Vegan Katsu Curry

Katsu Curry is one of my favourite hearty and comforting meals when I want something different. I came across Katsu Curry for the first time at Wagamama’s when I first came to the UK – A Japanese staple, here with a vegan twist. Ofcourse, lockdown was the time to experiment with all the restaurant food that you enjoyed outside, at home. That was the time I made this for the first time and have made it ever since and got better at frying the tofu each time! For all those who know me, frying isn’t my forte as I am always looking at the amount of oil that I put into my food but that is getting better with time! Indulging in your favourite food even if fried, is not a bad thing after all!

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Total cook time: 1 hour

Servings: 4

Ingredients

For Tofu Katsu:

  • 390 gms firm Tofu (I used Cauldron tofu, but you could use any brand of your choice!) and marinated it for one hour with (This is optional but adds a bit of flavour to the tofu):
    • 2 tbsp light soya sauce
    • 1 inch grated ginger
    • 1 crushed garlic clove
  • 4 tbsp bread crumbs
  • 1 tbsp corn flour
  • 1 tbsp (for slurry) + 2 tbsp whole wheat flour (for dry coating)
  • 3-4 tbsp water
  • 3-6 tbsp oil to fry a batch of 4-5 tofu strips

For Curry:

  • 1 medium onion (roughly chopped)
  • 2 medium carrots (roughly chopped)
  • Crushed mix of: 3 garlic cloves + 1 inch ginger + 1 green chilli
  • 2 tbsp light soya sauce
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • ½ tsp red chilli powder (optional)
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • Pinch of turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter (I used Meridian crunchy peanut butter but smooth works just the same!)
  • 1 tsp sesame paste (this is an Asian paste of blended sesame seeds, if you do not have it, a tsp of sesame seeds work just fine)
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • Water or as required to adjust consistency
  • Rice to serve

Method

For Tofu Katsu

  1. Using a tissue squeeze excess water out from the tofu and cut into long strips of about 0.5 to 0.8 cm thick.
  2. If marinating mix the soya, grated ginger and crushed garlic together and pour over the tofu to ensure all pieces are covered in the marinate and leave for 1 hour. If not marinating, leave the tofu aside to fry at the end.
  3. When the curry is cooling down, you can fry the tofu.
  4. Heat about 3 tbsp of oil in a non-stick pan. This should be enough to fry about 4-5 strips of tofu at a given time.
  5. To fry the tofu, take a strip (marinated/not marinated) and dip it in the dry whole wheat flour.
  6. Then dip it in the whole wheat flour and cornflour slurry.

7. Then dip it in the breadcrumbs.

8. Place each coated strip on the heated pan and let it cook on low-medium heat for 6-7 minutes before flipping it to ensure it is crispy.
Note: I would recommend frying the strips when you wish to eat them. If you want to have the curry as a leftover the following day, only fry half the tofu.

9. Take the tofu off the heat once it is crispy on both sides.

10. Repeat until all the tofu is fried.

For Curry

  1. Heat 2 tsp oil in a pan.
  2. Once hot, add the garlic, ginger and green chilli mix until fragrant.
  3. Add the chopped onions and fry until they become transleuscent.
  4. Next, add the chopped carrots and half a cup of water. Cover and cook on medium heat until they begin to soften for about 5 minutes.

5. Add the spices including curry powder, chilli powder, pinch of turmeric powder, soya sauce, honey, salt, pepper and more water to cover and cook the vegetables until fully soft. This should take about 10-15 minutes.

6. While this cooks, you can boil the rice.

7. Once the carrots have fully cooked, turn off the heat and let the mixture cool. You can fry the tofu at this time.

8. Blend the mixture using a hand blender or transfer to a blender and blend. You may need to add more water to make a smooth paste. If using sesame seeds, at them at this point.

9. Once the mixture has blended, add the sesame paste and peanut butter and blend for a further 5-6 seconds.

10. Transfer back to the pan on low heat and adjust spices as needed.

11. Serve hot with rice and katsu!

Hope you enjoy this!

Payal

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