Katsu curry has to be my favourite Japanese dishes, maybe even one of my all-time favourite meals! The aromatic curry sauce tastes amazing paired with crispy battered tofu, fluffy rice, and a fresh salad. Here is my recipe for a delicious tofu katsu curry, a veganised take on the Japanese classic.
I first Katsu curry at Wagamama, and I was instantly hooked! They offer two incredible vegan versions of the dish, one made with vegetables (Yasai katsu curry), and the other with seitan (Vegatsu). However, when I make this dish at home I usually opt for tofu as it is one of my favourite foods and I tend to always have a block in my fridge.
To make my batter I use crushed cornflakes - I find this gives a really nice crispy finish, with the perfect crunch! You may be surprised to learn that not all cornflakes are vegan-friendly as many cereals contain vitamin D from non-vegan sources (usually from sheep wool). Vitamin D2 is always vegan, and vitamin D3 can be derived from plant-sourced (lichen) or from animal sources. This is not always clear on the labels so I like to check vegan womble to make sure!
Tofu Katsu Curry
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes
For the katsu sauce:
1 onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1cm ginger, grated
2 carrots, chopped
1tbsp mild curry powder
1tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp light soy sauce (or tamari)
1 tbsp tomato puree
2 tsp maple syrup
500ml vegetable stock
Oil, for shallow-frying
For the breaded tofu:
1 block firm tofu (approximately 280g), drained and pressed (I used tofoo naked)
100g cornflakes, crushed
100ml plant milk
2tbsp plain flour
Salt and pepper
100g rice of choice
Spring onions, sliced
Heat a little oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and add the chopped onion.
Fry for a few minutes until translucent, then add the garlic, ginger and carrots, cooking for a further 5 minutes.
Next, add the curry powder, garam masala, and turmeric, and fry for another minute.
Add the soy sauce, tomato puree, maple syrup and vegetable stock, mix and leave to simmer for 15 minutes (until the carrots are soft).
Meanwhile, in three separate bowls, place the flour, milk, and crushed cornflakes (seasoned with a little salt and pepper).
Cut the tofu to make 4-8 rectangular pieces. Place each tofu piece first in the flour, followed by the milk, then the cornflakes, ensuring all sides are well coated.
Cover the bottom of a frying pan with a thin layer of oil and heat to a medium-high heat, you will know if it is warm enough because the tofu should sizzle immediately when you put it in the pan. Add the coated tofu and fry on one side until golden (2-3 minutes), then flip and do the same on the other side.
Once the tofu is fried, remove from the heat and place on a paper towel to soak up any excess oil.
Transfer the katsu sauce to a blender (or use a stick blender) and blitz to form a smooth sauce.
Plate the breaded tofu on top of the katsu sauce, alongside the cooked rice and a fresh side salad. Top with some fresh coriander, and sliced spring onions.
Instead of tofu, you adapt this dish with whatever filling you desire such as sweet potato, seitan, or a store-bought meat replacement!
To make the perfect fresh side salad, I combined ribbons of carrot and cucumber with a squeeze of lime and fresh coriander.
Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoy my tofu katsu curry recipe. If you do try any of my recipes I'd love to know how they turn out - tag me on Instagram @josiewalshaw!