Vegan Tofu Katsu Bowl with broccoli, rice, and tomatoes

Tofu Katsu Bowl

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.

tofu katsu bowl

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

tofu katsu bowl

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

Tofu Katsu Bowl

Recipe by Cooking Up Vegan Course: Main EntreesCuisine: JapaneseDifficulty: Medium


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Cooking time


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Crispy cornflake breaded tofu atop seasoned sesame rice and veggies with a creamy savory peanut sauce.


  • Tofu Katsu
  • 2 12 oz pack 2 Firm Tofu Block

  • 120 g 120 Corn Flakes, Finely Crushed (Vegan Corn Flakes)

  • 1 Cup 1 Plant Milk (We used Coconut Milk)

  • 8 g 8 Plain Flour (Mixed in with the Plant Milk)

  • 1/2 Cup 1/2 Plain Flour

  • 1/2 tsp 1/2 Garlic Powder

  • 1 to taste 1 Salt

  • 1 to taste 1 Pepper

  • 1/4 Cup 1/4 Olive Oil

  • Peanut Sauce
  • 1/2 Cup 1/2 Peanut Butter

  • 3 Tbsp 3 Soy

  • 2 Tbsp 2 Maple

  • 2.5 Tbsp 2.5 Lime Juice

  • 1/2 tsp 1/2 Sriracha

  • 1 tsp 1 Sesame Oil

  • 1/4 Cup 1/4 Water (Add more if needed)

  • Sides
  • 2 Cups 2 Basmati Rice (Substitute any type of rice)

  • 1 1/2 Tbsp 1 1/2 Black Sesame Seeds

  • 2 Heads Broccoli

  • 1 Scallion (Optional Garnish )

  • 6 Sliced Cherry Tomatoes (Optional Garnish )

  • Chive Flowers (Optional Garnish )


  • Begin by pressing the tofu. Place a paper towel on top of a plate. Gently place the blocks of tofu on top of the paper towel. Place another paper towel on top of the blocks of tofu and add another plate to rest on top of the tofu blocks.
  • While the tofu is being pressed, begin to set up 3 bowls for the breading process.
  • Add the 1/2 cup of flour to one bowl and set aside.
  • Then, add the plant milk along with the 8g of flour, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
  • Next, add the finely crushed cornflakes into the last bowl.
  • At this point the tofu should be pressed and cut the tofu into 1/2 inch slices.
  • Set the oven to 355 degrees F.
  • Place the tofu slices in the flour mix, then the plant milk mix, and finally into the corn flakes. Set aside on a sheet tray lined with aluminum foil.
  • Place a large pan on medium heat with 1/4 cup olive oil.
  • Sear the tofu for about two minutes on each side then place back onto the sheet tray.
  • Place the breaded tofu in the oven to bake for 15 minutes at 355 degrees F.
  • Now, begin to cook two cups of rice. Follow the instructions on the rice package.
  • In a large pot, steam the broccoli until tender with just a bit of water.
  • To make the sauce: Add the peanut butter, soy sauce, maple, lime juice, sriracha, sesame oil and water into a high speed blender and blend on high until smooth.
  • Once the Tofu, rice, and broccoli have finished cooking add them to a bowl and serve immediately with the peanut sauce and optional garnishes!
  • Enjoy!

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