Katsu Sando: the OG crispy chicken sandwich

katsu sando

Are you a fan of fried chicken sandwiches? If so, the katsu sando is a must-try. Katsu is defined as “a Japanese dish consisting of a piece of meat, usually chicken, or vegetable, covered in bread crumbs, fried, then usually cut into strips and eaten with a sauce.” Sando is simply short for “sandwich.”

Therefore, the katsu sando is a Japanese sandwich made with the aforementioned meat (or vegetable) in bread. More specifically, it traditionally consists of certain Japanese ingredients (shokupan {milk bread}, tonkatsu sauce, Japanese mayonnaise and panko [breading]) to give it a unique flavor and texture that sets it apart from your usual American fast-food fried chicken sandwiches.

Way before the viral trend of fried chicken sandwiches came along (as led by the American fast-food chain Popeyes in August 2019), the Japanese had perfected their version of the fried chicken sandwich back in the early 1930s. The PR office of the Japanese government states that the katsu sandwich is “a great example of Western-style Japanese cuisine that has become a beloved standby” with a “nostalgic, familiar flavor.”

What are different types of the katsu sando?

While the katsu sandwich most commonly uses chicken, here are the most popular variations:

  • chicken katsu
  • tonkatsu (pork)
  • wagyu beef katsu
  • vegetable

Where can I get a katsu sando?

You can find this particular breaded sandwich at specialty Japanese sandwich shops, which are often located in Japantowns/Chinatowns in metropolitan areas in the US. Take a look at this interactive map for specific restaurants that serve chicken and pork katsu sandwiches. Additionally, here are links to find wagyu, tamago and fruit sandos.

How can I make a katsu sando?

There are tons of recipes available online on how to make a katsu sandwich, but this is the absolute easiest (some would say “cheat”) version. You simply have to gather the right ingredients and once you do, it will only take a few minutes to make! See the details on how to make this crowd-pleasing chicken sandwich below.

katsu sando Japanese chicken sandwich

katsu sando

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

A Japanese fried chicken sandwich made the easiest way.


  • 2 slices shokupan (Japanese white bread from local Japanese bakery - toasted without crust)
  • 1 cooked chicken katsu breast (pick up from local Japanese restaurant)
  • 1 teaspoon Kewpie mayo (Japanese mayo)
  • ⅓ cup cabbage (shredded)
  • 4-5 tablespoons tonkatsu sauce


  1. Spread Kewpie mayo on one side of each piece of bread.
  2. Place chicken katsu on one slice, mayo side up.
  3. Add cabbage.
  4. Add tonkatsu sauce.
  5. Cover sandwich with other slice of bread, mayo side down.
  6. Cut in half into rectangles and enjoy!


    Yes, you can make your own chicken katsu from scratch (as there are many recipes for this online), but this is the easiest version for those who want to try this sandwich with the most minimal effort.

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    Hello! I'm Kristina

    Kristina Reynolds is the Founder & CEO of Glutto and an alumna of the University of California, San Diego. She writes articles & posts for Glutto Digest with insights from fellow industry experts. Furthermore, she is the author of The Fittest Food Lovers: How EVERY BODY Can be Incredibly Fit and Still Enjoy Food, a collaborative philanthropic book with proceeds going to charities that fight world hunger.
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