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Vegan katsu curry with fresh lime and cilantro in a black bowl.

Vegan Katsu Curry

  • Author: Alison Andrews
  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 40 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6
  • Diet: Vegan


This vegan katsu curry combines crispy breaded tofu and a creamy coconut curry sauce to create a Japanese inspired meal that you will love.


Katsu Curry Sauce:

  • 2 Tbsp Sesame Oil
  • 1 Medium Onion (White, Yellow or Brown, Chopped)
  • 1 Large Carrot (Chopped)
  • 2 Cloves Garlic (Crushed)
  • 1 Tbsp Freshly Grated Ginger
  • 2 tsp Mild Curry Powder
  • 1 tsp Turmeric
  • 2 Tbsp Tomato Paste
  • 1 Can (14oz/400ml) Coconut Milk*
  • 1 cup (240ml) Vegetable Stock/Broth
  • 1 Tbsp Coconut Sugar

Breaded Tofu:

  • 14oz (400g) Firm Tofu
  • 2 Tbsp All Purpose Flour
  • 2 tsp Mild Curry Powder
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 cup (240ml) Vegan Buttermilk (1 Tbsp Lemon Juice + Soy Milk up to the 1 cup (240ml) line
  • 1 cup Panko Breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Black Pepper
  • 2 Tbsp Sesame Oil (For Frying, add more as needed)


  • Basmati Rice
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Fresh Cilantro
  • Lime Wedges


  1. Press the tofu: Put your tofu on to press. It’s ideal if you have a tofu press, but even if you don’t, just place the tofu on a plate, with another plate on top of it and then stack something heavy on top, like a heavy pot. Leave it to press for 30 minutes while you prepare the curry sauce.
  2. Prepare the curry sauce: Add sesame oil to a pot on medium heat and add chopped onions and carrots. Sauté until the onions are softened.
  3. Add crushed garlic, ginger, curry powder and turmeric and sauté for a minute to toast the spices.
  4. Add tomato paste, coconut milk, vegetable stock and coconut sugar. Mix together and bring to a simmer. Simmer until the carrots are soft.
  5. Remove from the heat and use an immersion blender to blend the sauce directly in the pot. If you don’t have an immersion blender you can let the sauce cool for a bit and then transfer it in stages to your blender jug, blend and then when it’s all blended return it to the pot.
  6. Place the pot back on the heat at low heat and leave it to keep warm while you prepare the tofu.
  7. Prepare the tofu: When the tofu has finished pressing, slice it into rectangles and then into squares.  Then slice each square diagonally from corner to corner leaving you with two triangles. Spread the tofu triangles out on a baking sheet. You should get around 20 tofu triangles from your block of tofu. 
  8. In a shallow dish, add all purpose flour, curry powder and garlic powder and mix together.
  9. Prepare the vegan buttermilk by adding 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to a measuring jug and then add soy milk* up to the 1 cup (240ml) line. Let it curdle and then pour it out into a second shallow dish. 
  10. In a third shallow dish, add breadcrumbs, salt and pepper and mix together.
  11. Take each tofu triangle and roll it in the flour mix. Then roll it in the buttermilk and then roll it in the breadcrumbs. Make sure each tofu triangle is well coated. Place each crumbed tofu triangle back onto the baking tray.
  12. In a frying pan on medium to high heat, add sesame oil and let it heat up until hot. Sprinkle a few breadcrumbs into the hot oil. If they sizzle nicely then the oil is ready.
  13. Add 6 tofu triangles (or however many will comfortably fit in your pan). They should sizzle when they hit the pan. Fry for a minute and a half or until golden brown on the bottom and then flip them over and fry on the other side. When they are golden brown on each side, place them onto a tray lined with paper towels to soak up any excess oil. Repeat until all your tofu is cooked. Top up the sesame oil as needed for each batch of tofu. 
  14. Assemble and Serve: Build your bowls. Place your rice and katsu curry sauce side by side in a bowl. Serve the crumbed tofu on top of the katsu sauce and decorate with sesame seeds, fresh cilantro and lime wedges.


*Coconut milk – should be canned, full fat and unsweetened. You could also use coconut cream (also canned, unsweetened) for an even richer version. If you have a coconut allergy then a creamy plant milk like cashew milk will be a good option.

*Coconut sugar – is just for flavor balance in the curry sauce. It doesn’t make it sweet at all, just perfectly balances the flavors. We love coconut sugar but brown sugar (light or dark) also works great.

*Vegan buttermilk – can be made with soy milk or almond milk. We prefer soy milk as it creates a richer/thicker buttermilk. However, you can really use any plant milk even if it doesn’t curdle, it will still work.

*Slice the tofu into whatever shape best suits you. You don’t have to slice it into triangles like we did. Try to get 20 pieces of tofu from your block. 

*Make it super easy. If you would prefer to make an even easier version of this recipe, you could buy vegan chicken nuggets or schnitzels that are already crumbed and just fry those up instead of the tofu and serve them in the curry sauce. Though I do recommend the breaded tofu as it is super delicious.

*Make ahead: To save time in this recipe, you could make up the curry sauce up to 24 hours ahead of time, let it cool and refrigerate it and then just reheat it on the stovetop before serving. The tofu could also be pressed and cut ahead of time and then just breaded and fried right before serving.

*Storing: Leftovers keep very well in the fridge for 3-4 days and can be reheated in the microwave. The breaded tofu may lose some of its crispiness but it’s still delicious.

*Nutritional information is for the breaded tofu and the sauce and excludes rice. 

  • Category: Entree, Savory
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Vegan, Japanese


  • Serving Size: 1 Serve (of 4)
  • Calories: 582
  • Sugar: 9.3g
  • Sodium: 959mg
  • Fat: 39.6g
  • Saturated Fat: 17.7g
  • Carbohydrates: 40.1g
  • Fiber: 4g
  • Protein: 19.6g

Keywords: vegan katsu curry, tofu katsu curry