Recipe: Make our open cod katsu sando

Cod katsu sando with pickled red cabbage

Cod katsu sando with pickled red cabbage - Credit: Charlotte Smith-Jarvis

Could katsu chicken take over from chicken tikka masala as ‘Britain’s national dish’? Its rise in popularity suggests this definitely could be the case in a few years’ time. I always eat at independent restaurants as a rule. The one concession is Wagamama – my whole family has a penchant for the katsu. And I can’t get enough of the pickled pink ginger. 

Cooking chicken katsu at home can be messy – and there’s always the fear the bird won’t be cooked through. I prefer to make it with white fish, which cooks really quickly, and soaks up all those curry flavours beautifully. 

Here I’ve served it as an open sandwich. Leave out the bread and you’ve got a pretty delish salad. You’ll have more sauce and cabbage than you need, but both will keep in the fridge for up to three days. The cabbage is brilliant warmed and served with gammon. 


2 cod fillets (about 150g each), cut into two pieces 

4tbsps plain flour, seasoned 

1 large egg, beaten 

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100g panko breadcrumbs (or white breadcrumbs) 

Vegetable oil to cook 

For the katsu sauce 

1 medium carrot, peeled and grated 

1 medium onion, peeled and roughly chopped 

6 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped 

600ml chicken or vegetable stock 

1tbsp soy sauce 

1tbsp medium to hot curry powder 

1tbsp apricot jam or honey 

2tbsps plain flour 

Vegetable oil to cook 

For the red cabbage pickle 

1 small red cabbage, finely shredded 

1tbsp grated ginger 

1tsp salt 

150ml rice wine vinegar 

100g white sugar 

To serve

Dressed salad 

2 small white rolls, split 


Make the sauce first. Pour a little oil into a small saucepan and add the carrot, garlic and onion. Cook on a medium heat until the vegetables are very lightly caramelised at the edges. 

Add the stock and simmer until the carrots are tender. Add the soy sauce, curry powder, jam or honey and flour. Combine, then pour into a food processor or blender and blitz until smooth. Set aside. 

For the cabbage, simply combine all the ingredients in a bowl at least 30 minutes before eating. 

To prepare the fish, dip in the flour, then the egg, then the breadcrumbs, coating well.  

Heat a deep pan of oil or deep fat fryer to 170C. Carefully lay in the fish and cook until golden – a couple of minutes. Drain on kitchen paper. 

To serve place salad in two bowls. Lightly toast the rolls and place two pieces on top of each salad, toasted side up. Cover with katsu sauce, then the fish, and finish with pickled cabbage.