Katsu, means cutlet in japanese. Traditionally, cutlets of chicken or pork, breaded with panko and then fried. Luna has had the idea of making a tofu katsu bowl for over a month now. She finally tried it out and the first tofu katsu bowl test came out amazing! If you’re trying to convince someone (even if that someone may be yourself!) that tofu can be a great meat substitute, this is the perfect recipe for you.
What is a Tofu Katsu Bowl?
Tofu Katsu is a style of cooked tofu which is breaded. This recipe is a play on chicken katsu; however, it’s usually breaded with panko. Panko are simply Japanese style bread crumbs. They tend to be much larger than normal bread crumbs. For this recipe we used cornflakes as the breading along with AP flour. We chose to use cornflakes because it gives a unique depth of flavor when seared golden brown! (Plus we’re still in quarantine and ran out of panko).
As for the bowl, feel free to be creative. Use up whatever vegetables you have or like for the bowl. For the sides we wanted to keep it simple. The tofu Katsu is plated along with basmati rice and steamed broccoli.
As spring progresses here in Michigan, the garden is starting to yield more vegetables, greens, herbs, and flowers. It doesn’t get more fresh than yielding from your own garden. So as a garnish, we added fresh chive flowers from the garden, along with cherry tomatoes, sliced scallions, and of course, black sesame seeds.
We’ve seen many katsu recipes with a curry sauce or tomato ketchup like sauce. For this recipe we decided to make a creamy peanut sauce to pair nicely with the fried tofu. If you have allergies to peanuts, replace the peanut butter for almond butter.
Why Do I Need To Press Tofu?
Regardless if bought silken or firm, tofu carries a lot of moisture. When cooking tofu it’s best to press the tofu and remove most of the water from the block. This helps the tofu become firm and cook better.
The best way to press tofu, is by placing a paper towel on top of a plate. Gently place the blocks of tofu on top of the paper towel. Then place another paper towel over the blocks and add another plate to rest on top of the tofu blocks.
The second top plate will add slight pressure to the blocks that will push the water out. The paper towels will absorb the liquid so it’s not such a messy process.
Cornflakes for Breading
First, we recommend placing the cornflakes in a ziplock bag. Once the baggie is sealed, use your hands to smash the flakes into the surface below (table/counter etc). Continue to smash until finely ground.
Another option, if you don’t have a zip lock, is to take two paper towels and fold them at the separating crease. Place the cornflakes inside the paper towels and with a rolling pin, roll till all the cornflakes are finely ground.
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Luna & Nate