This tofu katsu curry is a brilliant choice if you're looking for a delicious spicy vegan curry. The slightly sweet and spicy Japanese katsu curry sauce is perfect with the crispy breaded tofu slices. Ideal served with rice for a weekend fakeaway.
It has taken me a while to find a tofu recipe that I really love. Or maybe I have finally started to like tofu. Anyway, for quite a while now I have wanted to find more plant-based meal options that my family would love as much as me!
And yes, I think I have cracked it! This crispy breaded tofu is full of flavour and my daughter was as happy to eat this as she would have been if it had been my regular chicken katsu curry recipe.
As our whole family love curry, I knew they should at least like the curry sauce. They also tend to like crispy food so I was hoping that a katsu curry with tofu would be the recipe to convert them and it was.
What ingredients do you need for tofu katsu curry?
There are two main things to make when preparing this tofu katsu curry. You need to make the crispy breaded tofu and the curry sauce. For preparing the katsu tofu you'll need:
- Tofu - Extra firm tofu is best as it has the least amount of excess liquid in but firm tofu also works.
- Flour - I just use plain white flour for this. It is used as a thickener in the curry sauce, to coat the tofu in before it is dipped in the batter and in the batter itself.
- Panko breadcrumbs - These are Japanese breadcrumbs and they are very dry, light and crispy as well as a little bigger than a lot of breadcrumbs. You can of course make your own breadcrumbs from stale or dried bread or use any other bought breadcrumbs.
- Almond milk - This is for the batter. You can use an alternative plant based milk such as oat or soya milk. If you are not vegan you can even use regular milk.
- Curry powder - There is curry powder in the batter which flavours the tofu and there is also curry powder in the curry.
You also need the following ingredients for the curry sauce:
- Onion - I use a brown onion but red onion is also fine.
- Garlic cloves - Lots of garlic. You can use fresh garlic or a puree.
- Spices - Hot curry powder and garam masala
- Plain flour - As mentioned above, this works as a thickener for the sauce.
- Vegetable stock - You can use homemade stock or a make it up from a stock cube or powder.
- Sugar - This is to add a little sweetness. You can replace it with a sweetener or maple syrup.
- Soy sauce - I use light soy sauce.
How to make the katsu curry sauce
The Japanese katsu curry sauce is very easy to make. It's a matter of gently cooking the onion, carrot and garlic, adding spices and stock and finally blending to make a smooth spicy curry sauce.
How do you make the crispy breaded tofu?
When making the tofu for the curry it's important to make sure it's the right kind of tofu. Extra firm is best as it is the densest with the least amount of water in. Even when using firm tofu, it's important to squeeze out any excess water though. I'll explain how to do this further down the post.
Once the tofu has been squeezed you need to make a thick batter by whisking together the almond milk, flour and curry powder.
Take three bowls. In the first bowl, just have some flour, in the second the batter and in the third, the panko breadcrumbs.
Slice the tofu into pieces about 1cm thick. Dip them in the flour, then the batter and finally the breadcrumbs.
Heat about 3 tablespoons of oil in a frying pan and fry the tofu slices for about 3-4 minutes on each side until golden brown.
How to squeeze the liquid out of the tofu
There are a couple of ways of squeezing out any excess liquid. You can wrap the tofu block in kitchen roll or clean tea towels. Place it in tray and put something heavy on top and leave it for about 30 minutes.
The other way of pressing the tofu is to use a tofu press. I recently got a TofuBud which makes the whole process much easier.
I don't have lots of kitchen roll to throw away afterwards or wet tea towels to wash either.
What is the Tofu Bud?
The Tofu Bud tofu press is a small plastic container. You put the tofu block inside and then turn the knob on the lid until it clicks into place. Just leave the tofu sitting there for 15-20 minutes. The liquid collects in the drip tray at the bottom of the press. You can then just pour it out.
So far, I'm really impressed with it. It's very easy to wash up afterwards and because it's quite small and rectangular, it's easy to store too.
Can you make this katsu curry in advance?
Yes, you can prepare the curry sauce in advance and then just reheat it in a saucepan when you're ready to eat it.
You can prepare the breaded tofu in advance and store it in the fridge until ready to fry it too. I wouldn't prepare it longer than 24 hours in advance though.
Can you reheat it?
Yes, the sauce reheats easily in a saucepan or the microwave. Any leftover cooked breaded tofu can be reheated in the oven so it crisps up again. I like to use my air fryer to reheat the tofu as it doesn't take as long to heat up as the oven.
Can you freeze this tofu katsu curry?
The sauce can be frozen for at least three months. You can also freeze the cooked breaded tofu slices as well but separately from the sauce. Put them in a single layer on a baking tray covered in baking paper. Once they have frozen, transfer them to a freezer bag. They will also keep in the freezer for at least three months.
More curries you might like
I love making curry recipes and here are a few more vegan curries I hope you'll enjoy:
Do also check out my easy homemade curry recipes post!
Tofu Katsu Curry
- 300 g Extra firm or firm tofu
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 50 g panko breadcrumbs
For the batter
- 80 ml Almond milk
- 60 g Plain flour
- 2 teaspoon curry powder
For the curry sauce
- onion finely diced
- 5 garlic cloves crushed
- 2 carrots finely diced
- 1 tablespoon hot curry powder
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 2 tablespoon plain flour
- 600 ml vegetable stock
- 1-2 teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- Press the tofu. If you have a tofu press, follow the instructions to use it. If you don't, wrap the tofu in tea towels or kitchen roll. Put it on a tray and put something heavy on top. Leave it for at least 30 minutes.
- While the tofu is pressing, heat some oil in a saucepan. Gently cook the onion, crushed garlic and carrot until slightly browned.
- Stir in the flour and spices and cook for a minute. Then add the stock gradually, stirring in a little at a time so it thickens the sauce doesn't make the flour go lumpy.
- Simmer for 20 minutes. Then blend with a stick blender. Stir in the sugar and soy sauce. Taste and add a little extra if necessary.
- While the sauce is simmering, make the breaded tofu. Slice the tofu into slices about 1cm thick.
- Whisk the ingredients for the batter until smooth.
- Prepare three bowls. One with flour, one with the batter and one with the breadcrumbs.
- Dip the tofu in the flour, then the batter and finally in the breadcrumbs.
- Heat about 3 tablespoons of oil in a frying pan. Fry the tofu pieces for about 3-4 minutes on each side.
- Serve the tofu with the curry sauce and rice.
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