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Japanese Tofu Curry: Vegan Katsu Curry Recipe


Japanese tofu curry is a delicious vegan and vegetarian recipe that puts a tofu twist on the katsu classic. 

This hearty Japanese katsu curry is thick and spicy, but the real highlight of the show is the breaded tofu, a moreish stand-in for the katsu meat cutlets you’d expect to serve with this meal. There’s not much that can beat a fresh curry with tofu, so get ready to learn how to make this vegetarian Japanese curry recipe from scratch!

Get your breadcrumbs and tofu lined up, and prepare to cook up some outrageously tasty katsu sauce. Here’s our Japanese tofu curry recipe. 

What is Japanese katsu curry? 

Traditional Japanese curry is a classic dish that became popular in Japan in the 19th century when Indian curries began arriving through trade with the British. Japanese curry uses similar curry powders and spices (such as garam masala) to Indian curry recipes, but the Japanese recipes have evolved to suit Japanese tastes.

Japanese curries are a little sweet and a little sour, and they don’t tend to use chilis (they are much milder than an Indian curry). Japanese curry sauce is used for various recipes, and it’s commonly served with rice, over noodles, or bread.

A Japanese katsu curry actually refers to a specific dish that’s made with curry sauce. A Japanese katsu curry recipe has a katsu curry sauce, which is served over breaded vegetables, breaded meat, or in our case, breaded tofu. 

‘Katsu’ actually refers to this breaded ‘cutlet’ rather than to the curry sauce, but in a Japanese curry katsu, the two are inseparable!

    Japanese tofu curry FAQ

    Is Japanese tofu curry healthy?

    Japanese tofu curry sauce is a relatively healthy recipe; however, there are still a large number of calories in Japanese curry sauce, as well as a large number of saturated fats.

    However, tofu is high in protein and makes for a fantastic vegan cutlet when coated in breadcrumbs (and it’s lower in calories than, say, chicken or pork). You can make the meal healthier by using brown rice or lower the number of calories by removing rice entirely and serving on a leafy green salad instead. 

    What tofu is best for Japanese tofu curry?

    Extra-firm tofu is the best tofu to use for this dish, as it holds its shape well when coated with breadcrumbs and fried in oil. Softer types of tofu can easily lose their shape and fall apart. 

    Remember to press your tofu before coating in breadcrumbs, as this removes the excess water (simply put, the pressing process makes the tofu taste less watery and more flavorful!). 

    Japanese tofu curry: a vegan classic in the making!

    Japanese tofu curry is a vegan classic that’s guaranteed to be around for a long time to come! Now you know exactly what to put in Japanese curry sauce and how to make breadcrumbed tofu, you have all the ingredients for a vegan katsu curry!

    Why not bookmark our Japanese tofu curry recipe for your Japanese-inspired dinner?

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