Gluten-free Katsu curry recipe – inspired by my first ever trip to Wagamama many, many years ago. Sadly, I can’t eat gluten anymore, so I thought it was time to make my own version… gluten-free and Coeliac-friendly!
Gluten-free Katsu curry recipe – it’s been almost 8 years since I first posted this recipe on the blog and I’m happy to report that it’s been a reader favourite ever since. It even made it into my first book ‘How To Make Anything Gluten-free‘!
I’ve dedicated my blog to recreating all of the many, many things I can no longer eat… and this gluten-free Katsu curry recipe was one of the first things I ever made and shared back in 2014.
When I could still eat gluten, this was one of the dishes I’d always order and enjoy without a second thought. But when my doctor told me to start a gluten-free diet… I went 4 years without ever eating it.
And during that time, I’d sit back, with my fingers and toes crossed, hoping that a gluten-free version might eventually appear in supermarkets on menus. But after those 4 years flew by, I realised that it’d be much quicker if I just made my own!
So that’s exactly what I did. And it turns out that a lot of you missed this dish as much as I did.
But guess what still hasn’t changed in 8 years since this blog post first went live? I still can’t order a gluten-free Katsu curry in Wagamama!! So that’s even more reason to give this recipe a try if you weren’t convinced already…
Gluten-free Katsu curry recipe: What you’ll need…
- Chicken breasts: You’ll need two larger-than-average chicken breasts for this recipe (about 300g). You can also skip making the homemade Katsu chicken and use gluten-free breaded chicken from the frozen/chilled free from aisle too.
- Gluten-free breadcrumbs: Whilst you’re more than welcome to use my recipe to make your own gluten-free breadcrumbs, store-bought is fine too.
- Gluten-free plain flour: I use a simple commercial blend from the free from aisle in the supermarket. If you can’t find a blend like this where you live, you can always use cornflour (corn starch) instead.
- Egg: This helps the breadcrumbs to adhere to the chicken – any size of egg is fine, though I used a large egg for this recipe.
- Vegetable oil: I use two oils in this recipe, mainly because the chicken doesn’t need the garlic flavour that garlic-infused oil would provide. So for the chicken, any neutral-flavoured oil works perfectly.
- Garlic-infused oil: An instant injection of wonderful garlic flavour – no chopping or pre-frying of fresh garlic required. And if your garlic oil doesn’t have any bits of actual garlic floating in it, then it’s low FODMAP too.
- Carrots: These help to flavour the sauce and are traditionally removed before serving. But for a more rounded meal, you’re welcome to keep them in the sauce – they taste great!
- Mild curry powder: This is just a simple spice blend that can easily be found in the spice aisle of any supermarket. Feel free to use a hot curry powder if you prefer an extra heat.
- Gluten-free chicken stock: You’ll easily find gluten-free stock cubes with all the regular stock cubes in supermarkets – just look for one that’s clearly labelled as being gluten-free.
- Gluten-free soy sauce: This is often found in both supermarket free from aisles and International aisles – sometimes it’s also called tamari.
- Bay leaves: I use dried bay leaves from the spice aisle in the supermarket, but fresh bay leaves work too.
- Garam masala: This is yet another simple spice blend you’ll easily find in supermarkets and has a slightly more aromatic flavour than curry powder.
- Spring onion: This is just used as a garnish, yet adds an instant hit of onion flavour. If you use just the green parts, then it’ll be low FODMAP too.
Of course, traditionally, Katsu chicken is made using Panko breadcrumbs, but there really isn’t a gluten-free equivalent that matches up.
So instead, I’d recommend picking up some gluten-free breadcrumbs from the supermarket, or failing that, just whizz some gluten-free bread in a food processor until fine.
What does it taste like? Even better than I remember! The chicken is bold, crisp and golden and when butterflied, offers a wonderful ratio of crispy coating to tender chicken.
But for me, the star is that sauce – it has an amazing depth of flavour with a mild heat and a warming blend of spices.
Gluten-free Katsu curry recipe: Frequently Asked Questions
Can I make this recipe gluten-free? Is it suitable for Coeliacs?
It is gluten-free, though nobody would know just by tasting it – trust me!
Bear in mind that minimising cross-contamination is hugely important if you’re Coeliac or making this for someone who is. Here’s some tips from Coeliac UK on minimising the risk of cross contamination.
Also, make sure that all ingredients used don’t have any gluten-containing ingredients. Then make sure that they also don’t have a ‘may contain’ warning for gluten, wheat, rye, barley, oats (which aren’t gf), spelt and khorasan wheat (aka Kamut).
Here’s some more info from Coeliac UK on identifying safe gluten-free products.
Can I make your gluten-free Katsu curry recipe dairy-free?
It is dairy-free!
Can I make your gluten-free Katsu curry recipe vegan?
Yes! Simply use extra firm tofu (sliced into 1cm strips) instead of the chicken and use 6 tbsp aquafaba (whisked until frothy) instead of the egg. Proceed with the recipe as directed.
I also have a veggie/vegan Katsu curry recipe over here.
Is this recipe low FODMAP?
It can be! First of all, ensure your breadcrumbs are low FODMAP or make them yourself using low FODMAP bread.
Then, use a low FODMAP stock cube to make the stock and ensure that the curry powder and garam masala don’t contain onion or garlic.
Also, your garlic-infused oil shouldn’t have any visible pieces of garlic in it. Lastly, use only the green parts of the spring onion to garnish and that’s it!
How do I butterfly chicken?
Basically, it just involves slicing your chicken breast in half widthways, but stopping just before you cut all the way through. Then, you can open it like a book, leaving you with one, thin, wide chicken fillet.
That means it cooks quicker, but best of all… more surface for crispy breadcrumbs!
There’s a great guide on how to easily butterfly chicken over on the BBC website.
Can I use store-bought gluten-free breaded chicken?
Yes! Back when I made this recipe, we didn’t have the amazing selection of free from products that you can find in supermarkets these days.
So please feel free to take full advantage of that. Simply buy two gluten-free breadcrumbed chicken breasts, prepare according to the packet instructions and then just make the sauce.
Can I freeze your gluten-free Katsu curry?
Yes! Once cooled, freeze the chicken and sauce separately for up to 2-3 months.
To reheat from frozen, defrost in the fridge overnight then reheat the sauce in the microwave until piping hot and the chicken in the oven
You can also store this in the fridge for 3-4 days (sauce and chicken stored separately ideally).
Gluten-free Katsu Curry Recipe
For the chicken:
- 2 large chicken breasts
- 6-8 tbsp gluten-free breadcrumbs
- 5 tbsp gluten-free plain all-purpose flour
- 1 egg
- 5 tbsp vegetable oil
For the Katsu sauce:
- 2 tbsp garlic-infused oil
- 2 carrots thinly sliced
- 1½ tbsp gluten-free plain all-purpose flour
- 3 tsp mild curry powder
- 600 ml gluten-free chicken stock
- 4 tsp gluten-free soy sauce
- 2 dried bay leaves
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 2 handfuls of spring onion chopped
- Sticky Jasmine rice
For the Katsu chicken:
- Preheat the oven to 200°C fan (400°F).
- To prepare your chicken breasts, butterfly them carefully using a sharp knife. If you’re not familiar with this technique, it might be easier to place the chicken breasts between two sheets of cling film (plastic wrap) and bash until flat with a rolling pin or meat mallet. Either way, we’re aiming to make the chicken breasts as flat as possible.
- Crack an egg into a small bowl and beat with a fork, then grab two large plates. On one plate, spread out the flour and on the other, spread out the breadcrumbs.
- Take the prepared chicken breast and dredge in the flour until well-coated. Then dip the chicken breast into the beaten egg bowl until coated once again.
- Next, place your chicken breast into the gluten-free breadcrumbs until tightly covered in breadcrumbs.
- Add your vegetable oil to a large pan so that it fully covers the base of the pan. Place over a medium heat. Once heated, gently place your breadcrumbed chicken breast into the oil – it should sizzle as you place it in. Allow to cook on each side for 2-3 minutes until almost golden. Then place onto a baking tray.
- Pop your baking tray into the oven for 10-12 minutes until golden and the chicken is cooked through.
For the sauce:
- Now for your Katsu sauce. In a clean, large pan heat 2 tbsp of garlic-infused oil over a medium heat. Start frying your thinly sliced carrot for 2-3 minutes until slightly softened. Add in 1½ tbsp of gluten-free flour and your curry powder. Mix well until all the carrots are coated and continue to cook for 1 minute.
- Add in your chicken stock, soy sauce and bay leaves. Bring to the boil. Then turn down the heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until the sauce thickens.
- Once the sauce is a nice, thick, yet still pourable consistency, stir in the garam masala. Remove from the heat and discard the bay leaves. Traditionally, you’d then strain the sauce to remove the carrots, but you can optionally leave these in too – they taste great!
- Serve with sticky Jasmine rice and sprinkle with chopped spring onion.
Thanks so much for checking out my gluten-free Katsu curry recipe! It’s been one of our favourites for so many years now and I hope it is for you too!
Thanks for reading,
Oh and don’t forget to pin this for later!