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Vegan tofu katsu glazed with a spicy sweet homemade katsu sauce.

Tofu Katsu

This easy vegan tofu katsu recipe has all my tricks to make a meaty tofu cutlet packed with umami and breaded in an ultra-crispy panko crust. I'm also going to show you how to make an authentic homemade Japanese katsu sauce that goes perfectly with this vegan and vegetarian friendly katsu.
Course Entree
Cuisine Japanese-Western
Keyword crispy, deep-fried
Level Beginner
Main Ingredient Tofu
Diet Dairy-Free, Pescatarian, Vegan, Vegetarian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 2 cutlets
Calories 831kcal


Vegan Tofu Katsu

  • 1 pack tofu
  • 2 teaspoons marmite
  • ¼ cup vegetable stock
  • 40 grams flour (~ 1/3 cup)
  • cup cold water
  • 35 grams panko (~1 cup)
  • vegetable oil (for frying)

Vegan Katsu Sauce

  • ¼ cup sake
  • ¼ cup apple juice
  • ¼ cup vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoon ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons date syrup
  • 80 grams onion (grated or pureed)
  • 7 grams garlic (1 large clove grated)


  • At least one day before you plan to make the katsu, cut a slit in the package of tofu and drain out as much water as you can. Then, put the package of tofu in the freezer until it is frozen solid.
    1 pack tofu
    Squeeze out water from pack of tofu.
  • Set the block of frozen tofu on a wire rack with a weighted tray on top. Jars or cans work well as weights. You may need to partially defrost the tofu first to keep the tray from slipping off.
  • While you wait for the tofu to press, make the katsu sauce by adding the sake and apple juice to a pot and boiling the liquid until it becomes thick and syrupy (about 8-10 minutes). Add the remaining sauce ingredients and continue boiling it until the grated onions dissolve and the sauce is nice and thick.
    1/4 cup sake, 1/4 cup apple juice, 1/4 cup vegan Worcestershire sauce, 2 tablespoon soy sauce, 2 tablespoons date syrup, 80 grams onion, 7 grams garlic, 2 tablespoon ketchup
    Bubbling pot of homemade katsu sauce.
  • Drain off all of the liquid that comes out of the tofu, and then slice the block in half horizontally.
    Slicing frozen tofu in half.
  • To season the tofu, dissolve the Marmite in the vegetable stock and use a pastry brush to brush the mixture onto every tofu surface. You won't need all of the liquid, but make sure you get a good coating on the tofu.
    2 teaspoons marmite, 1/4 cup vegetable stock
    Brushing each tofu cutlet with seasoning.
  • Add the flour and cold water into a flat-bottomed container that's large enough to hold a tofu cutlet and mix it until it's smooth and free of any large lumps. Next, prepare a second container by filling it with panko.
    40 grams flour, 1/3 cup cold water
    Batter for coating tofu katsu.
  • Dip the tofu katsu in the batter, coating all sides, and allow any excess batter to drip off.
    Battering tofu cutlet.
  • Transfer the tofu to the panko and scoop some panko on top. Shake the whole container to distribute the panko evenly, coat the sides, and repeat with the other cutlet.
    35 grams panko
    Breading Tofu katsu with panko.
  • Prepare a wire rack by lining it with paper towels and preheat 1-inch oil in a high-sided pot to 340°F (170°C).
    vegetable oil
  • Carefully lower the vegan cutlets into the oil and let them fry on one side for 2 minutes.
    Flipping over vegan tofu katsu.
  • Flip the katsu over and fry it for another 2 minutes. Continue flipping and frying until the panko is golden brown. Drain the tofu katsu on the prepared rack. Slice and serve with the homemade katsu sauce.
    Deep frying vegan katsu in oil.


Calories: 831kcal | Carbohydrates: 160g | Protein: 44g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1271mg | Potassium: 417mg | Fiber: 13g | Sugar: 27g | Vitamin A: 116IU | Vitamin C: 35mg | Calcium: 386mg | Iron: 12mg