Katsu-out-of-the-bag: Baked Tofu Katsu Curry (VG, GF Option, Oil Free)

I am obsessed with this recipe.

In fact – beyond obsessed. Check my Instagram page and you will see at least half of the recent pictures dotted around are basically me making this recipe and then posting how proud I am of it. Like a baby, except less cute and waaaaaay fewer people like the photos of my curry.

Sad Spongebob Squarepants GIF by swerk

Ah it’s ok though. What does bring me joy though… IS THIS CURRY! It’s crazy good and not only that but I have so many friends who are always saying to me “Oh you know I would eat Tofu, because I know it’s better for me than meat, but…” and then insert some get-out-of-jail-free-excuse. That excuse normally exists within one of three main categories:

  1. “It doesn’t taste like anything”
  2. “I don’t like the texture”
  3. “How do you even cook it though?”

All of these reasons, are terrible reasons. You don’t bite into raw potato (tastes bad, terrible texture) and go: “Bleurgh, this thing’s disgusting, that’s it I’m never having potato again!”, no! You look on the internet machine and realize there is a metric BAZILLION different ways to cook potatoes.

And one of those ways is chips and you realize you don’t need any of the other ways.

Anyway – tofu is the same. You can cook it in lots of different ways, you can make it into a ‘cheese’cake, you can turn it into hot dogs, did you know that there are lots of different types of Tofu? You can get lots of them at the supermarket, but the most popular type you’ll probably find is Extra-Firm Tofu, which is what I used in this recipe.

Originally I found this recipe from Cupful of Kale and I thought it sounded absolutely incredible – so I set to work and as normal produced something that I thought was a good effort, but I had a few issues. We’ll leave aside the fact Tamsin used fresh coriander (which is my Kryptonite) but I wanted to make it without oil. The initial try became one that stained my frying pan, and it was too hot, then it was too cold.

Basically, I’m not good with oil. Alright? And then you’ve got how you dispose of the oil, how you get it off the ceiling etc. etc. you know, the usual problems.

So I adapted it – in fact we got it to a point now that we are desperate to serve to anyone who comes to our house, and I cannot wait for more wintry dinners and heartwarming conversations over this curry!

The best part of this recipe is the tofu – it’s so much fun prepping it and getting stuck in (there’s definitely a trend of family friendly recipes I keep making, and mentioning how easy it would be to involve little people, and I think I should be worried!) and there’s nothing more satisfying than prepping your food with your hands!

There’s a couple of methods involved with this process which hold the key to good tofu, but the most important one is getting the moisture out. When I make scrambled tofu, I actually tend to leave the water in because it helps give a creamier texture at the end but with this recipe it’s all about getting that firm, crispy texture – before I went vegetarian way back in 2016 I used to _LOVE_ Chicken Katsu Curry, but this one is better, healthier and hey, no murder! #winning

The other option of course is to use special tofu like Tofoo which doesn’t even require pressing, it’s just ready to go!

You’ll notice I haven’t really posted any pictures of the sauce, and that’s because it’s really really simple, crazy simple in fact and you need just a few basic ingredients to make it:

Another good thing about this recipe is that you can make it MUCH lower FODMAP * simply by substituting in the green of one leek and removing the onion and garlic. Even better would be to use Gluten Free breadcrumbs if you can find them for the Tofu!

*If you’re struggling with a higher fiber intake or you’re generally quite bloated or uncomfortable when you eat you may want to try that option – also I’d recommend looking at The Happy Pear’s “Happy Gut” Course, which I can promise you is full of delicious healthy recipes!

So without further ado, try this recipe and I promise you’ll never look at Katsu Curry the same way ever again!

Chris' obsession, Kats-out-of-the-bag Tofu Katsu Curry

  • Servings: 4 servings
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Print

A fun, healthy and easy-ish dinner to make mid-week or as a treat, a rich warming sauce and firm tofu you can really sink your teeth into.

Ingredients

For the Tofu:

  • 2 x 280g blocks Tofoo Tofu or 1 x 500g(ish) block Extra Firm Tofu, cut into large slices (you should have around 12 slices in total)
  • 5 heaped tbsp Corn Flour / Corn-Starch
  • 75ml Non-Dairy ‘Milk’ (we use Almond)
  • 4 tbsp Tamari or Soy Sauce
  • 100-120g Natural (or GF) Breadcrumbs (we use Paxo but you can use any, even Panko if you’re feeling fancy)
  • 1 tsp each Salt & Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Granules (omit if making lower FODMAP)
  • 1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper

For the Sauce:

  • 3 medium Carrots, halved and sliced
  • Green of 1 large Leek OR 1 Brown Onion & 3 large cloves garlic – finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Ginger
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Turmeric
  • 1 heaped tbsp Medium Curry Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Garam Masala
  • 500ml Vegetable Stock
  • 2 tbsp Tomato Paste / Puree
  • 3 tbsp Tamari
  • 1.5 tbsp Maple Syrup
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

For the Rice:

  • Uh… some rice.

Directions

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 180C (350F) and line a large baking tray with baking / grease-proof paper
  2. Mix your breadcrumbs with a pinch of salt and pepper and the spices in one bowl and in a separate bowl mix the non-dairy milk and tamari / soy sauce (you should have 3 bowls now, as per the picture above)
  3. Get stuck into the tofu! Take each slice and cover in a generous even layer of corn flour, then gently turn in the milk / tamari mixture, then finally toss in the breadcrumbs until you have a nice even covering – then place these evenly spaced apart on the baking tray.
  4. Put the tofu into the oven for 35 minutes, turning half way
  5. Whilst the tofu is in the oven, heat 3 tbsp of water in a saucepan over a medium heat – when the water is boiling off, add the leek or onion and garlic and soften for 5 minutes, add a tablespoon more water if anything starts to stick
  6. Add the carrot and spices just until you start to smell the spices releasing aromatics, another 5 minutes or so.
  7. Whilst the carrot is cooking off, start cooking the rice to packet instructions – for us we use brown rice which takes about 25 minutes, so now is the perfect time to start!
  8. Add the tomato paste, stock, tamari, maple syrup and a pinch of salt and pepper and then cook for 10-15 minutes on medium-low heat until everything is soft (and smells wonderful!)
  9. Use a stick blender or similar to blend the sauce together until there are no lumps
  10. By this point everything should be pretty much coming together: serve the rice in a big bowl, top with the tofu “fillets” and then top further with the sauce

Buon Appetito!

The world is a pretty crazy place at the moment so hopefully this post inspires you, and we would love to hear what you’re cooking and also we’d love to see your attempts at the above dish and how you change it to be yours, so tweet us @rockinblues and @PlantBasedSQL on Twitter and let us know your snug story!

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