Move over chicken and pork! Salmon katsu is every bit as delicious and another tasty way to enjoy salmon. Serve with an easy homemade Tonkatsu sauce.

Salmon katsu on plate with cucumbers and carrots.

If you’re like me, you’re always looking for different ways to enjoy salmon. This Salmon Katsu is just that! And while Katsu is often associated with chicken or pork, it is equally lovely with salmon.

You’ll love that this salmon dinner can be made with economical frozen salmon fillets, though fresh works just as well. Together with the simple panko breading this is a quick, easy and delicious dinner. Serve topped with the easy homemade Tonkatsu sauce to bring fabulous flavour to the plate.

What you’ll need

Salmon – Start with fresh salmon fillets or frozen salmon that have been thoroughly thawed. Skinless salmon is highly recommended since the panko breading doesn’t stick well to the skin. Thinner salmon fillets are also recommended for the most even cooking, rather than centre-cut salmon that is thick at one end and quite thin at the other. I like to buy the larger fillet pieces which are typically thinner and I will cut them into individual fillets myself.

Panko – Plain panko crumbs are recommended, for the most authentic katsu, but if you only have dried breadcrumbs on hand, they will also work.

For the homemade Tonkatsu sauce – To make Tonkatsu sauce, you’ll need ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, white sugar, soy sauce, mirin (or extra sugar), garlic, ginger paste or ginger and dry mustard.

Tonkatsu sauce can be found at some grocery stores with Asian sauces or in Asian grocers if you’d rather use store-bought tonkatsu sauce.

Tonkatsu sauce, also known as katsu sauce, is a flavourful Japanese sauce made with ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, soy sauce and seasonings. Tonkatsu sauce is most often served with katsu. I like to think of it as Japanese BBQ sauce. It is a tangy, but not spicy sauce.

How to make salmon katsu

Tonkatsu sauce in saucepan.
Dredging the salmon in flour.
Dipping the salmon in egg.
  1. Add all the Tonkatsu sauce ingredients to a small saucepan and bring to a boil, then simmer for 7-8 minutes to thicken. Keep warm or make ahead, refrigerate and re-warm to serve.
  2. Dredge the salmon into seasoned flour.
  3. Dip the floured salmon into the beaten egg.
Dipping the salmon in panko.
Breaded salmon placed into skillet with some hot oil.
Salmon Katsu in skillet after flipping.
  1. Press the salmon into the panko crumbs until evenly coated.
  2. Heat a bit of oil in a non-stick skillet, then add the breaded salmon.
  3. Cook until the panko is deep golden, then flip and brown the other side. Serve drizzled with warm Tonkatsu sauce.

What to serve with salmon katsu

  • I love to pair salmon katsu with a bit of white or brown rice and some steamed or roasted vegetables.
  • Some raw carrots and cucumber are also a nice addition to the plate. You can make them fancy by cutting notches out of the side, then thinly slicing.
  • A shredded cabbage salad would also be perfect, as well as traditional. Simply thinly shed some cabbage and toss with a vinaigrette of 3 parts rice vinegar, 2 parts soy sauce, 2 parts white sugar and 1 part sesame oil.
Salmon katsu on plate with tonkatsu sauce on top.

Making ahead and storing

The Tonkatsu sauce can be made ahead, refrigerated and re-warmed to serve. Salmon katsu is best enjoyed freshly cooked, but you could bread them ahead, refrigerate for an hour or two ahead, and then cook.

Store leftover salmon in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. The Tonkatsu sauce will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

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Salmon katsu on plate with cucumbers and carrots.

Get the Recipe: Salmon Katsu

Move over chicken! Salmon katsu is every bit as delicious and another tasty way to enjoy salmon. Serve with an easy homemade Tonkatsu sauce.
5 stars from 1 rating
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Yield: 3 servings


  • 1 lb salmon fillets, 3-4 fillets, fresh or thawed frozen, skinless salmon recommended *see Note 1 below
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup panko
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Oil for frying

Tonkatsu Sauce (or substitute storebought Tonkatsu sauce):

  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 3 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons white granulated sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce, low sodium recommended
  • 2 Tablespoons mirin, or substitute 1 Tbsp. boiling water with 1 Tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, grated or ginger paste
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard


  • To make the Tonkatsu sauce: In a small saucepan, stir together the ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, soy sauce, mirin, garlic, ginger and mustard. Heat over medium-high heat and stirring regularly, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until sauce is reduced by about 1/4 (7-8 minutes). Let the sauce cool and refrigerate, if making head or remove to a bowl, cover and let stand at room temperature if you will be serving immediately. The sauce can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to 1 week.
  • To make the salmon katsu: Pat the salmon dry and season with salt and pepper. Set up a breading station by adding the flour to one plate. The egg to a second plate and the panko to a third plate. Season the flour with some salt and pepper. Beat the egg with a fork. Dip the salmon fillets first in the flour, then in the egg and finally into the panko, pressing the crumbs to stick. Set aside onto a clean plate.
  • Heat a thin layer of oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. When hot, add the salmon and allow to cook undisturbed until nice and golden underneath. Flip the salmon and cook the other side until golden. Flip one more time to ensure the salmon is cooked through. If you have an instant-read thermometer, test the salmon. It should be at least 145F.
  • Serve the salmon with Tonkatsu sauce drizzled overtop.


Note 1: Evenly thick salmon fillets will cook up the most evenly, so this is a great use for the larger fillet pieces that you can cut yourself into smaller fillets. Skinless salmon is recommended as the panko breading doesn’t stick well to the skin side.
Be sure to read the notes above this Recipe Card, for more tips on making this recipe.
Cuisine: Japanese
Course: Main Course
Serving: 1serving, Calories: 453kcal, Carbohydrates: 51g, Protein: 36g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 4g, Trans Fat: 0.01g, Cholesterol: 140mg, Sodium: 1288mg, Potassium: 1066mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 22g, Vitamin A: 366IU, Vitamin C: 5mg, Calcium: 96mg, Iron: 4mg
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