Tuesday 19 May 2020


I adore the fragrant and rich sauce that is at the core of a Japanese katsu curry yet had never thought of trying to make my own version from scratch at home until these never ending lockdown times! A rookie errors as it turns out, as making it couldn't have been easier and the final sauce even better than the infamous one plated up at Wagamamas pre-Covid. 

Traditionally, the sauce comes served with breaded deep-fried cutlets of meat (usually pork or chicken) but this version works a total treat with thick slices of aubergine and sweet potato, dipped in egg yolk and with a wonderful panko crust (Japanese-style bread crumbs made from white bread without the crusts which results in a lighter, airier breadcrumb that absorbs less grease and stays crispier for longer than their traditional counterparts), making this the perfect veggie version of the classic Katsu curry that is also dairy free! 

I had my curry and veg with cauliflower "rice" which you can get readily grated at Sainsbury's and which was turned out to be a total game changer. I am not a big fan of rice unless we are talking risotto or sushi but this finely grated cauliflower, once you have sautéed it in a frying pan, no oil needed, is perfect to soak up the amazing sauce without the carby heaviness of rice so I can really only recommend it! 

It seems pretty easy to make at home too, as long as you have a food processor or are willing to invest some elbow grease by grating the uncooked cauliflower by hand but I picked up a bag for under a pound and honestly cauliflower rice or whatever you want to call it will for sure make a more regular appearance in my cooking. 

If you can, also do try and find the proper panko bread crumbs, their crispiness really elevated the sliced up vegetables into something quite special, and most Asian supermarkets do stock them. 

While there also pick up some pickled sushi ginger which works so well on the side of the curry to cut through the richness of the sauce! 

This is proper comfort food with a healthy edge that you can rustle up in under an hour and for sure one to be added to my permanent recipe repertoire!

Serves 2

For the curry sauce:
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 5cm piece ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 tsp medium curry powder
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp garam masala 
  • 350ml vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp mirin
  • 1-2 tsp soy sauce, to taste

For the katsu veg:
  • 1 aubergine, cut into discs
  • 1 medium sweet potato, cut into discs
  • 2 tbsp plain flour, seasoned
  • 1 egg, beaten (or 5 tbsp nut milk)
  • Panko breadcrumbs

To serve:
  • Cauliflower rice (I got mine ready to be quickly sautéed in a frying pan from Sainsbury's)
  • Pickled sushi ginger
  • Edamame beans 

  • Begin by making the curry sauce.
  • Heat a drizzle of oil in a saucepan and add the onion, garlic and ginger.
  • Cook on a low heat for 6-8 minutes, until softened.
  • Stir in the curry powder, turmeric and garam masala, then cook for a further 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the stock, honey, mirin and soy sauce.
  • Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and blitz with a stick blender or food processor, until smooth.
  • Return to the pan and cover to keep warm.
  • Then it's time to prepare your veggies!
  • In a pan of boiling water, par-boil the sweet potato slices until just tender.
  • Drain and pat dry with kitchen towel.
  • Coat the aubergine and sweet potato slices in the seasoned flour, then dip in the beaten egg before coating in the panko breadcrumbs.
  • Pour enough vegetable oil into a wide frying pan to just cover the base, then heat on medium until shimmering. 
  • Add a few slices of the panko vegetables (don’t overcrowd the pan) and fry for 2-3 minutes, until golden, then flip and do the same on the other side.
  • Drain on kitchen paper while you cook the rest of the vegetables.
  • Serve the fried katsu vegetables with the curry sauce, cauliflower rice, edamame beans and pickled ginger.

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