If you have ever been stationed in Japan or had a spouse deployed out here, then you probably know about CoCo’s (Curry House CoCo Ichibanya). CoCo’s is a chain restaurant specializing in Japanese-style curry. I was excited to try this restaurant when we first moved to Japan because I had heard so many great things.
Seriously, everyone tells you to go there, and you absolutely should! It did not disappoint.
I like Indian curry, so I assumed it would be similar but was pleasantly surprised when it turned out to be completely different in flavor and consistency. From a Kentucky girl’s viewpoint, I can best describe it as the most flavorful, heavenly gravy I’ve ever had poured over fried chicken and rice.
It is just not feasible, no matter how hard I try to justify it, to take my family out to CoCo’s (Curry House CoCo Ichibanya) every night for dinner. So I have done extensive research and tweaked several different recipes in search of the best curry recipe to make at home!
We seriously eat “curry rice” at least once a week, but sometimes more. It is a common dish served at my kids’ Japanese school, and they devour it every time it is served. It is the perfect dish; it will leave you feeling full and happy.
Even though I live in Japan and have these ingredients readily available to me, I purposefully shopped at the commissary to ensure that our readers would be able to make this recipe no matter where they live. I chose to make Katsu Curry, which is a Japanese version of fried chicken cutlet with curry and rice. You can substitute pork cutlet or anything else you prefer. This is my version of Fried Chicken Curry
Fried Chicken Curry
- 1 pound thin sliced boneless, skinless chicken breasts or boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Oil for frying
- Store-bought block of Japanese curry roux, I use Golden Curry Mild (they have different spice levels)
- 4-5 cups water
- Optional: carrots, potatoes, and onion
- Your favorite cooked rice
- Rinse chicken, pat dry; sprinkle all sides with salt and pepper.
- Place the flour, eggs, and panko individually into three shallow bowls.
- Dredge one piece of chicken at a time through flour, then egg, and then Panko bread crumbs, respectively.
- Heat enough oil in a frying pan to cover the bottom.
- Gently place 2-3 pieces of chicken in the hot oil at a time making sure they are not overlapping. Fry for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Flip with tongs and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Repeat until all chicken is cooked.
- Transfer chicken from oil to a platter lined with paper towels to drain and cool.
- Set aside all but about a tablespoon of oil from the frying pan. You can also remove a tablespoon of oil and place it in a separate pan to make the curry, but I think all the fried bread crumbs left behind in the oil are what really make the best curry.
- Melt your roux block in the oil and slowly add in water. Stir continuously to dissolve the roux.
- Simmer for several minutes until your curry reaches the desired thickness. Add water to thin. Once the curry begins to cool, it will thicken significantly so more water is always OK if you are unsure.
- Cut chicken into strips and place on a bed of rice. Pour a ladle full of curry over both.
Alternative Step 8: Before melting roux block, saute onion in 1 tablespoon of oil, then add potatoes, carrots and water. Bring to a boil then simmer for 7-10 minutes. Add roux block to this mixture, cover, and cook on low heat for several minutes until roux is dissolved. I do not include the vegetables in my recipe that I make at home because they are not in the version I get at CoCo’s restaurant. Plus, if I am being honest, my kids are 100 percent more likely to eat it if there are no vegetables.
I hope you enjoy this dish as much as we do!