Kanako's Kitchen

Sasami-roll-katsu: Fried Chicken Breasts and Vegetable Rolls

Posted in main dish, Recipe, today's meal by Kanako Noda on November 7, 2009

sasami roll katsuSasami-roll-katsu is another variation on Katsu, Japanese cutlet. You see it on ton-katsu restaurant menus sometimes.

This is another dish that stretches the definition of “healthy”, but on the other hand chicken breast is a lot less fatty than pork, plus this dish fills them with vegetables. So this is still fried, but feels much lighter than ton-katsu.

In any case, my attitude is that it isn’t meals that are healthy or unhealthy, it’s diets. Eat sasami-roll-katsu four times a week and you have an unhealthy diet. Eat it once every two or three months and you have a delicious treat to look forward to as part of a healthy diet.

Preparation is quite similar to ton-katsu’s, but with a twist. Rather than just frying a cutlet, you’re making a kind of meat-and-vegetable roll, battering it, and frying the whole thing! It’s almost like a Japanese cordon bleu.

Making sasami-roll-katsu is not really difficult, but it will take time and your kitchen is going to be a big mess at the end. Sometimes, though, it’s worth it!

ingredientsIngredients (for six)


  • Chicken breasts – two
  • Fresh green beans – about 100 g.
  • Carrots – one
  • Processed cheese – about 50 grams
  • Wheat flour
  • Egg-two
  • Bread crumbs
  • Salt and pepper
  • Cooking oil


  • Cut the chicken breast into very thin slices, season with salt and pepper
  • Snap off the ends of the green beans. In a small pot, boil green beans with a pinch of salt for 3 minutes, then drain
  • Cut the carrots into thin strips and sprinkle a pinch of salt.
  • Wrap the carrot strips in plastic wrap and microwave on high for 1.5 minutes
  • Slice the processed cheese into very thin strips
  • Put 6 slices of fresh sandwich bread in a blender and blend them to make “bread crumbs”
    Never skip this step. Store bought bread crumbs are not good enough
  • Homogenize two eggs
  • Set out a plate of flour

season chicken boil beans boiled beans

cut carrots wrap and microwave carrots microwaved carrots

click to enlarge

for batter

  1. Place a couple of string beans, a couple of carrot strips and a bit of sliced cheese diagonally over a slice of chicken
  2. Carefully roll up the chicken slice with the vegetables and cheese inside, trying to close them as well as possible.
    It’s ok if the vegetables stick out from the end of the roll.
  3. If you have pieces of chicken left over that are too small to make a complete roll, try making a “sub-roll” with just one filling (cheese, green bean or carrot). If it’s too small for that, even, then just batter it and fry it as is
  4. Cover each chicken-and-vegetable role thoroughly in flour
  5. Then dip in the egg, covering fully
  6. Finally, dip in the bread crumbs, covering the roll completely

roll 1 roll 2 roll 3

roll 4 prepared set the line

in flour Cover thoroughly in flour dip in the egg,

dip in the bread crumbs rolls ready click to enlarge


  1. Heat a good quantity of frying oil (we use canola) over a medium fire
  2. Drop in each of the rolls in the oil, frying thoroughly
  3. Serve hot with ton-katsu sauce. (If you don’t have ton-katsu sauce, mix equal parts ketchup and Worcestershire Sauce for a close-enough substitute.)

fry the rolls rolls fried inside the roll

click to enlarge

Sasami-roll-katsu is a sometimes food. You wouldn’t make this stuff more than once every two months or so. But if you want to wow some guests or serve up a special treat for your family, I can guarantee this will be a hit.

Tonight we had sasami-roll katsu, salad, white rice and miso soup.


5th dinnerItadakimasu!

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8 Responses

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  1. revbob22 said, on November 7, 2009 at 11:54 am

    Hello Kanako:

    Thanks for an interesting recipe!

    Do you think this would work baked instead of fried?

    Do you think Panko can be substituted for the fresh bread crumbs?

    I realize that these modifications would take it away from tradition.



    • kanako said, on November 7, 2009 at 12:17 pm

      First of all, Panko and fresh bread crumbs are one and the same thing.

      Japanese Panko is different from Western bread crumbs because of its size (the Western type is more powdery) and because panko is made with fresh bread (the western one is made of stale bread, “pan perdu”).

      I didn’t know that you could buy Panko outside Japan. Personally, I think making bread crumbs in the blender is really easy, so I wouldn’t pay any money for them. I make them myself. But if you have Panko, that’s perfect!

      If you don’t want to fry it, stir fry (or grill) it.

      I don’t know whether baking works. Never tried it.

      If you want to stir fry (with just a little bit of oil, or without oil if you use non-stick pan), then skip the egg and bread crumbs process for the batter and cover the rolls with flour only. In other words, you make a kind of sautéed chicken roll.

      This works quite well and it’s delicious, and you can keep the kitcen less messy!

  2. revbob22 said, on November 8, 2009 at 7:36 am

    I guess I am a little confused, still Kanako.

    What is marketed as Panko, at least in the US, is indeed different from “Western” bread crumbs, mainly due to size, but it is not Fresh. It is dry.

    It’s actually pretty cheap, at least if you buy it in 12 kilo bags like I do.

    Thanks for the tip regarding sautee. I am going to try your recipe in original format, and then other alternative ways.

    Are there other variants as far as veggie content goes? I imagine that there are numerous variations on the theme. If so can you let us know of the different fillings?

    • kanako said, on November 8, 2009 at 2:18 pm

      Well… Panko is in fact confusing. Also in Japan the Panko you buy is dry, even if it says “fresh” panko. (Maybe the bread they made it from was fresh?)

      I’m not sure. I guess the difference between Western bread crumbs and Japanese Panko is, in the end, only its size.

      About other variants of vegetable fillings, I found these floating around the Japanese internet:
      -nori (yaki nori or sushi nori)
      -shiso leaves

      The nori and shiso leaves are more for the flavor.

      Chicken breasts have a light taste and go with many things. You can always invent some combinations of fillings you like!

  3. revbob22 said, on November 9, 2009 at 9:47 am

    Thank you Kanako!

    One thing that I love about Panko is it’s ability to absorb flavor from liquids, and then its ability to dry out when cooking and become a crunchy, flavorful coat.

    I keep on making a big mistake when I read your blog. I read BEFORE eating, so I come away even hungrier!

    I will let you know how the different versions (original vs. Baked) come out.

    • kanako said, on November 9, 2009 at 2:47 pm

      I’m waiting for your report on the different version!

  4. revbob22 said, on November 13, 2009 at 12:56 pm

    Ok Kanako, here is my report!

    I prepared three different versions, and adapted them for baking vs. frying. There is no question that frying will always trump baking in general, in terms of crunchiness, BUT, by using Panko I got very close! Close enough to say that for anyone who is concerned about fried food, this would be a very good variant.

    So I dipped them in the flour, then the egg and substituted Panko for the fresh bread crumbs. I made three different fillings; the one described above, one with Asparagus instead of Green Bean and the last one had Miso, Nori and Carrot.

    Of the three, the one with Asparagus won hands down. The one with Miso had an interesting taste, but most who tried it said that they associate Miso and Nori with Fish ( I wonder why!). Personally, I liked it.

    If I were to change anything, I would season the Panko with a little salt and pepper , but otherwise it was a great recipe!

    Thank you, Kanako!

    • kanako said, on November 13, 2009 at 4:20 pm

      The filling of Nori, Miso and carrot seems interesting. I’ll try it! I know many people associate often “Japanese taste”, especially Seewead with fish, maybe because they eat Nori always with sushi…
      Anyway thank you for the report.

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