3 of O.C.’s Best Asian Fried Chicken Sandwiches

Mr. Katsu. Photo by Priscilla Iezzi.

Now is the hour of the fried chicken sandwich. They’re everywhere, towering things with chicken cooked as carefully as high-dollar entrees, others with breasts so spicy they could double as weaponry. Asia has a formidable infatuation with the trend, so we’re now blessed with a number of Asian-leaning wonders that are starting to redefine the parameters of the dish.

At Holdaak, a bright, fast-food style Korean joint in Fullerton, there’s little to the menu other than the restaurant’s signature sandwiches, but they’re worth the trip: thoroughly juicy chicken sheathed in a thin layer of breading that shatters with an audible crunch. The sandwiches are topped with a tangle of lightly pickled daikon (like what you might find in a banh mi) and pickled onion. The spicy rendition is particularly good, hit with a bit of chile powder, and amped up with a few slivers of jalapeño.

Nearby, Mr. Katsu builds Japanese-style sandwiches. Pork katsu (a thin cutlet battered with craggy panko-style breading) dominates, but you can opt for chicken katsu in any of these far-out sandwiches. There are plenty of fusion-minded variations, but the classic—with that thin, crunchy chicken, cooling slaw, sweet katsu sauce, and thick bread—is a perennial favorite.

The Chinese-Vietnamese steamed bao at Baos Hog are, at least in appearance, more like flatbread sandwiches or even tacos. But the “hot chick” bao, overflowing with fried chicken, cabbage-carrot slaw, and ground peanuts, deliciously defies definition.

Mr. Katsu crooquettes. Photo by Priscilla Iezzi.

Mr. Katsu
is an expert purveyor of all things fried. Rather than a standard side of french fries, the restaurant opts for bite-size potato croquettes—lightly breaded mashed-potato balls still creamy at the core. There’s also a curry version that’s delicious when dipped in its accompanying aioli.

1201 S. Euclid St.

Mr. Katsu
3165 Yorba Linda Blvd., Fullerton

Baos Hog
13918 Brookhurst St., Garden Grove

Read about O.C.’s Best: Surprising Sandwiches

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