Tofu Katsu Curry
I first discovered Japanese curry in Singapore. Curry blocks would sit prominently on supermarket shelves in a myriad of flavours, degrees of spiciness and brands.
As delicious and quick as the boxed packages of curry are, they're usually loaded with unhealthy additives, so over the years I practiced making my own Japanese curry from scratch.
It seems the secret to a good curry is called Kakushiaji - literally “hidden taste,” a cooking technique that involves adding a very small quantity of a contrasting ingredient to make subtle improvements to the overall taste. This can be coffee, chocolate, bananas, or...👇
For the tofu katsu:
Extra-firm tofu - 1 block
Panko breadcrumbs - 1/2 cup
All purpose flour - 3 tbsp, mixed with water to form a thick batter
Salt and pepper to taste
Oil to deep fry
For the curry:
Rapeseed oil - 2 tbsp
Ginger - 1 inch piece, grated
Garlic - 2 cloves, grated
Tapioca starch - 1 tbsp
Brown sugar - 1 tsp
Tamari sauce - 1 tbsp
Applesauce - 2 tbsp
Curry Powder [Coriander, Turmeric, Cumin, Fenugreek, Chilli, Fennel] - 1 tbsp
Chinese five-spice powder - 1 tsp
Onion - 1 medium, chopped finely
Vegetable stock - 250ml
Carrots - 2, one grated, one chopped into big chunks
Butternut squash - 150g
Sweet potato - 150g
Salt to taste
Make the tofu katsu. Slice tofu into 2cm thick slices. Dip in the flour-water batter seasoned with salt and pepper. Then coat in panko and deep fry. Keep aside and slice into bite-sized strips before serving.
Make the curry. Heat rapeseed oil and add grated ginger and garlic. Fry for 30 secs, then add soy sauce, sugar and increase heat for 30 secs.
Lower heat and add onion. Cook covered until translucent, then add grated carrot, applesauce and all spices at once. Stir well and allow to caramelise for a couple of minutes.
Next add the stock and blend to a gravy using an immersion blender.
Next add chopped carrot, squash and sweet potato. Adjust salt and cook covered until veggies are done.
Make a roux with tapioca starch and a little water and add it to the curry to thicken. Serve immediately with brown rice.