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With crispy tofu katsu, and a rich and spicy Japanese curry sauce, this vegan katsu curry rice is is a mouthwatering treat.

Vegan Katsu Curry

With a crispy tofu cutlet smothered in Japanese curry sauce, this authentic vegan Katsu Curry recipe is a delicious symphony of textures, tastes, and flavors that's easy enough to make at home.
Course Entree
Cuisine Japanese-Western
Keyword comfort food, curry, deep-fried
Level Beginner
Main Ingredient Tofu
Diet Dairy-Free, Pescatarian, Vegan, Vegetarian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 2 servings
Calories 794kcal


Curry sauce

  • 1 ½ cups vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoon date syrup
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon potato starch
  • 200 grams onion (~1 medium onion)
  • 120 grams carrot (1 small carrot)
  • 15 grams garlic (~3 large cloves)
  • 15 grams ginger (peeled)
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 14 grams Japanese curry powder (~ 2 tablespoons)

Flash fried vegetables

  • 80 grams mild green peppers (seeds removed and cut into strips)
  • 80 grams red bell peppers (seeds removed and cut into strips)
  • 150 grams kabocha (seeds removed and sliced thinly)
  • 150 grams Japanese eggplant (halved)
  • vegetable oil (for frying)


  • The day before you want to prepare your Katsu Curry, follow the steps in my tofu katsu recipe to prepare the tofu.
    1 batch tofu katsu
    Squeeze out water from pack of tofu.
  • Prepare the vegetables. You need to make sure they are very well dried after washing them, or they will spatter when you fry them. I recommend cutting slits about 1/8-inch apart into the skin side of the eggplant, so it cooks through faster while keeping the skin from getting tough. This is also a good time to bread your katsu and prepare a cooling rack with a few sheets of paper towels.
    80 grams red bell peppers, 150 grams kabocha, 150 grams Japanese eggplant, 80 grams mild green peppers
    Scoring eggplant skin with knife.
  • Whisk the vegetable stock, soy sauce, tomato paste, date syrup, cocoa powder, and potato starch together in a bowl until evenly combined.
    1 1/2 cups vegetable stock, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 2 tablespoons tomato paste, 2 tablespoon date syrup, 1 teaspoon cocoa powder, 1 tablespoon potato starch
    Curry seasoning mixture for katsu curry.
  • Roughly chop the onion, carrot, garlic, and ginger. Add them to a food processor blender and puree until smooth. You can also do this with the rasp side of a box grater or using a daikon grater.
    200 grams onion, 120 grams carrot, 15 grams garlic, 15 grams ginger
    Pureed onions and carrots in food processor.
  • Pour the pureed vegetable mixture into a frying pan(I recommend a non-stick pan) and stir in the baking soda.
    1/4 teaspoon baking soda
    Onion and carrot puree with baking soda to raise pH.
  • Put the pan on the stove over medium-high heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Stir regularly and let the mixture cook until any extra liquid has evaporated and it starts to thicken into a paste (5-6 minutes).
    Reducing onion and carrot puree to make Japanese curry sauce.
  • Add the oil and then fry the paste until it's glossy and tan in color (another 5-6 minutes). This is a good time to start preheating a high-sided pot with about 1-inch of oil up to 340°F (170°C) to fry your katsu and vegetables.
    2 tablespoon vegetable oil
    Caramelized onions, carrots, garlic, and ginger in frying pan.
  • Add the curry powder into the pan with the caramelized vegetables and quickly stir them together to toast the spices.
    14 grams Japanese curry powder
    Caramelized vegetable paste for katsu curry.
  • Pour the vegetable stock mixture into the pan and stir it in. Reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer and stir periodically.
    Katsu curry sauce in pan.
  • Deep fry the vegetables one type at a time. The kabocha will take about 2-3 minutes. The peppers will take anywhere from 30 seconds to a minute, and you'll know they're done when the skin starts to bubble. Drain the vegetables on the prepared rack.
    vegetable oil
    Frying green peppers in oil.
  • For the eggplant, you want to add them into the oil skin-side down to prevent them from turning brown. Flip them over after 30 seconds and continue frying them for about another minute. Drain the eggplant cut-side down on the prepared cooling rack.
    Frying eggplant.
  • Fry the tofu katsu according to the recipe.
    Deep frying vegan katsu in oil.
  • To plate your Katsu Curry, slice the tofu katsu and arrange it on a bed of cooked rice along with the fried vegetables. Pour the curry sauce over half of the katsu and vegetables and serve immediately while the katsu is still crisp.
    2 servings cooked Japanese short-grain rice
    Pouring curry sauce over katsu and rice.


Calories: 794kcal | Carbohydrates: 166g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 2078mg | Potassium: 1372mg | Fiber: 12g | Sugar: 27g | Vitamin A: 13161IU | Vitamin C: 112mg | Calcium: 139mg | Iron: 6mg