This recipe takes inspiration from the famous Japanese-style Katsu sandwich. We’re using sustainable fish here instead of pork and it gets the traditional crispy panko coating.






Skill level

Average: 3.8 (23 votes)


  • 1 small white onion, thinly sliced
  • 2½ cups shredded white cabbage
  • 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 90 g (½ cup) katakuriko potato starch, flour or corn flour
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 90 g (1½ cups) panko breadcrumbs
  • 12 large raw prawns, shelled, intestinal tract removed
  • peanut or sunflower oil, for shallow frying
  • 1 tbsp furikake, plus extra to sprinkle
  • 12 frozen bao buns
  • Japanese mayonnaise and tonkatsu sauce, to serve

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


  1. Combine the onion, cabbage, vinegar and salt in a bowl and toss to coat. Set aside to pickle slightly while you prepare the remaining elements.
  2. Place the potato starch, egg and panko in separate bowls and season each. Coat the prawns in the flour, then the egg and then the panko, pressing down to press the crumbs firmly over the prawns.
  3. Heat about 2 cm oil in a deep frying pan over medium-high heat. Working in batches, cook the prawns for 1-2 minutes on each side or until golden and crunchy. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a wire rack (not paper towel). Toss the prawns in furikake to coat.
  4. While the prawns are frying, steam the bao buns in a bamboo steamer over a wok of simmering water according to the packet instructions.
  5. To serve, open up the bao buns and top one side with a little slaw mixture. Top with a fried prawn, then drizzle some mayonnaise and tonkatsu sauce on top. Sprinkle with a little extra furikake. Enjoy!


Adam Liaw cooks, laughs, and explores culture with some of Australia's most beloved in The Cook Up With Adam Liaw.

Photography by Danielle Abou Karam.