasoning on the chicken before it bakes. If you don’t use it, the classic seasonings will be just as delicious.
Low-Carb Baked Katsu Chicken Equipment
For this low-carb baked katsu chicken recipe, I recommend the following equipment:
- Chef’s Knife and Cutting Board
- Pie Plates or Corelle Rimmed Cereal Bowl
- Blender, Food Processor, or Rolling Pin
- Baking Rack and Baking Sheet
- Aluminum Foil
To get all sides of the chicken crispy, bake the chicken on a baking rack set inside of an aluminum foil lined baking-sheet. However, if you don’t have a baking rack, you can still use a foil lined baking sheet or any other oven-safe baking dish.
Low-Carb Baked Katsu Chicken Ingredients
For this recipe, you’ll make three low-carb ingredient swaps. You’ll need: pork rinds, almond flour, and sugar-free ketchup.
Pork Rinds (or Chicharrones)
As previously mentioned, traditional chicken Katsu is coated with Panko Bread Crumbs. To make this dish lower in carbs, we’ll be using pork rinds instead of Panko. Although, if you are not worried about keeping this recipe low-carb, panko can be equally substituted for the pork rinds.
Walmart carries two brands of pork rinds I like: Baken-ets or Mac’s. To mimic the texture of Panko, crush the pork rinds using a blender, food processor, or a rolling pin until fine in texture.
For quick prep, you can buy Pork Rind Breadcrumbs. Although, I prefer to make my own because they are less expensive.
TIP: Make your own pork rind crumbs in advance, and store them in an airtight container in your pantry until you need them.
On average, in a cup of white all-purpose flour, there is about 95 g of carbs. In a cup of almond flour, there is approximately 24 g of carbs and 12 g net carbs. So, by making this swap, you reduce 66% of the carbs!
To find the best price on almond flour, I buy it from:
- Amazon (Nature’s Eats Blanched Almond Flour, 2 lb)
- Costco (Kirkland Signature Almond Flour, 3 lbs)
- Walmart (Great Value Superfine Blanched Almond Flour, 2 lb)
Let me know if you find a great deal on almond flour!
The base of the homemade Tonkatsu sauce starts with ketchup. To keep the sauce low-carb, look for a sugar-free ketchup. I really like Heinz No Sugar Added Tomato Ketchup.
Even though I’ve personally never tried them, some people really like AlternaSweets Classic Tomato Ketchup or G Hughes Sugar Free Ketchup too.
For this low-carb baked katsu chicken recipe, I am using boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Although, you can also use boneless, skinless chicken thighs or thinly sliced pork cutlets.
Regardless of the meat you choose, you want to make sure it is sliced or pounded thin. This will allow for quick and even cooking of the meat.
For the remaining ingredients, I usually have them on hand. But check your pantry for Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, Dijon mustard, and ground ginger. Plus, you’ll need eggs, salt, and pepper.
Note: For gluten-free or soy-free alternatives to soy sauce, try Coconut Aminos or Tamari.
Spice it Up with Togarashi!
Japan uses Togarashi seasoning like America uses salt and pepper. To spice up your Katsu chicken even more, whip up a quick Togarashi-style seasoning!
For the Togarashi-style seasoning, you will need: orange zest, sesame seeds, paprika, black pepper, garlic powder, ground ginger, and caynenne pepper.
To use the seasoning, sprinkle the Togarashi on top of the breaded cutlets before baking. Or, add the seasoning to the pork rind mixture! Store any unused seasoning in an air tight container for up to a month.
Plus, this togarashi-style seasoning is great in so many other recipes too!
Low Carb Baked Katsu Chicken Preparation
Low-Carb Baked Katsu Chicken
This Japanese-style fried chicken uses the same steps you would use to make Southern-style fried chicken. First, cut or pound your chicken thin. Next, sprinkle your chicken with salt and pepper. In the following order, dredge the chicken in almond flour, eggs, and pork rinds.
TIP: Any time I dredge meat, I like using pie plates or rimmed cereal bowls. They help keep the ingredients flat which makes it easier to coat the chicken.
Top the coated chicken with togarashi seasoning, or add the togarashi seasoning to the pork rind mixture. Next, place the chicken on a baking rack set inside of an aluminum foil lined baking-sheet.
Finally, bake the chicken for 15-17 minutes in a 425 degree oven. The chicken will be cooked through when the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees. Allow the chicken to rest for 5 minutes.
The low-carb tonkatsu sauce can be made in about 5 minutes! Plus, it can be prepared while the chicken is baking. Or, it can be quickly made while the chicken is resting.
To make the sauce, whisk together the ketchup, Worcestershire, soy sauce, mustard, ground ginger, and 1 tbsp of water.
Low-Carb Baked Katsu Chicken Serving Suggestions
Serve chicken and tonkatsu sauce with a side of cauliflower rice. If using, garnish chicken and cauliflower rice with cucumber, radishes, red cabbage and scallions, and lemon wedges.
Alternatively, Katsu chicken is great as part of a Hawaiian mixed plate! To really celebrate, whip up some pineapple water to serve with your mixed plate.
Share, Rate, and Connect!
I hope you give this fun alternative to Southern fried chicken a try!
If you love this Hawaiian low-carb recipe, you might also love this low-carb recipe for Slow Cooker Kalua Pork and Cabbage. Or check out all my other low-carb recipes here.
Thank you for reading! See you again soon.
Low-Carb Baked Katsu Chicken
- 2 cups Pork Rinds
- 6 tbsp Almond Flour
- 2 Large Eggs
- 4 Small Chicken Breasts Skinless, Boneless
- 1 tsp Salt Plus more to taste
- 1 tsp Pepper Plus more to taste
- 1 tsp Togarashi Seasoning Optional, See Below
- 6 tbsp Ketchup No-Sugar
- 4 tsp Worcestershire
- 2 tsp Soy Sauce, Coconut Aminos, or Tamari
- 2 tsp Dijon Mustard
- 1/2 tsp Ground Ginger
- 2 cups Cauliflower Rice
- 1 small Persian Cucumber or English Cucumber Sliced thin
- 2 small Radishes Sliced thin
- 1 cup Cabbage (red or green) Shredded
- 2 small Green Onions Sliced thin
- 1 large Lemon Cut into wedges
Katsu Chicken Preparation
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Line a half-sized baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place a wire rack on the baking sheet, and spray the wire rack with cooking spray.
- In a blender or food processor, pulse whole pork rinds until finely ground.-OR-Add pork rinds to a plastic baggie and crush with a rolling pin until finely ground.
- Pour the crushed pork rinds into a shallow bowl or pie plate. In a second shallow bowl or pie plate, add the almond flour. In a third shallow bowl, lightly beat the egg.
- Using a sharp knife and a cutting board, cut chicken in half, crosswise.
- With a paper towel, pat chicken breasts dry. Then, season with salt and pepper.
- Working one at a time, dredge a chicken breast in the flour, shaking off any excess. Next, dip the chicken in the eggs. Then, coat with the crushed pork rinds pressing firmly with your hands to adhere the pork rinds. Set the chicken breast on the prepared baking sheet and repeat with the remaining chicken breasts. If desired, add togarashi seasoning on top of breaded chicken.
- Bake the chicken for 15–17 minutes or until cooked through. Remove from the oven, and allow chicken to rest for 5 minutes.
Tonkatsu Sauce Preparation
- In a small bowl, whisk together the ketchup, Worcestershire, soy sauce, mustard, ground ginger, and 1 tbsp of water.
- Serve chicken and tonkatsu sauce with a side of cauliflower rice. If using, garnish chicken and cauliflower rice with cucumber, radishes, red cabbage and scallions, and lemon wedges.
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- 3/4 tsp Grated Orange Zest
- 2 tsp Sesame Seeds
- 1 1/2 tsp Paprika
- 1 tsp Black Pepper
- 1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1/4 tsp Ground Ginger
- 1/8 tsp Cayenne Pepper
- Add the orange zest to a small microwave-safe bowl.
- In 20-second increments, microwave and stir until zest is dry and is no longer clumping (about 2 – 2 ½ minutes).
- Add sesame seeds, paprika, pepper, garlic powder, ginger and cayenne and mix.
- Use immediately or store in an air-tight container for up to 1 month.