Last updated on May 19th, 2020 at 02:42 pm
An easy and quick curry with warming ginger, curry and garam masala, this Japanese Tofu Curry is a delicious bowl of comfort ready in around 30 minutes.
WHAT IS JAPANESE CURRY?
Curry most likely arrived in Japan in the 19th century with the British who were ruling India at the time. Tweaked to suit local tastes, Japanese curry is sweeter and more subtle than Indian curry. It has far less heat and is more stew-like than other curries. Japanese Curry or karē is commonly served one of three ways:
karē raisu – over rice
karē udon – over noodles and
karē pan – curry bread
MAKING KATSU CURRY VEGAN
We have a lovely little Japanese kitchen not two minutes from our house. It’s our go – to when Mummy isn’t up to battling the Elf to eat her dinner; she loves her maki rolls and I love not arguing so it’s a win-win.
I am faithful to the kitchen’s Tofu Teriyaki-don and am planning to heist the recipe but I also catch myself eyeing off the Husband’s curry. IT SMELLS SO GOOD!
The restaurant serves both a chicken curry and a pork curry, neither of which I can eat.
Thankfully, it’s no longer an issue. After breaking down the original katsu chicken curry recipe I found the yum isn’t in the bird, it’s in the SAUCE.
A QUICK JAPANESE CURRY
I based this vegan version of Japanese Tofu Curry on a lovely recipe from Emma Knowles and am so completely chuffed with the result. The sauce in this curry is slightly sweet, warmly ginger-ish and spiced just enough with garam masala and curry powder.
Additionally, this curry sauce is quick. While I do love slow cooked curries with their layers of deep flavours, I can’t go past a deeply flavourful sauce made in fifteen minutes flat.
To balance the creamy, thick sauce texture and to best emulate the original chicken katsu (“katsu” is short for “katsuretsu” the Japanese transliteration of the word cutlet), I crumbed slices of silky tofu in panko crumbs and fried.
Served with a steamy bowl of jasmine rice, a scattering of spring onion and julienne carrots, this Japanese tofu curry is a quick, flavourful and wonderfully layered curry option. Quick to prepare this warming, gently ginger and slightly spiced curry will certainly make many more appearances on our table. The Husband doesn’t miss the chicken and the Elf even ate her share. In a family of omnivores, this is high praise indeed.
More curry recipes:
Japanese Tofu Curry
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil or a neutral flavoured oil
- 1 brown onion finely sliced
- 1 tsp fresh grated ginger
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 tsp curry powder
- 2 tsp plain flour (I use spelt because that's what we keep in the pantry)
- 1 ½ cups vegetable stock
- 3 tbsp tamari
- 1 ½ tbsp rice syrup or honey
- 1 tsp rice vinegar
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 300 grams medium to firm Momen tofu
- ¼ cup soy or almond milk
- 2 tbsp flour
- ⅓ cup panko crumbs vegan
- 4 tbsp vegetable oil to shallow fry
- 2 cups steamed rice
- 1 scallion sliced in to rounds to serve
- 1 carrot peeled and julienned
- To make the curry sauce, heat the vegetable oil in a pan over medium-high heat.
- Add the onion, ginger and garlic and sauté until tender, around 3 minutes.
- Add curry powder and stir until fragrant.
- Stir in flour and cook for 1 and a half minutes.
- Slowly whisk in the stock, add the soy sauce and rice syrup and simmer stirring occasionally for 10 minutes or until sauce thickens.
- Stir in rice vinegar and garam masala and keep warm.
- To make the crispy tofu, pop the tofu out on to a kitchen towel to drain for 10 minutes.
- Slice tofu block in to 1cm (approx 1/2 inch) thick slices.
- Put flour on a plate, the milk in a medium bowl and the Panko crumbs on another plate. Sit them beside each other with a large plate at the end to put the finished crumbed tofu.
- Roll each slice of the tofu in the flour, then the milk and finally roll in the crumbs.
- Heat enough oil to fill a fry pan 1/2 inch. Test heat by flicking some cold water in, if it sizzles, it's ready.
- Shallow fry the tofu for around 2 minutes on each side or until golden. Place on kitchen paper to drain.
- To serve, place a few good spoons of steamed rice on to a plate or in a bowl, place the crumbed tofu around and spoon a curry sauce over. Serve with fresh shallots and carrot