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Yasai Katsu Curry

Katsu Curry is a mild smooth brown curry sauce served with cutlets and rice, it doesn’t sound very inspiring but it is delicious. Yasai means that it is made with vegetables.

One does not associate Japanese food with curry so how did it come about? It was the British who introduced their version of curry to the Japanese, a very tame version in terms of chilli and spices, slightly sweet and thickened with flour. You can even buy instant Japanese Katsu sauce but it will contain MSG.

Yasai Katsu Curry

Serves 4

Prep Time: 30 minutes | Cook Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients

Curry sauce

  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • A thumb size piece fresh of ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tbsp Indian curry powder
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 medium carrot, diced small
  • 1 dessert apple, peeled and chopped
  • 1 small banana, peeled and sliced
  • 400ml water
  • 1 tbsp shoyu or light soya sauce

Katsu Vegetables

  • 4 x 1cm thick slices aubergine
  • 4 x 1cm thick slices sweet potato
  • 4 x 1cm thick slices courgette, sliced on an angle to create a larger piece
  • Panko breadcrumbs
  • 50g plain flour
  • Aquafaba (liquid drained from a tin of chickpeas) or 2 tbsp cornflour mixed with 4 tbsp water
  • 1 spring onion, chopped finely for garnish
  • 1 large baking tray brushed generously with sunflower or rapeseed oil

Method

  1. To make the curry sauce, heat 2 tablespoons of sunflower oil in a saucepan and gently soften the onion for 10 minutes until just turning golden at the edges.
  2. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for a minute further.
  3. Add the curry powder and tomato purée and cook for 30 seconds more.
  4. Add the carrots, apple, banana, water and shoyu or soya sauce, increase the heat and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer, cover the pan with a lid and cook for 15 minutes, or until the carrots are tender.
  5. Set aside to cool a little, then puree the sauce with a stick blender till very smooth.
  6. To make the katsu vegetables, preheat the oven to 200°Fan.
  7. Coat the sliced vegetables in the plain flour and then dip each slice first in the aquafaba or cornflour mixture, and then into the Panko crumbs. Lay each crumbed slice onto the oiled baking tray. Keep the courgette slices separate initially on a plate because they take less time to cook and so need to be added to the tray later than the aubergine and sweet potato.
  8. Bake the crumbed aubergine and sweet potato slices for 10 minutes, then turn each slice over and bake for 5 minutes to brown the under sides. Next add the courgettes to the tray and bake for another 5 minutes. Turn the courgettes over, and bake for another 5 minutes or until all the vegetable slices are golden.
  9. Serve with a portion of Japanese rice, curry sauce and 3 slices of katsu vegetables placed on the top. Garnish with the spring onions. 

Delicious food photography by Rob Wicks of Eat Pictures.

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