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Easy Vegetarian Tofu katsu Curry

Tofu katsu curry, a delicious and simple vegetarian take on a modern Japanese classic, featuring crispy tofu & a homemade simple sauce.

The tofu takes less than 20 minutes to prepare and cook, the homemade sauce takes around 35 minutes and can be cooked in advance.

Tofu katsu curry with a homemade sauce, rice and soy roasted tenderstem broccoli.

Vegetarian Katsu Curry

A simple and delicious vegetarian tofu katsu curry joins another couple of Japanese influenced katsu recipes on my site.

I have a classic chicken katsu curry, a recipe that shares the same katsu sauce as this dish. Then I have tonkatsu, a breaded pork cutlet with my homemade katsu sauce.

The name katsu refers to the breaded part of the dish and it is thought to come from the French word “cotelette”.

As I have said before it is difficult not to see the European influences from dishes like weiner schnitzel and Polish kotlet schabowy in this style of Japanese cooking.

Using tofu is an obvious vegetarian shift on this classic recipe and it works really well. However, I add a little extra flavour to make up for the relative blandness of tofu by adding some extra curry powder in the breaded coating.

I love this dish and I am a long way from being a vegetarian! But I have grown a love of cooking with tofu in recent years.

I have everything from Vietnamese fried tofu, kinda Chinese sweet and sour tofu and salt and pepper tofu through to a Korean gochujang tofu stew and a Thai vegan massaman curry.

I’ve even got a crumbled tofu noodle stir fry that is built around the same ideas as dan dan noodles!

Ignore the naysayers, it is a wonderful ingredient!

Overhead tofu katsu curry with a homemade sauce, rice and soy roasted tenderstem broccoli.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use flavoured tofu?

I would personally avoid herb or BBQ marinated tofu because the flavours are too much of a contrast to the curry sauce.

But smoked tofu adds a really lovely alternative to plain tofu?

Do I have to press the tofu?

I find that it makes little to no difference in this recipe. In fact, a little bit of moisture in the tofu is a positive for this recipe.

However, you do need to blot off any excess moisture before cooking to prevent the flour and curry powder mix from becoming “gluey”.

What sort of curry powder should I use?

If you are in the UK hunt down some Chinese curry powder.

If you are struggling take a look at the ingredients on the packet and search for something with as little fenugreek as possible. This means that the name fenugreek appears as low down in the ingredient list as possible.

You can also make your own, this is my recipe and one that I use for my Chinese chicken curry!

  • 1 Tablespoon Coriander Seeds
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 1 Tablespoon Turmeric
  • 1 Teaspoon Chinese 5 Spice
  • 0.5-1 Teaspoon Dried Chilli Flakes

Simply toast off the whole seeds and leaves, then grind them and combine them with the remaining ingredients.

Can I make this vegan?

Yes, simply replace the egg with a vegan egg substitute!

Close up tofu katsu curry with a homemade sauce, rice and soy roasted tenderstem broccoli.

Serving Suggestions

I have served my vegetarian katsu curry here with some simply cooked white rice and some roasted tenderstem broccoli. But I have roasted the broccoli in soy sauce, sesame oil and black pepper.

But it works really well with either my stir fried asparagus or stir fried broccoli recipes.

Sticking with the rice vibe, and if you are not aiming at staying vegetarian you could try chahan or yakimeshi, Japanese fried rice.

Although a good old egg fried rice is also superb!

Vegetarian Japanese influenced tofu katsu curry with a homemade sauce, rice and broccoli.

Equipment Used

I only mention specific brands of equipment if I think they make a material difference to a recipe. If you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments section below the recipe.

  • Stovetop.
  • 15cm or 6″ saucepan.
  • 28cm or 11″ frying pan.
  • Knife.
  • Chopping board.
  • Weighing scales and or measuring cups and spoons.
  • Blender.
  • Kitchen paper.
  • Bowls and plates to breadcrumb the tofu.
  • Tongs or spatula.
  • Spoons for stirring and serving.
Vegetarian Japanese influenced tofu katsu curry with a homemade sauce, rice and broccoli.
Yield: 2 Servings

Tofu Katsu Curry Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

Vegetarian tofu curry, delicious lightly flavoured breaded tofu slices fried until crispy served with a wonderfully flavoured Japanese influenced curry sauce.


  • 350g (12oz) Extra Firm Tofu
  • 2 Tbsp Flour
  • 1 Tsp Chinese Curry Powder
  • 1/2 Tsp Salt
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 50g (⅔ Cup) Panko Breadcrumbs
  • Oil for Frying

For the Curry Sauce:

  • 100g (⅔ Cup) Onion
  • 2 Tbsp Cooking Oil
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 Tbsp Flour
  • 1 Tbsp Chinese Curry Powder
  • 1 Tsp Turmeric
  • 1 Tbsp Shaoxing Wine
  • ½ Tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Light Soy Soy Sauce
  • 250ml (1 Cup) Chicken stock


  1. Pele the onion then cut it into a 3-4mm dice.
  2. Heat the oil for the curry sauce in a small saucepan (15-16cm or 6") over a medium-low heat.
  3. Add the onion and cook without colouring for 10 minutes.
  4. Remove the tofu from the packet and cut it into 4 slices then wrap it in kitchen paper to absorb excess moisture.
  5. Cut the garlic into thin slices and add it to the onions for the curry sauce after 10 minutes, and cook on for a further minute.
  6. Add the flour to the onions and cook, stirring continuously, for 60-90 seconds.
  7. Add the remaining ingredients for the katsu curry sauce and simmer for 15 minutes.
  8. Mix together the flour, curry powder and salt for the tofu and spread it in an even layer on a plate.
  9. Pour the breadcrumbs onto a plate.
  10. Lightly beat the egg in a bowl that you can dip the tofu slices in.
  11. Dip the tofu slices into the flour mix and tap off any excess flour, then into the egg and finally into the breadcrumbs to create a light coating.
  12. Heat some neutral oil 3-5mm (⅕") deep in a frying pan at least 28cm (11" in diameter) until it reaches around 160°-170°C (~340°F).
  13. Fry the tofu for 3-5 minutes a side until the slices are nicely golden, then drain on kitchen paper to absorb excess oil.
  14. Blitz the sauce in a blender until smooth before serving.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 681Total Fat: 43gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 36gCholesterol: 97mgSodium: 1433mgCarbohydrates: 46gFiber: 7gSugar: 10gProtein: 31g

Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

Did you make this recipe?

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