We love chicken katsu at our house, but last week I changed it up and tried making a Vegetarian friendly version of chicken katsu using tofu for when we want to go meatless and not have meat. The process is exactly the same as the chicken katsu version, but you will be substituting a block of firm tofu for the chicken. Also, I see anchovies in the list of ingredients in Worcestershire sauce so to make the katsu sauce vegetarian friendly, I just left out the Worcestershire sauce and used soy sauce for the salty component of the sauce.
The kids really loved the ultra crispy exterior and the tender well-seasoned interior of the tofu. They really enjoyed the different textures in every bite and didn’t mind it not being chicken. With their approvals, this will be added to our list of things to make when we’re not in the mood for meat moving forward.
Tofu Katsu Ingredients:
1 pound block of firm tofu, sliced lengthwise into three pieces
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 large eggs. lightly whisked
2 cups Panko bread crumbs
Vegetable Oil for frying
Katsu Sauce Ingredients:
1/2 cup Heinz ketchup
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon crushed black pepper
Make Katsu Sauce – In a small bowl, whisk ketchup, soy sauce, sugar, garlic powder, and crushed black pepper until combined. Set aside.
Season Tofu– Season both sides of the tofu with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Set aside.
Create Dredging Station – Create an assembly line with 3 plates. Add all-purpose flour to the first plate, eggs to the second plate, and panko bread crumbs in the third plate.
Dredge Tofu – Dredge tofu in a layer of flour, dip in a layer of egg, and finally coat with a layer panko bread crumbs. Set aside.
Fry Tofu – Heat skillet on medium-medium-high heat and add enough oil to cover half the katsu. Fry each side of the tofu katsu for about 3-4 minutes or until golden brown. Slice and serve with rice, salad, and a side of katsu sauce.
- Use firm or extra firm tofu so it doesn’t fall apart too easily.
- The longer you let the katsu sauce meld and get happy together, the better the sauce will get.
- Pay attention to how hot the pan gets while frying. If the tofu is browning too fast, lower the heat down to medium and begin flipping every 30 seconds or so for even frying.