The Katsu Curry is the ultimate comfort food. Crispy katsu (deep fried breaded meat cutlets) served with heaps of delicious mild curry sauce on a steaming bowl of rice… Being pesco-vegetarian, I made my katsu from tofu, which I served with a mushroom curry sauce and mixed long grains (brown basmati, wild rice, and Camargue red rice) – rendering my recipe slightly unconventional. My tofu katsu was also baked not fried. I had a little beaten egg left from the breading, so I made an omelette to add colour to my bento; absolutely nothing ever goes to waste in Winnie’s kitchen. ^_^
Bento box is from Daiso. Comes with a pretty lid with floral designs, but is not a portable lunch box (not leak-proof, no strap).
My Tofu Katsu Curry recipe:
Ingredients (serves 2-3):
For tofu katsu
- 1 block of firm tofu
- 1/2 tsp of five spice
- a pinch of salt
- a pinch of cracked black pepper
- 1 tbsp of flour
- 50g of Panko breadcrumbs
- a pinch of dried parsley
- 1 egg, beaten
For curry sauce (vegan)
- 1 tsp of canola oil (or your choice of neutral oil)
- 2 shallots, peeled and chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- a small knob of ginger, grated
- 4 mushrooms, finely chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tbsp of flour
- 1 1/3 cups of reduced sodium vegetable stock
- half a small carrot, cubed
- 1 1/4 tbsp of Madras curry powder (Madras curry powder is quite hot, so feel free to substitute with mild or medium curry powder)
- 1/2 tsp of tomato puree
- 2 tsp of reduced sodium soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp of raw cane sugar (can be substituted with 1 tsp of honey, but I don’t like the idea of heating honey due to an Ayurvedic myth that honey becomes toxic when heated)
- a handful of chopped spring onions / scallions
1. Preheat oven at gas mark 6.
2. Remove tofu from packaging and drain thoroughly. Wrap tofu in paper towels and place something heavy on top to rid excess water. Come back to it in 10 minutes or so. Then, slice tofu into cuboids as per diagram below. Halve it first, then cut into 6 pieces.
3. Rub tofu pieces with five spices and set aside.
4. Meanwhile, toast Panko lightly in an unoiled skillet until it browns slightly but not burnt. Then spread Panko out on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Add a pinch of salt, black pepper, and parsley to Panko and mix well.
5. Dust tofu pieces with flour, dip in beaten egg, and coat thoroughly with Panko mix.
6. Bake for about 30 minutes until golden brown. Remember to flip tofu midway so both sides brown evenly.
7. Whilst tofu is in the oven, make the curry sauce. In a medium saucepan, heat oil. Add shallots, garlic, and ginger and cook until aromatic and softened. Add mushrooms and carrots and sweat for approx 8 minutes until softened. Add curry powder and tomato puree, and stir well.
8. Dissolve flour in 2 tbsp of stock. Pour stock bit by bit into saucepan whilst stirring. Then add bay leaf, sugar or honey, and soy sauce. Bring to a boil. Taste and adjust accordingly. Add flour-stock mixture and stir well.
9. Reduce heat and simmer until sauce thickens to desired consistency. This should take about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove bay leaf.
10. Cut tofu katsu into bite-sized strips. Spoon curry sauce onto tofu katsu, scatter some spring onions, and enjoy!