Delicious Vegan Katsu Curry made with crunchy tempeh ‘steaks’ and a flavoursome homemade katsu curry sauce.
Dinner goals are served right up with this Vegan Katsu Curry! I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to create my own katsu recipe for the blog – after all it’s been one of my go-to meals since Wagamama’s launched their vegan menu (it’s honestly divine!). On another note, also the Wasabi Take-Away Pumpkin Katsu is one of my regular supermarket pick ups – for those eves after a long day of work, when I can’t be bothered to cook from scratch (yes, those days do happen).
So all in all, it’s a miracle that it’s taken until now for me to share a vegan katsu curry recipe with you, but here we are!
Katsu Curry is traditionally a Japanese Curry, served with a fried panko protein and a ‘Tonkatsu’ Sauce that is created with a thick vegetarian pureed fruit-based brown sauce. Aside from the tasty & flavourful tonkatsu sauce, my favourite part about the katsu curry is the crunchy addition on top! For their vegan version Wagamama coat either vegetables or a Seitan steak in panko breadcrumbs, which is then fried. On the other hand, Wasabi coat little discs of pumpkin in panko for an extra crunch in the dish.
For my ‘katsu style’ recipe I’ve used tempeh as I find it adds a perfect bite to the recipe, not to mention some extra protein! For my sauce I’ve blended carrots, onion and garlic alongside some punch packing spices and coconut cream for an extra smooth finish.
Please not that this vegan katsu recipe is in no way an authentic representation of a traditional katsu recipe, but simply my own interpretation bringing out the flavours I enjoy the most and using only simple supermarket ingredients. So all in all, it’s an easy-to-make recipe at home that packs a whole lot of flavour!
What you need for this recipe
Get your pen at the ready and write your shopping list to make this vegan katsu curry! Here’s what you need:
- tempeh: I love using the plain block from Tiba Tempeh
- panko breadcrumbs
- plain flour
- curry powder
- plant milk
- yellow onion
- garam masala
- garlic cloves
- vegetable stock cube
- coconut cream
- salt & pepper to taste
- oil to fry: make sure to use an oil with a high smoke point, I usually stick to rapeseed or avocado oil
- cooked rice to serve, basmati is a great choice!
- sesame seeds & chilli flakes to garnish
- oven & baking tray
How to make tempeh katsu curry
There are 3 main aspects to this recipe: the rice, the tonkatsu style sauce and the crunchy tempeh.
The simplest part! Simply serve with your favourite rice and prepare according to packaging instructions. I usually have some white basmati in my pantry, so this is what I like to use. I also usually ignore the packaging instructions (naughty me!) and instead wash the rice, then heat a 1:2 rice to water ratio on the stove until boiling, reduce the heat to a minimum and place a lid on top, then allow for the rice to do its thing until fully cooked. Without opening the lid (that’s an important part!)! Creates the fluffiest rice each time. Of course, if you own a rice cooker, go for that.
I like to use the plain Tiba Tempeh block for this recipe. Simply cut it into discs of about 1 cm thickness, then prepare the batter and the panko mix in 2 separate bowls. For the batter, combine curry powder, plain flour and plant milk (see amounts below!) and whisk until smooth. In another bowl, place your panko breadcrumbs.
Heat a little oil in a large non-stick pan. Dip each tempeh disc into the batter, allow for any access to drip off for 5-10 seconds, then pop it into the panko breadcrumbs and place it into the hot oil over medium/high heat. Flip after 1-2 minutes or when the bottom begins to brown and remove from the pan once both sides are golden and crunchy. Place onto a kitchen towel to remove any access oil.
Optional: You can serve the tempeh discs whole or sliced (see pictures) – the sliced version is probably the easier serving option.
The sauce is easy to create: simply cook the onion in a little oil until softened, in the meantime cook or steam the carrots until soft, then combine all sauce ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Easy peasy!
How to make this recipe gluten free
In the traditional recipe panko breadcrumbs are used, which are the main factor why the traditional recipe is not gluten free.
To make the recipe gluten-free you can of course swap the panko for some regular gluten-free breadcrumbs one to one.
However, I would definitely recommend using panko style breadcrumbs as they create the perfectly thick and crisp, crunchy layer on the outside of your tempeh. I have found that gluten-free panko is not easy to get by in UK supermarkets, however I’ve had a quick google and found that there are indeed a bunch of gluten-free versions – the brand Kikkoman actually sells a gluten free version, spotted on Ebay Uk.
You can even make your own gluten-free panko at home, check out this recipe & description from Flour Farm: https://flour.farm/gluten-free-panko/
What you’ll love about this recipe:
- it’s 100% vegan
- the recipe is super easy to make and only takes about 15 minutes to prepare
- the addition of tempeh adds protein to this dish
- the sauce is full of flavour and more-ish, with added nutritional benefits from the veg
- you can make this recipe gluten free easily, by swapping out the panko breadcrumbs for a gluten-free version
- the sauce can be made in advance and frozen in portion sizes until you need it
Delicious Vegan Katsu Curry made with crunchy tempeh ‘steaks’ and a flavoursome homemade katsu curry sauce – easy to re-create at home!
- 200 g tempeh
- 5–6 tbsp panko breadcrumbs
- oil to fry
- cooked rice to serve
- sesame seeds & chilli flakes to garnish
For the flour mix:
- 4 tbsp plain flour
- 2 tsp curry powder
- 100 ml plant milk
For the sauce:
- 1 shallot or small yellow onion, cooked
- 2 carrots, cooked
- 1 tbsp curry powder
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 tbsp plain flour
- 350 ml vegetable stock
- 2 tbsp coconut cream
- salt & pepper to taste
- Start by cutting the tempeh into slices of about 1cm thickness.
- Prepare the flour mix in a small bowl and place the panko breadcrumbs into another bowl. Pre-heat a little oil in a non-stick frying pan.
- Dip all your tempeh slices into the flour mixture, gently drip off the excess and then carefully coat them in the breadcrumbs. Place them in your frying pan and fry them until golden on both sides. Be gentle with them and move them as little as possible once they’re in the pan. Place them in the oven to keep them warm at a low heat, whilst you’re preparing the Katsu sauce.
- For the sauce, cook the onion in a little oil until softened. Cook or steam the carrots until soft, then combine all sauce ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
- Serve your Katsu sauce with the tempeh steaks and rice and garnish with sesame seeds & chilli flakes.
Keywords: tempeh curry, vegan katsu curry, tempeh katsu curry, katsu curry recipe, tempeh katsu recipe, vegan curry recipe, vegan katsu curry
Love tempeh? Well, me too! Check out my other recipes served with tempeh here: