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Tofu Katsu Curry (Vegan)

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5 from 16 reviews

  • Author: Lisa Kitahara
  • Total Time: 0 hours
  • Yield: 3 servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


Crunchy tofu katsu served with white rice and a rich Japanese curry sauce! So hearty, flavourful and is truly the ultimate comfort dish. (Vegan + Gluten free option)


Units Scale


Tofu Katsu

  • 1 block (350 – 450 g) tofu of choice (see details about tofu selection in the blogpost)
  • 3 tbsp all potato starch or flour
  • 1/4 cup non-dairy yogurt or aquafaba
  • 2 tsp oil, optional
  • 1 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
  • salt
  • pepper

For serving

  • cooked rice
  • fukushinzuke
  • ryakyo



  1. Prepare one batch of curry, preferably the night before or earlier in the day to allow flavours to mature and mend together. 

Katsu Tofu

  1. Choose method of preparing and pressing the tofu (see blogpost for details). I’m using traditional / medium firm tofu and have froze, thawed and pressed it twice. If using firm or extra firm, freeze overnight and thaw in the fridge. Press any excess moisture out. If pressed for time, you may press firm or extra firm tofu for a minimum of 20 minutes to remove any excess moisture. You can do this with a tofu press or by placing a flat object (like a cutting board) on top with a heavy object on top of that. 
  2. For one regular sized cutlet, slice the block of tofu into 1/2 inch width pieces (I’m able to get 3 per block of tofu). Then cut off the corners and shape as desired. For mini cutlets, slice the block of tofu into 4. You can use the tofu as is or cut them into irregular shapes to make them look more like nuggets. 
  3. Line up 3 shallow bowls. Add the potato starch to one, yogurt to the next and panko to the third. Add the oil to the yogurt or aquafaba bowl and stir (if using- this helps prevent the panko from detaching when frying). If using a thick yogurt, add a little water to thin it out a bit. 
  4. Pat the tofu dry with a lint free towel or paper towel. Sprinkle a bit of salt and pepper to each side. Coat in potato starch and then the yogurt on both sides and all the edges. I find using a fork makes this process much easier and less messy. Then press it into the panko, ensuring you get a nice even coat on each side and around the edges. Gently shake off any excess panko. Repeat for remaining pieces.

Deep Fry

  1. Add oil to a heavy bottom pot about 1 1/2 – 2 inches in height. Heat the oil over medium high heat and wait until the oil is heated to 180 C / 350 F. If you don’t have a thermometer, add a piece of panko to the oil, if it floats up then it’s ready to start frying.
  2. Place 1-2 pieces of the katsu into the oil and deep fry for a few minutes (about 1 – 1/2 minutes) without moving it around. When it gets golden brown, carefully flip it over and cook for another 2-3 minutes until golden brown. 
  3. Remove the katsu with tongs or chopsticks and then place on a paper-lined wire rack or plate. Repeat until all of them are fried

Air fried

  1. Follow steps 1-4 from above. Pre-heat air fryer to 375 F. Spray the air fryer basket and katsu with oil (optional, but will make them more crispy and ‘fried’). Place the tofu katsu into the basket and air fry for about 6-8 minutes or until light golden brown. Flip and air fry for another 5 minutes or until golden brown.


  1. Follow steps 1-3 from above. Pre-heat oven to 400 F. Place a oven-safe wire rack onto a baking sheet (or parchment paper).  
  2. In a pan over medium heat, add the panko and spray with oil. Cook until golden brown. Remove from heat and add to the third bowl. Then follow step 4 from above.
  3. Place the tofu katsu onto the wire rack and bake for 10-12 minutes on each side or until golden brown.

To serve

  1. Add cooked rice to a shallow bowl along with the curry. Top with katsu and enjoy!


  • Helpful Equipment: temperature thermometer
  • Nutritional Information Disclaimer: Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated on an online tool (Cronometer). 
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: minutes
  • Category: Entree
  • Method: Deep frying
  • Cuisine: Japanese


  • Serving Size: 1 serving