Tofu Katsu Curry is a delicious and healthy dish that is loved by people all over the world. This dish is a perfect example of fusion food, combining Japanese and Indian flavors to create something truly unique.
The dish consists of crispy fried tofu cutlets that are served with a rich and aromatic curry sauce. The sauce is made with a variety of spices, vegetables, and coconut milk, which gives it an irresistible taste and aroma.
Katsu refers to a type of meat cutlet that is breaded and deep-fried, usually served with a sauce and rice. Tofu Katsu Curry is a vegetarian/vegan adaptation of this classic dish, where the meat is replaced with tofu.
This dish has also gained popularity in Western countries and has become a staple in many Japanese restaurants. It is not only delicious but also a healthier alternative for people who are looking to reduce their meat intake.
Here is why you might love this recipe:
1. It’s a healthy and satisfying vegan meal option.
2. The combination of crunchy tofu and flavorful curry sauce is both delicious and satisfying.
3. It’s easy to make and perfect for a quick weeknight dinner.
Vegan Tofu Katsu Curry Recipe
- Press and drain the tofu.
- In a saucepan, on medium-high, add the onion, carrots, garlic and ginger paste. Fry for 5 minutes.
- Add the curry powder, maple syrup, soy sauce and cornstatch. Stir to combine.
- Add the cocnut milk or vegetable stock.
- Use a hand blender to mix into a fine sauce. Continue to cook for another 5 minutes on low heat.
- Once the tofu has been drained. Slice and add it to the cornstarch and water, followed by the panko breadcrumbs, until all the tofu is fully coated.
- Add vegetable oil to a large saucepan which is on high heat.
- Add tofu and fry for 8-10 minutes, until they are golden brown on all sides. Temporarily add to separate plate and paper towel.
- Add the cooked rice to your plate, followed by the tofu chunks, leafy greens and curry sauce.
2. Press the tofu to remove excess water before frying to make it crispier.
3. Use a mix of panko breadcrumbs and Japanese-style breadcrumbs for extra crunch.
4. Season the flour used for coating the tofu with salt and pepper to add flavor.
5. Use a deep frying pan to avoid oil splatters and to prevent overcrowding.
6. Make the curry sauce from scratch using a mixture of spices and coconut milk for a richer flavor.
7. Add diced vegetables such as carrots, onions, and bell peppers to the curry sauce for extra nutrition and texture.
8. Serve the Tofu Katsu Curry with steamed rice and a side of pickled vegetables.
9. Garnish with chopped green onions and sesame seeds for added flavor and presentation.
10. Enjoy the dish hot and fresh to fully appreciate the flavors and textures.
Data source: USDA
Tofu Katsu Curry can typically last in the fridge for up to 3-4 days and in the freezer for up to 1 month.
To store, place the cooked curry in an airtight container and refrigerate or freeze it as soon as possible.
To freeze the tofu katsu curry, let it cool down to room temperature first. Then, transfer the curry to an airtight container, leaving about an inch of space at the top to allow for expansion. Label the container with the date and contents before storing it in the freezer.
To defrost frozen tofu katsu curry, transfer the container from the freezer to the fridge and let it thaw overnight.
The curry can also be reheated straight from frozen on the stovetop or in the microwave, but be sure to stir it frequently and adjust the heat as needed to prevent it from burning or overcooking.
To prolong the lifespan of the tofu katsu curry, it’s recommended to store the curry and breaded tofu separately, only combining them when ready to eat.
Tofu Katsu Curry is a vegetarian dish that consists of crispy fried tofu covered in panko breadcrumbs, served with a Japanese-style curry sauce that is made with aromatic spices and vegetables. This dish offers several health benefits, backed up by scientific research, which include:
1. Tofu: Tofu is the main ingredient in this recipe and is derived from soybeans. It is a great source of plant-based protein, which has been linked to several health benefits, such as reducing the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Tofu is also low in fat, calories, and cholesterol, making it a healthy substitute for meat. Moreover, tofu contains calcium, iron, and other essential nutrients that promote bone health, and blood circulation and boost immunity. 
2. Curry Spices: The curry sauce used in this recipe contains a blend of spices like turmeric, cinnamon, cardamom, and others, which have anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce pain, joint stiffness and improve digestion. The presence of turmeric in the curry sauce has been linked to reduced inflammation, improved cognitive function, and may even reduce the risk of cancer.
3. Vegetables: The recipe also includes vegetables like onion, carrot, and potatoes, which are rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals that help support a healthy immune system, digestive health, and reduce the risk of chronic diseases. For example, onions contain quercetin, a powerful antioxidant that helps reduce inflammation, support heart health, and protect against cancer.
4. Panko Breadcrumbs: The dish is covered in panko breadcrumbs, which are made from white bread without crusts. They are lower in calories and sodium compared to traditional breadcrumbs and have a higher fiber content. Additionally, the use of panko breadcrumbs gives the dish a crisp texture, without adding excess oil or calories, which can help support weight management goals.
 The health benefits of tofu. (2019) Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/tofu-benefits
 Anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin, a major constituent of Curcuma longa: A review of preclinical and clinical research. (2020) NCBI. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5664031/
 Health benefits of onions. (2018) MedicalNewsToday. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/276714
 What are panko breadcrumbs? (2021) Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/panko-breadcrumbs
Money Saving Tips
1. Buy ingredients in bulk: Tofu, rice, vegetables, and curry paste are all ingredients that can be purchased in large quantities at a lower cost per unit. Look for deals at bulk food stores and stock up when prices are low.
2. Use frozen vegetables: Rather than buying fresh vegetables that may go bad before they can be used, try purchasing frozen vegetables for the dish. They are often cheaper, have a longer shelf life, and are just as nutritious.
3. Shop at discount stores: Check out discount grocery stores or Asian markets for specialty ingredients like curry paste. These stores often offer lower prices on items that can be more expensive at traditional supermarkets.
4. Cook at home: Instead of going out to eat or ordering in, cook the Tofu Katsu Curry at home. Not only is it cheaper, but it will also allow you to control the portion sizes and ingredients used in the recipe.
5. Use leftovers: If you have leftovers from the Tofu Katsu Curry, use them to make a new meal. Add the leftovers to a salad or make them into a sandwich for lunch the next day.
6. Make your own sauce: Instead of purchasing pre-made sauce, make your own. This will save money and allow you to adjust the ingredients to your liking. Search for recipes online or experiment with different flavor combinations.
7. Cut back on meat: If you are a meat-eater but want to save money, consider reducing the amount of meat in the recipe or replacing it with tofu. Tofu is often cheaper than meat and just as delicious in a curry dish.
Time Saving Tips
1. Use pre-made curry roux instead of making the sauce from scratch.
2. Use pre-made panko bread crumbs instead of crushing bread crumbs yourself.
3. Use pre-cut tofu cubes to save time on cutting the tofu.
4. Cook the rice in a rice cooker for a faster and easier process.
5. Use a large skillet to cook the tofu and eggplant at the same time instead of cooking them separately.
6. Skip the marinating step for the tofu, as it’s not essential for the dish.
7. Use a food processor to blend the vegetables instead of finely chopping them by hand.
8. Use frozen mixed vegetables instead of fresh vegetables to save time on cutting and chopping.
9. Double the recipe and freeze the leftovers for a quick and easy meal in the future.
1. Chicken Katsu Curry – Substitute the tofu with breaded and fried chicken cutlets for a meatier option.
2. Veggie Katsu Curry – Use assorted vegetables such as eggplant, zucchini, and mushrooms instead of the tofu. Coat them in breadcrumbs, deep fry and serve with the curry sauce.
3. Seafood Katsu Curry – Shrimp or fish fillets coated in breadcrumbs make for an excellent seafood-based version of the recipe. Serve alongside standard curry sauce, or with a soupier sauce that will keep the crust crispy.
4. Vegan Katsu Curry – Opt for a vegan version by using vegetable broth, omitting the egg in the breading process, and substituting coconut milk or almond milk for the heavy cream.
5. Spicy Katsu Curry – Add some spice to the traditional recipe by adding chili powder or hot sauce to the curry sauce. This variation is ideal for those who enjoy heat.
6. Healthy Katsu Curry – Make low-calorie Katsu Curry by cutting the vegetables and tofu into smaller sizes and grilling them instead of deep-frying. The curry sauce is made with low fat or lite coconut milk.
7. Sweet Katsu Curry – Add honey or a sweet chili sauce to the recipe. This variation is excellent for those who love sweet and savory combinations.
What To Serve With
1. Steamed jasmine rice
2. Edamame beans
3. Pickled ginger
5. Cucumber slices
6. Sesame seeds
7. Shredded cabbage with a dressing of rice vinegar and sesame oil
8. Tempura vegetables (such as sweet potato, bell peppers, and eggplant)
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