Air-Fryer Chicken Katsu Sandwiches


An air "fried" chicken sandwich can be just as juicy in the center and crispy on the outside as a traditionally fried chicken sandwich, as this recipe proves. But if you don't have an air fryer, we included an oven variation, too.

Air-Fryer Chicken Katsu Sandwiches
Photo: Carson Downing
Hands On Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs


  • 2 8 ounce skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, halved crosswise

  • ¼ cup reduced-sodium soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil, plus more for serving

  • 1 tablespoon mirin (optional)

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • teaspoon black pepper

  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

  • 2 tablespoon mayonnaise or sour cream

  • 1 teaspoon honey mustard or hot mustard (optional)

  • 1 cup panko

  • 1 - 2 tablespoon black and/or white sesame seeds

  • Olive oil cooking spray

  • 8 slices milk bread or 4 hamburger buns, split

  • Desired toppers, such as shredded cabbage, bottled tonkatsu sauce*, chopped green onion, and/or mayonnaise (optional)


  1. Using the flat side of a meat mallet, lightly flatten chicken pieces between two pieces of plastic wrap to an even thickness. In a bowl or resealable bag combine soy sauce, the 1 Tbsp. sesame oil, mirin (if using), and garlic. Add chicken; turn to coat. Cover or seal, and chill 30 to 90 minutes.

  2. In a shallow dish stir together flour, 1 tsp. kosher salt, and 1/8 tsp. ground black pepper. In a shallow bowl whisk together egg, mayonnaise, and mustard (if using). In another shallow dish combine panko and sesame seeds.

  3. Remove chicken pieces from marinade; discard marinade. Coat chicken pieces with flour mixture, then dip in egg mixture. Coat with panko mixture, pressing to adhere. Coat one side of chicken pieces with olive oil nonstick cooking spray.

  4. Preheat air fryer to 400°F.** Add chicken to basket, oil spray side up, and cook 4 minutes. Turn chicken, coat with additional olive oil cooking spray, and cook 4 to 5 minutes more or until golden brown and chicken reaches 165°F.

  5. Serve chicken between slices of bread or on buns with desired toppers. lf you like, drizzle with additional sesame oil to serve. Makes 4 sandwiches.


If you can't find bottled tonkatsu sauce, a sweet and savory Japanese condiment usually served with pork, you can make your own: In a small saucepan combine 1/2 cup ketchup, 2 Tbsp. soy sauce, 1 Tbsp. packed brown sugar, 1 Tbsp. mirin or rice vinegar, 1 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce, 1 tsp. grated fresh ginger, and 2 cloves minced garlic. Heat over medium, stirring to dissolve sugar. Let cool. Refrigerate up to 1 week. Makes 3/4 cup.

Sheet Pan Variation

If you don't have an air fryer, preheat oven to 450°F. Place a wire rack in a sheet pan. Prepare chicken as directed through Step 3. Place chicken pieces on rack in prepared pan. Bake 15 minutes or until golden brown and chicken reaches 165°F. Serve as directed.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

472 Calories
20g Fat
38g Carbs
32g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 472
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 20g 26%
Saturated Fat 5g 25%
Cholesterol 122mg 41%
Sodium 714mg 31%
Total Carbohydrate 38g 14%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 32g
Vitamin C 1.2mg 6%
Calcium 102mg 8%
Iron 0.7mg 4%
Potassium 376mg 8%
Folate, total 65.5mcg
Vitamin B-12 0.6mcg
Vitamin B-6 0.7mg

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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