Vegan katsu curry

Vegan katsu curry

yasai katsu curry portion

Today’s dish is a hearty main inspired by Duncan’s favourite dish at Wagamama’s, an Asian fusion restaurant, where we used to dine quite often during our busy London life.

I made a yasai katsu curry or veggie katsu curry, except that it contains no egg in the batter so really it’s a vegan katsu curry. Thick slices of juicy aubergine and sweet potato coated in panko breadcrumbs and shallow fried until crispy and golden brown are accompanied by an aromatic curry sauce, plain rice and a simple green salad.

Vegan katsu curry is a bit of a treat as it’s not exactly health food, but I’m sure we can roll with treating ourselves to a bit of golden crispiness now and again, can’t we? 🙂

yasai katsu curry pan fried veggies

yasai katsu curry

yasai katsu curry close up

yasai katsu curry top down

serves
4
PREP
15 min
COOKING
45 min
serves
4
PREPARATION
15 min
COOKING
45 min
INGREDIENTS
  • 1 large aubergine
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled
  • about ½ cup all purpose flour / rice flour for GF version
  • salt & pepper
  • about 1 cup gelatinous aquafaba*, homemade or from a tin of chickpeas
  • about 100 g panko breadcrumbs** or GF breadcrumbs if required
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • high smoke oil for shallow frying

CURRY SAUCE

  • 2 tbsp neutral tasting oil
  • 1 large onion (I used red), finely diced
  • 5 garlic cloves, finely diced
  • 3 tsp ginger, finely grated
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
  • ½ Granny Smith (sour) apple, peeled and diced
  • 1 heaped tbsp white miso paste (GF miso for gluten-intolerance)
  • 4 tsp curry powder (I used hot madras curry powder)
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 4 tsp tamari or soy sauce
  • 2 tsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp mirin (sweet Japanese rice wine) or maple syrup, to taste

OPTIONAL EXTRAS

  • 1½-2 cups of your favourite rice, cooked or steamed
  • 1 head of lettuce, I used lollo rosso
  • a salad dressing: sesame oil, vinegar, mirin, tamari / soy sauce (all to taste)
METHOD
  1. Heat up 2 tbsp of oil in a frying pan with a matching lid. Add diced onion and sauté until almost transparent, add garlic and a minute or two later add ginger. Fry for another minute or two stirring frequently.
  2. Add sliced carrot, diced apple, curry powder and garam masala. Stir around and fry off for a minute or two.
  3. Dissolve 1 tbsp of miso paste in 1 cup of warm water and add it to the pan.
  4. Simmer, on low heat (with a lid on) for about 10-15 minutes until carrots and apples become soft.
  5. Transfer to an upright blender or use a stick blender to make a smooth, thick sauce. Season with tamari or soy sauce, rice vinegar and mirin. Add more water if the sauce is too thick.
  6. Prepare 4 plates. Pour about ½ cup of flour on the first one. Season the flour with generous amount of salt and pepper. Pour thick, egg white-like aquafaba onto the second plate. Pour breadcrumbs and a handful of white sesame seeds (if using) onto the third plate and line the fourth plate with double layer of paper towel.
  7. Cut aubergine and sweet potato into ½ cm or 0.2 inch thick slices. Don’t make them thicker or else the inside will remain raw.
  8. Fill a small frying pan or the bottom of a wok with frying oil and let it heat up.
  9. Dredge veggie slices in seasoned flour first, then in aquafaba and finally in breadcrumbs. Press the breadcrumbs into the slices and shake each piece gently before putting onto hot oil to allow excess breadcrumbs to come off.
  10. Fry for about 1-2 minutes on each side – until the coating becomes golden brown. Place freshly fried pieces on a plate with a kitchen towel to get rid of excess oil.
  11. Serve with rice, a simple green salad and a generous amount of curry sauce.

NOTES
*For this particular application, aquafaba (chickpea brine) should resemble an egg white in consistency so I recommend making it yourself – here is how. If you must use aquafaba from a tin of chickpeas, pour it into a pot and reduce on the stove by about 2/3. Cool before using to achieve thick, gelatinous aquafaba.

**My panko breadcrumbs had lots of big pieces in them so I ground them a little bit in a pestle and mortar before using to ensure that they stick to my veggies better.

The sauce has been adapted from Wagamama’s recipe.

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NUTRITIONAL INFO
calories
565
28%
sugars
17 g
19%
fats
19 g
27%
saturates
3 g
14%
proteins
14 g
28%
carbs
87 g
33%
*per serving
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4.9
14 reviews, 38 comments
REVIEWS & QUESTIONS
ashok:
Thanks For Sharing this amazing recipe. My family loved it. I will be sharing this recipe with my friends. Hope the will like it.
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thank you, I'm really happy to hear that it was such a success! x Ania
Pauline:
Yum! This Katsu curry sauce is amazing. I only had a red apple so used that and it worked well. Thanks again for another tasty recipe.
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks so much, Pauline. I'm delighted that you enjoyed it and thanks for returning to leave this lovely review - I really appreciate it. Ania
kellie:
Hi, can the sauce be frozen?
    Ania
    Ania:
    I haven't tried, but I don't see why not! Ania
Mischa:
Hi - thanks for sharing this recipe. I was wondering if you could please tell me if it's ok not to add the apple (I will in future, but don't have one on hand)
Thank you
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Mischa,
    Yeah sure, it will be okay, just squeeze in some lime/lemon juice at the end (after tasting). Ania
Steph:
Do you salt the aubergines first
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Steph,
    No, I don't bother as I have not had any issues with bitterness in ages, I've read somewhere that the farming technique has been improved and the aubergines they grow now aren't bitter. Ania
Anne-Marie:
Ooh very nice,I adapted it a smidge, used butternut squash+ sweet potato in the sauce,I think your recipe is absolutely superb,it has opened up so many avenues and options for us. Thank you.
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thank you for your kind words, Anne-Marie. I'm delighted that you enjoyed it and thank you for taking the time to review, I really appreciate it. x Ania
Seraphina:
Really enjoy using this recipe - it has become my go to when I want to make katzu curry! I love that the sauce is spicy, tangy and a little sweet. Delicious!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thank you so much for your kind words, Seraphina! I'm delighted that you enjoy it enough to incorporate it into your regular rotation. Ania
Mara:
I can't wait to try this!! I've been craving a katsu curry since Wagamama closed. I was wondering if I could replace the aquafaba with flax eggs?
Thanks!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Mara,
    Yes, absolutely. I used flax eggs in this recipe to a great effect. It's a touch messier to work with - you will need to use your hands most likely but it works well. I hope that helps!
Talie:
Hi, my husband has allergies to pitted fruits including apples. What can I use as a replacement ? Can I just leave it out all together. Will it still be as good?
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Talie,
    Sure, you can skip it. The sauce will still taste nice. Ania
Kate:
Can I use normal egg or egg whites instead of aquafaba?
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Kate,
    I'm sure you can, but I'm vegan so I have not used eggs for a very long time. You are probably better off finding a non-vegan recipe at this point. Ania
Rachel Kemp:
I made this tonight for dinner after having it at a friend's a few weeks ago and once again it was delicious!! I have lots of sauce left over so I enjoyed reading people's suggestions on how to use it.
    Ania
    Ania:
    That is lovely to hear, Rachel! Thank you! x Ania
Linh Ly:
I have always eaten the curry out of the package. It had a really distinct flavor unlike the curry of other Asian countries, and I didn't know where it came from or how to recreate it without all the MSG. This was AMAZING! I didn't have much luck with the frying (it was difficult to get the panko to stick), so I will try something different next time.
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks, Linh! I'm delighted to hear that! If aquafaba did not work for you (it need to be fairly thick), try the cornflour method instead - here is my new recipe for the same dish. Good luck! Ania
Megan F:
We made this curry to go with some storebought vegan katsu cutlets from fieldroast, we loved it! The apple and ginger really meld with the miso, so nice! Will have to try making the cutlets sometime.
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks, that's great to hear! Ania
Hannah:
This dish was amazing, we really enjoyed it. However it took absolutely ages to make, around about 3 hours! Wouldn’t reccomend if you’re pushed for time. The end result was delicious so it was worth it.
    Ania
    Ania:
    I'm glad you enjoyed the end result, Hannah although I'll be honest, I don't know how it took that long to cook. I agree, it's definitely a more elaborate meal, but 3 hours seems way too long. Ania
Leona:
Hi Ania, I am hoping to try this tonight and wondered how much oil you use to fry the aubergine/sweet potato. Is it a shallow fry-just lining the pan or does it need more oil- like deep frying. I can’t wait to try this recipe- sounds amazing!! I’ve tried a few of your recipes and they don’t disappoint x
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Leona,
    Thank you, that's lovely to hear. Deep frying is probably best, but not necessary - I hardly ever do that, but it certainly helps if the oil level is enough to half submerge whatever you are frying, about 1.5 cm / 0.5" in this case, I would say. You might to top it up as you go along. Hope it helps! Ania
La lemur:
Thanks, thanks, thanks !!! I used to live in London and loved this dish, but now I live in Sevilla where there is no Wagamama. I just followed your recipe and the curry sauce is exactly as I remembered. Thank you again! You made my day!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Yay! I'm delighted to hear that, especially that I'm a fellow ex-Londoner who used to love eating out at Waga's ;). Ania
Kitty:
This was a great recipe - so yummy! We can't wait to make it again now that we're familiar with the recipe and can keep track of the moving parts a bit better. Thank you for sharing. :)
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thank you for commenting, Kitty! I'm delighted to hear that it was a success! Ania
Isabela:
This was delicious, both tasty and satisfying! Thank you for your recipes. We are trying to eat less meat and your website makes it easy and even exciting!
    Ania
    Ania:
    My pleasure, Isabela! I'm delighted to hear that you enjoy my recipes even though you aren't vegan. That's a great compliment! Ania
Melissa:
Cooked this tonight as I've been craving the wagamamas version for a while and this totally satisfied my craving!
I didn't have apples so didn't use them but will do next time, although I think the taste of the dish was still great.
I also used almond milk instead of aquafaba and it worked absolutely fine. Nice, crispy coating.
Thanks so much for sharing this recipe as it's non-complicated and not too time consuming but super yummy!
    Ania
    Ania:
    You're very welcome and I'm delighted to hear that you enjoyed it, Melissa! :) Ania
Jennifer:
Hi,
I love this recipe but I'm having problems making it "crispy" the eggplant is soggy and greasy afterwards, what do you recommend for this? I love this idea and the flavour, but I dread eating a veggie that is super oily (even though I am deep frying them when the oil is very hot)
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Jennifer,
    Thanks, I'm glad to hear you like this recipe. As for greasy eggplant, my suspicion is that the oil is not heated up enough prior to eggplant being added. Hope that helps! Ania
This is an awesome recipe thank u so much :) ive been wanting a replacement to the version a known restaurant here in Australia called Don Don's havd but their vegetarian option actually has chicken stock, and i've found it here.
    Ania
    Ania:
    That's so lovely to hear, Vi! I'm chuffed to hear that it allowed you to re-create something you used to enjoy! :) Ania
Matilda:
I just made this dish for my parents! I'm used to only cooking for myself (I'm not as picky ;) ) but they really enjoyed it as well! For once I actually followed the recipe exactly and it all came together so nicely. It feels so rewarding, especially since the recipe called for ingredients i normally don't use :) When I was living abroad my Japanese friend always went on about Japanese curry and how she'd make it for us one day. It never happened and now we live in different countries. But after making this I definitely understand why she was so enthusiastic about it!
Thanks so much for a great recipe :)
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks so much, Matilda :) I'm really pleased the meal was a success and went down well with your parents too! Also, thank you for taking the time to leave a comment! I appreciate it! Ania
Wendy Gerster:
Just have to comment on this. Made it on Sunday and daughter flipped out! It was amazing! "Who needs meat?!" we said to ourselves. We lived in Japan for 17 years and this was just the right taste - the real deal! Great idea to put miso into curry sauce - would never have thought of it. Had bought some white miso (2 years ago?! Where did the time go to?) but never got round to using it. It was black not white, but still smelled good and tasted fine. Will definitely be making this again!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Aw, thanks so much, Wendy! I'm sooo pleased you guys liked it so much, especially as you are clearly no stranger to Japanese food! That's so nice to hear - comments like this are so motivating! Thank you!!! :)
Victoria:
Never heard of Aubergine!! Seriously. I have been cooking for 50 years and I have no idea.
    Ania
    Ania:
    You may have heard it called 'eggplant', perhaps? It's a great ingredient. Its neutral flavour absorbs all sorts of marinades really well and has a pleasant, almost meat-like texture. I love it and hope you'll too! :)
      Louise:
      Wow! Wow! Wow!
      I had this dish at Wagamama's and loved it ... so you can imagine my joy when I saw your recipe, especially a veganised version! Thanks
        Ania
        Ania:
        Hi Louise, that's so nice to hear! I hope you'll love it as much as the original! :) x
    Louise:
    Amazing!! Thanks for this wonderful recipe, I use the curry sauce for all sorts, pizza topping, dip with naan ...
      Ania
      Ania:
      Thanks Louise! That's great to hear! :) Ania
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