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Vegan Katsu Curry

Vegan Katsu Curry With Tofu (And Air Fryer Option)

Subtly sweet and spicy curry sauce with crispy gluten-free tofu pieces.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 1 hr 40 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Japanese
Servings 4


  • 2-3 tbsp vegetable oil, divided (or 1 tbsp oil and spray oil for air fryer option)
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 2 medium carrots, finely diced
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds (or sub ground coriander)
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds (or sub ground cumin)
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 2-3 tbsp tamari or coconut aminos
  • 1 tsp sweetener (I used agave syrup)
  • 150 ml water
  • 1 tbsp cornflour (mixed into paste with splash of water)
  • 400 g smoked tofu (or normal tofu if preferred)
  • 2-3 tbsp cornflour
  • 2-3 tbsp non-dairy milk or aquafaba
  • 100 g gluten-free breadcrumbs or plain cracker crumbs (check if vegan)


  • Remove the tofu from the packaging, drain off all the water and pat dry. If you don't have a tofu press, wrap it in a clean tea towel or several layers of kitchen roll, place on a plate and press with a heavy object like a frying pan. Do this for at least 1 hour.
  • Heat 1 tbsp oil in a small or medium saucepan on a medium heat. Add onions and carrots and cook until softened, around 7-10 minutes. Add splashes of water if the mixture becomes too dry.
  • When softened, add the spices and combine. Cook for 1 minute.
  • Add the water and cornflour/water paste and cook for a few minutes until thickened slightly. Set aside to cool.
  • Add cornflour to one small dish, non-dairy milk/aquafaba to another, and the breadcrumbs to a third. Slice the pressed tofu into 1/2-inch thick slabs. You should get 8 slabs out of a 396-400g block.
  • One by one, coat each tofu slab in cornflour, then milk, then breadcrumbs, ensuring they are all evenly coated. Repeat if necessary.
  • (For frying pan) Heat a frying pan with the remaining oil on medium heat. When hot, add the tofu slabs and cook for 4-5 minutes on each side until crispy.
  • (For air fryer) Preheat the airfryer for 3 minutes. Place each tofu slab in the airfryer basket, spray with spray oil and cook for 10 minutes or until crispy, turning halfway.
  • Meanwhile, either in a food blender/processor or with a handstick blender, blend your curry sauce until smooth, then return to the saucepan to heat through.
  • When all the components are ready and the sauce is heated through, serve with rice and your choice of vegetables or salad.


(Based on frying pan option) Calories: 383 Fat: 19.9g Saturated Fat: 3.3g Carbohydrates: 26.6g Sugar: 2g Fibre: 5.3g Protein: 21.1g
Keyword vegan katsu curry