When in Japan a few years ago, I spotted a Katsu restaurant and decided to go for a meal.
We were expecting the usual chicken katsu and maybe a veggie version too. As we sat down, the waiter brought us the menu which I opened and nearly passed out.
In there we found a 36 course katsu meal! There was asparagus katsu, scallop katsu, beef katsu, cuttlefish katsu, mushroom katsu, prawn katsu… and SO much more. You name it and it was there, except chicken! Ha! So much for us thinking we knew what to expect!
Ever since then I have experimented with different katsu curry recipes and my favourite veggie version is this aubergine katsu. This katsu curry recipe is so easy to make from scratch at home and really doesn’t take long at all.
Aubergine Katsu Curry Recipe (Serves 4)
1 tbs rapeseed oil (or any cooking oil)
4 cloves garlic roughly chopped
1 large onion cut in to 8 chunky pieces
1 carrot peeled and sliced
700ml vegetable stock
½ inch piece of ginger roughly chopped
2½ tbs mild curry powder (if using medium, use less)
2 tbs plain flour
¼ tsp turmeric powder
2 tbs soy sauce
1½ tbs soft brown sugar
1 star anise
oil for shallow frying
1-2 aubergines (depending on size) sliced in to ½ inch thick rounds
2 tbs plain flour
2 eggs beaten
panko breadcrumbs (seasoned with salt and pepper)
Heat the oil in a saucepan. Add the onion and cook until softened. Add ginger and garlic and stir fry for about a minute. Add carrots and stir on a low heat for around 8-10 minutes.
Add curry powder, flour and turmeric and stir for a minute to mix everything in. Slowly pour in the stock, mixing well as you go to get rid of any lumps.
Once all the stock has been well mixed in, add soy sauce, sugar and star anise. Stir well. Bring to the boil then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for around 20 minutes or until the sauce thickens. I prefer a smooth sauce so I strain it at this point but if you want to keep the chunky veg in there, no need to strain.
For the aubergines, sprinkle with salt and place in a colander to drain the water from them. Then dip the aubergine in to the flour, next in to the egg and finally in to the panko breadcrumbs. Shallow fry, turning half way through, until both sides are a nice deep golden brown.
Serve it all with some Japanese sticky rice.
Sometimes, when I don’t feel like making the curry, I just make the crispy aubergine katsu and dip it in some sriracha mayo.
Once you try this katsu curry recipe, you’ll be addicted. Make it with any veggie you like if aubergine isn’t your thing. My other vegetarian favourite is mushroom katsu. Yum!