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Vegan Tofu Katsu Curry ( How to Use Japanese Curry Packet)

This Vegan Tofu Katsu Curry, I’d say that you must be very familiar with the flavor and taste from Japanese restaurants or Asian takeout. It’s surprisingly easy to make your own at home.

vegan japanese curry

You probably don’t know that Japanese Katsu Curry is indeed the real “Curry in a Hurry! ” Today I gonna show you how to use Japanese curry packets to make restaurant-style Japanese comfort food at home.

Crispy panko-crusted tofu steak is in a thick carrot and potato-based curry sauce served with fluffy rice or even coconut rice. By adding some grated apple, minced garlic, and ginger to the store-bought Japanese curry roux cubes( you can choose hot, medium hot, or mild as you like.) A very simple dish, but with full-blown flavor!

Moreover, it tastes so good for something that quick, you will be amazed!

vegan-tofu-katsu-curry(how-to-use-Japanese-curry(how-to-use-Japanese-curry-packet)

What is Japanese Katsu Curry( Japanese Golden Curry)?

Katsu Curry(カツカレー) is a crispy fried cutlet of meat or seafood made with flaky Japanese panko breadcrumbs. For the vegan version, I opt for tofu steaks. Most katsu recipes are dredged in flour then dipped in egg wash before being coated in panko crumbs. Here I use Vegan mayonnaise as a substitute for egg wash. Check here for how to make Crispy Panko-Crusted Tofu Steak.

So, what’s Japanese curry?

In general, curry sauce in Japanese home cooking is most commonly made from instant curry roux, which is available in block and powder forms, and contains curry powder, flour, oil, and various flavorings. Also, there are curry powders specially formulated to create the “Japanese curry” taste such as Mcdonelles curry sauce. Vacuum-sealed curry sauce, prepared by heating the retort pouch in hot water or the microwave, is also popular.

There are various brands of Japanese curry roux blocks on the market, just need to make sure they are vegan-friendly before purchasing. In fact, the wide variety and availability of instant curry roux, has made curry rice very popular, as it’s very easy to make compared to many other dishes.

Ummm…about the taste- Japanese curry is usually sweet, unlike Thai or Indian curry. In a thick and umami brown sauce, the texture is much richer than Thai or Indian curry, and its flavor is a mix of warm, comforting tastes.

vegan-tofu-katsu-curry(how-to-use-Japanese-curry(how-to-use-Japanese-curry-packet)
S&B Golden Curry
how to use Japanese curry roux
House Foods JAVA Curry
vermont-curry-block
Vermont Curry- Non-Vegan

Mcdonelles curry sauce (powder)

As for the curry sauce, I am using a store-bought S&B Golden curry roux. Customize the curry sauce with additional seasonings and aromatics.

Ingredients for Tofu Katsu Curry

vegan-tofu-katsu-curry(how-to-use-Japanese-curry(how-to-use-Japanese-curry-packet)
  • Japanese instant curry roux– I use S&B golden curry roux, there are more options on the market as listed above.
  • Brown Onion, Potato, and Carrot– cut into large dices for stewing. ( approx. 2x2cm)
  • Minced Garlic– fresh garlic
  • Minced Ginger– fresh ginger
  • Light Soy SauceL.K.K. Soy Sauce is my first choice for the best result guaranteed!
  • Sweet Apple– Fuji, Pink Lady…etc., not Granny Smith.
  • Cocoa Powder– unsweetened cocoa powder, it gives the curry a darker brown color and also slight bitterness.

P.S. Due to there will be too many ingredients, so I wrote another post just for the Tofu Katsu. Click the link for how to make Crispy Panko-Crusted Tofu Steak.

How to make Japanese Curry( Curry Katsu)

vegan-tofu-katsu-curry(how-to-use-Japanese-curry(how-to-use-Japanese-curry-packet)
  1. Heat up cooking oil in a heavy-based pot on medium-high heat in a heavy-based pot, add diced brown onion in and saute until they are softened.
  2. Place diced potato and carrot into the pot, followed by vegetable stock and water according to the recipe.
  3. Then add minced garlic, minced ginger, light soy sauce, maple syrup, and 1/2 grated apple.
  4. Add salt and black pepper, then turn the heat down to medium-low. Put the lid on, let it simmer for 30 minutes.
  5. While it is simmering, we prepare curry mix. Simply cut the curry block into small pieces, and place them in a mixing bowl. By using a whisk, stir and mix curry roux with hot boil water according to the ratio in the recipe, until it becomes a smooth paste.
  6. After 30 minutes, open the lid and check if potato and carrot are cooked. If yes, stir in curry paste gradually and also add cocoa powder. Once the sauce is thickened, it’s time to serve!

vegan-tofu-katsu-curry(how-to-use-Japanese-curry(how-to-use-Japanese-curry-packet)
vegan-tofu-katsu-curry(how-to-use-Japanese-curry(how-to-use-Japanese-curry-packet)

In terms of the rice, I used Jasmine rice( my favorite brand is Golden Phoenix Pure Jasmine Rice, I personally think this brand tastes the best!) but you could also use short-grain rice, brown rice, quinoa, or even cauliflower rice for something lighter and low carb, it’s totally up to you!

vegan-tofu-katsu-curry(how-to-use-Japanese-curry(how-to-use-Japanese-curry-packet)
Never thought gourmet food can be made easily.
vegan-tofu-katsu-curry(how-to-use-Japanese-curry(how-to-use-Japanese-curry-packet)
This homemade vegan tofu katsu curry will cure all your takeaway cravings

More Rice Dishes

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vegan-tofu-katsu-curry(how-to-use-Japanese-curry(how-to-use-Japanese-curry-packet)

Vegan Tofu Katsu Curry ( How to Use Japanese Curry Packet)

Today I gonna show you how to use Japanese curry packets to make restaurant Style Japanese comfort food at home.
5 from 6 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 278kcal
Author: SHU-CHUN

Ingredients

Curry Mix

  • 92 g S&B Golden Curry (Small packet) (note3)
  • 3 Cup Boiling Water
  • 2 tsp Cocoa Powder( note4)

Crispy Panko-Crusted Tofu Steak( in a seperated post, please check note5 )

    Instructions

    • Heat up cooking oil in medium-high heat in a heavy-based pot, add diced brown onion in and saute until they are softened.
    • Add diced potato and carrot into the pot, followed by vegetable stock and water according to the recipe.
    • Add minced garlic, minced ginger, light soy sauce, maple syrup and 1/2 grated apple.
    • Add salt and black pepper, then turn the heat down to medium-low. Put the lid on, let it simmer for 30 minutes.
    • While it is simmering, we prepare curry mix. Simply cut the curry block into small pieces, and place them in a mixing bowl. By using a whisk, stir and mix curry roux with hot boil water according to the ratio in the recipe, until it becomes a smooth paste.
    • After 30 minutes, open the lid and check if potato and carrot are cooked. If yes, stir in curry paste gradually and also add cocoa powder. Once the sauce is thickened, it’s ready to serve!

    Video

    Notes

    (note1)- salt-reduce store-bought vegetable stock or you can make your own, check here How to make Asian-Style Vegetable Stock, if you wanna use all water for this recipe, it’s also ok.
    ( note2)-  Fuji, Pink Lady…etc., not Granny Smith.
    (note3)- There are various Japanese curry roux blocks on the market, just need to make sure they are vegan-friendly before you purchase.
    I used S&B Golden curry roux for this recipe. For other brands, take out 1 cup of boiling water when making curry paste ( the paste gonna be thicker). And add it back accordingly after to reach your desired consistency. ( Different brands might be different in consistency and saltness)
    ( note4)-  unsweetened cocoa powder, it gives the curry a darker brown color and also slight bitterness.
    ( note5 )- Click for the recipe and instruction Crispy Panko-crusted Tofu Steak

    Nutrition

    Serving: 1serve | Calories: 278kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1652mg | Potassium: 853mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 14569IU | Vitamin C: 34mg | Calcium: 100mg | Iron: 2mg

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    4 thoughts on “Vegan Tofu Katsu Curry ( How to Use Japanese Curry Packet)”

    1. 5 stars
      we love restaurant tofu katsu curry and when I found your recipe, I thought I would try recreating it at home. Well, it was delicious and my family compeletely ate all of it. I added in some zucchini and spinach just to get some green vegetables in.
      My curry turned out a little thinner than the kind we usually get in the restaurant which is more stew like, not sure why that happened. I airfried the panko crusted tofu to try to be a little healthy and it worked out fine. WIll definitely make again.

      Reply
      • Hi SS,

        I’m happy you and your family enjoyed this recipe. Now you can make popular takeout at home easily.😃

        Did you use S&B Golden Curry? The consistency of you curry turned out thinner, I’d say that’s because you cooked zucchini and spinach in the curry sauce?

        As these two greens contain a lot of liquid( especially zucchini), they will release the juice into the curry while cooking, so the curry sauce will turn out thinner.

        You can either cook these two greens separately then add into the curry, or take out 1 cup of boiling water when making curry paste ( the paste gonna be thicker). And add it back accordingly after to reach your desired consistency.

        I’m glad air-fry tofu worked out for you. ( I like greasy pan-fried tofu 🤣)

        Hope the answer helps.

        Shu-Chun xx

        Reply
    2. 5 stars
      I just made your recipe and it’s extremely delicious and easy! I made it for my meat-eating partner too and he loved it. I also added leftover chickpeas and frozen spinach. Thank you, Shu-Chun!

      Reply
      • I’m so happy that you and your partner both enjoyed this dish( especially the win-over from a meat eater, that’s a Score!😆)
        Thanks for your feedback!!

        Reply

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