As most of you probably already know, I love Korean Fried Chicken and could eat it every day, for all three meals (no joke). So when I saw some extra chicken breasts in the fridge, it was only natural for me to think that some form of KFC could be had. However, if it weren’t for the fact that I have a health-conscious partner who cares for her health (and mine, sometimes), it would have been an easy decision. So I went with the next best thing: breaded and fried chicken breasts, or more commonly known as chicken kaas in Korea.
Chicken kaas is traditionally a Japanese dish but has been adapted for the Korean palate. At most Korean donkaas (breaded pork cutlet) restaurants, they will usually have three main varieties to choose from: donkaas, chicken kaas, and saengsun kaas (fish). For those who have some skills in the kitchen, this is a fairly easy dish to cook. Chicken thighs, or in this case chicken breasts, are floured and egg battered, and then rolled in panko bread crumbs and fried. Panko bread crumbs give chicken kaas that delicious crunchy exterior while keeping the inside nice and moist. It is typically served with katsu sauce, which is an Asian version of Worcestershire type sauce that can only be described as sweet, tangy, and pretty addictive. As for the other components of the dish, the typical setup includes the donkaas, a scoop of rice, and a slaw/salad (see last picture below). Personally, I could do away with all the sides and eat donkaas straight up a la chicken nuggets/tenders. You decide what’s best for you.
One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating. ~ Luciano Pavarotti and William Wright, Pavarotti, My Own Story
- 4 boneless chicken breasts, halved (total 4 pieces)
- 2 beaten eggs
- 2 cups panko bread crumbs
- 1 cup flour
- katsu sauce
- salt and pepper (pre-rub)
- corn and cheese (optional)
- oil for deep frying (canola & peanut are good options)
- Cut chicken pieces lengthwise in halves.
- Rub chicken with a sparse amount of salt and pepper. Set aside for a few minutes.
- Coat pieces in flour, then beaten egg, and lastly panko bread crumbs.
- Heat enough oil to cover chicken pieces in a pan or cast iron skillet on medium-high heat. If using a thermometer, the temperature should hover around 350F.
- Place chicken pieces in the pan and make sure to avoid overcrowding. Fry until golden brown and cooked through, about 5~7 minutes total if fully submerged in oil.
- Remove chicken cutlets from the oil and drain on paper towels or a drying rack.
- If using corn and cheese, pop in the microwave or broil in an oven until melted down.
- Serve with katsu sauce, rice, and preferred side dishes.
Note to readers: All recipes, or more specifically seasoning and spice measurements, contained in MYKOREANEATS are approximations. Growing up in an old-school Korean kitchen where everything was measured by hand, there was a strict but important rule called “son-maat” (손맛), literally meaning “taste from one’s hand.” My mom would swear by this and always cooked all of the dishes using raw, culinary instinct to provide comfort food at its finest. This concept of “son-maat” is pretty important in Korean cooking, so I’ve always wanted to keep that tradition alive despite starting the blog a few years back. Another aspect that I love about “son-maat” is the idea of putting one’s signature or stamp on a dish. What makes your food taste like yours, not like anyone else’s, is literally and figuratively the “taste of one’s hands.” As a side note, most Korean dishes like stews, stir fries, and banchan (side dishes) are cooked to taste, meaning that the addition of extra spices is, more often than not, added during the cooking process itself. In that sense, don’t fuss and worry about exact measurements, but rather focus on developing your own “son-maat.”