I think it’s fair to say that Wagamama made Vegan Katsu Curry a curry choice for many people. Here’s where I admit how much I love Wagamama’s approach to allergies. It’s always a manager that takes the order, they check, they talk to customers like adults. So for us, they warn that there is cross contamination in the fryer. That isn’t an issue for us, we’ve been fine with it but they discuss and then let us make the decision. It’s great – a big plus for us is the natural lack of dairy in recipes and the wonderful fresh flavours. It’s Molly’s favourite end of year ‘treat’ restaurant. Their allergy information is also clear, easy to find, and checked by management to make sure that nothing has changed recently.
But…and I accept this is sacrilege in some corners, I wasn’t a big fan of the Vegan Katsu Curry. I think the lack of variety in the veg didn’t work for me, plus I wanted a slightly lighter sauce. So this may not appeal to everyone – if you want a thicker sauce, then add in a bit more flour, or google Wagamama’s Katsu Curry recipe as they published it during the pandemic.
Our sauce is slightly darker, slightly thinner and with some additional flavourings. We love it. I make lots and we have leftovers for lunch. I really like having a mix of veg. Yes it’s a faff but you can fry all the vegetables and the tofu pretty much at the same time so it’s not that bad. The rice just happily cooks away while you’re frying.
Making the sauce isn’t too time consuming, you can do it the day before if you like, as curry sauces are always better the next day. This is a messy dish to put together, there’s no way around getting gooey hands dunking slices of vegetables into Aquafaba and then Panko Breadcrumbs. Just accept your fate and wash your hands as much as you need to.
If this curry doesn’t appeal, do check out our Vegan Lentil Curry instead!
Vegan Katsu Curry
For the Sauce
- 3 Cloves Crushed Garlic
- 1 Onion (finely sliced)
- 1 tsp Mirin
- 1 tsp Dark Soya Sauce
- 400 ml Vegan Stock
- 1 Can Coconut Milk
- 100 ml Coconut Cream
- 5 tsp Garam Masala
- 2 tsp Turmeric
- 1 tsp Maple Syrup
- 1 tsp Miso Paste
- 2 tsp Flour
- 2 inch Ginger (peeled and grated)
For Covering the Vegetables
- 200 ml Aquafaba
- 200-300 g Panko Breadcrumbs
- 1/3 Cup Plain Flour (seasoned with salt and pepper)
Vegetables Per Person - you can adapt for personal taste
- 3 Slices of Sweet Potato (about 1/4 inch thick)
- 2 Slices Aubergine
- 3 Slices Portobello Mushroom
- 2 to 3 Batons of Firm Tofu
- 3/4 Cup Basmati Rice
- Fry the onion until soft and then add in the garlic, garam masala, turmeric and ginger and fry briefly to toast the spices. Then stir the flour into the mix. Grab a whisk and add in the mirin, miso, soya sauce and maple syrup. Give it all a good stir.
- Slowly add in the stock whisking as you go, followed by the coconut milk and coconut cream.
- Allow it to bubble away for 25-30 minutes. Then pop it into a food processor, or use a hand processor and mix until you have a smooth sauce. This doesn't take long but do make sure you get all the ginger smoothed out. I now leave the sauce to cool and reheat it when I need it.
- Measure your rice - about 3/4 of a cup and prepare your rice pan.
- Slice all the vegetables - remember the sweet potato does need to be thin or it won't cook through. Press the Tofu for a few minutes to get the water out - I've never found that I have to press it for very long - maybe that's because I always use Firm Tofu. 10 minutes should do and then cut into batons.
- Pour the Aquafaba into a bowl and spread the Panko breadcrumbs out on a plate. Grab another plate and put about 1/3 cup of plain flour on it. Make sure you have a large plate close by to put the vegetables onto when they are done. Prepare a couple of frying pans by adding some flavourless oil (1 1/2 tbsp should do), and having them on the stove top ready to put the heat on.
- Dust the vegetables and Tofu batons in the flour, dip into the Aquafaba covering all sides and dip into the breadcrumbs. Do them all and have them ready to fry.
- Once the vegetables and tofu are done then put the heat on under the frying pans, and pop the rice in the pot. Simmer the rice in the normal way, basmati rice takes about 12 minutes but do keep an eye on it. Reheat your curry sauce now.
- With the frying pans on medium heat, (not smoking), place the vegetables and tofu into them carefully and fry until golden brown on the first side. Carefully, flip over so you don't splash oil, and continue frying. I had to add a bit more oil to the pan for the second side. With the degree of faffing with turning the veg over it takes about 8 minutes.
- Drain the rice, place the vegetables beside or on top, and cover with curry sauce.
- If the timings are a bit off - don't worry too much. You can leave the rice in the pan drained with the lid on to keep the heat in - or if the veg are done before the rice just turn the heat down low and keep them sizzling quietly for a few minutes.