Vegan Japaneasy Recipe | Cauliflower Katsu Curry

Nicky cooked and loved many recipes from Tim Anderson’s Vegan Japaneasy. With kind permission from publishers Hardie Grant to share three of Nicky’s favourite recipes from the book with you.

Cauliflower Katsu Curry Recipe from Vegan Japaneasy Recipe by Tim Anderson

Yesterday, we shared Tim’s Rough Night Rice. Today, we have a vegetarian katsu made with sliced cauliflower.

Cauliflower Katsu Curry Recipe from Vegan Japaneasy Recipe by Tim Anderson

Caulflower Katsu Curry

The ‘katsu’ in katsu curry refers to the breaded, fried thing that goes onto it, not to the curry itself – and that breaded, fried thing can be just about anything. So why not our old friend cauliflower, which can be just as juicy, flavourful and satisfying as any chicken breast? The combination of farty-sweet cauliflower and the mellow spice of Japanese curry is a perfect match.
Servings 4 servings
Author Tim Anderson

Ingredients

Caulflower Katsu

  • 1 very large cauliflower cut into 4 large vertical slabs that hold together at their cores
  • 60 grams (2 oz / scant ½ cup) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • vegan egg replacer, equivalent to 4 eggs, prepared according to the manufacturers’ instructions
  • 120-150 grams (4–5 oz / 2½–2¾ cups) panko breadcrumbs
  • oil, for shallow-frying for shallow-frying
  • few pinches of salt
  • 800 ml (27 fl oz / scant 3½ cups) dashi or seasoned vegetable broth
  • 200 grams (7 oz) Japanese Curry Roux (see below)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • hot chilli sauce, to taste
  • about 40 grams (1½ oz) red pickled ginger, to garnish (optional)
  • few big pinches of sesame seeds to garnish

Japanese Curry Roux

  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1 small ripe banana, diced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato puree paste
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter or similar nut butter
  • 60 grams 2 oz/scant ? cup plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 2 tablespoons garam masala
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional)

Curry Sauce (1 portion)

  • 200 ml (7 fl oz / scant 1 cup) dashi or seasoned vegetable broth
  • 50 grams (2 oz / 3 tablespoons) curry roux
  • teaspoons soy sauce
  • teaspoons ketchup
  • hot chilli sauce, to taste

Instructions

Cauliflower Katsu

  • Preheat the oven to 100ºC (210°F/Gas ½).
  • Dredge the cauliflower slabs in the flour, then in the egg replacer or batter, and then in the panko, ensuring that they are completely and evenly coated.
  • Heat about 1 cm (½ in) depth of oil in a large frying pan (skillet) over a medium-high heat, then carefully lower in the cauliflower katsu and fry for about 5 minutes on each side, until golden brown all over. You will have to do this in batches unless you have an absolutely enormous frying pan, so drain the cauliflower on paper towels, season with a few pinches of salt, then place on a baking sheet and transfer to the oven to keep hot while the others are cooking.
  • Meanwhile, bring the dashi or broth to the boil in a saucepan and whisk in the curry roux, soy sauce, ketchup and hot sauce. Boil for another 5 minutes or so, whisking frequently, until the mixture thickens up nicely.
  • To serve, dish some rice up onto big plates, then ladle on the curry sauce and place the fried cauliflower on top (slice it first if you like, or just serve it with a knife and fork). Garnish with the pickled ginger, if using, and the sesame seeds.

Japanese Curry Roux

  • Heat the coconut and vegetable oils together in a saucepan over a medium heat, then add the onion and saut. until soft and slightly brown. Add the banana and continue to cook until the banana browns and starts to break apart. Add the tomato pur.e, peanut butter, flour, spices and yeast flakes (if using) and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until the spices have softened and the fat has absorbed the flour. Transfer to a food processor or use a hand-held stick blender to pur.e the roux. Leave to cool, then divide into 50 g (2 oz/3 tablespoons) portions and transfer to the refrigerator, where it will keep for about a week, or to the freezer, where it will keep for several months.
  • To reconstitute and season the roux, use the following measurements:

Curry Sauce (1 portion)

  • Bring the broth to the boil and add the roux, soy sauce and ketchup. Whisk to break up the roux and cook for 5–10 minutes until the mixture thickens.
  • Taste and adjust the flavour with chilli sauce, as needed.

Extracted from Vegan Japaneasy by Tim Anderson (Hardie Grant, hardback & ebook available) Photography © Nassima Rothacker. 

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