Crispy Tofu Katsu Recipe (Japanese Vegetarian Cutlet)

5 from 2 votes
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Are you craving a delicious vegetarian meal? This Tofu Katsu is a must-try! This easy recipe pairs tofu with crispy panko for a tasty delight. Learn how to make it!

Looking for simple tofu recipes? Try my Teriyaki Tofu Recipe, Vegan Tofu Nuggets, or Tofu Miso Soup!

Tofu katsu served on a plate.

Tofu Katsu is a delicious vegetarian twist on the classic Japanese Ton Katsu (deep-fried pork recipe). Coat tofu slices with batter and Japanese breadcrumbs and serve with a delicious sauce. Give it a try and savor the flavorful experience!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe 

  • Family Favorite – This easy and delicious recipe is loved by kids and adults, making it a go-to for the whole family.
  • Satisfying Plant-based Meal – This fried tofu is a great recipe for a hearty vegetarian dinner.
  • Minimal Ingredients, Maximum Flavor – With just a handful of simple ingredients, this dish is packed with deliciousness, proving how tasty tofu can be!

Recipe Ingredients

You’ll need the following ingredients to make this fried Tofu Katsu recipe:

Tofu katsu ingredient list.
  • Tofu – Firm or extra firm tofu works best instead of soft tofu as it holds its shape well during the breading and frying.
  • Cabbage – Shredded cabbage is the classic accompaniment for Japanese fried dishes, providing a refreshing contrast. Alternatively, you can use lettuce or any fresh green leafy vegetable to serve alongside for added color and crunch.
  • Flour – Use plain flour like all-purpose, cake, or bread flour. You can substitute it with rice flour or any gluten-free flour for a gluten-free version.
  • Panko – Japanese breadcrumbs come in two varieties: dried and nama (soft). Opt for dried panko to savor its delightful crunchy texture, enhancing a variety of versatile dishes.
  • Sauce – A traditional Japanese Chuno sauce, tonkatsu sauce (pork cutlets sauce), Worcestershire sauce, or soy sauce pair wonderfully with these simple tofu cutlets. For a unique twist, try this homemade katsu sauce with miso paste for added depth of flavor.

How To Make Tofu Katsu: STEP BY STEP 

Here are some quick visual instructions! For the video and all the detailed ingredients and instructions, go to the printable recipe card below.

How to make tofu katsu.

Step 1

Press the tofu to remove the excess moisture and cut it into a rectangular or square shape.

How to make tofu katsu.

Step 2

Shred the cabbage and soak it in water.

How to make tofu katsu.

Step 3

Prepare flour, beaten egg, and panko in separate shallow bowls. Coat each tofu piece in that order.

How to make tofu katsu.

Step 4

Fry the breaded tofu until it turns golden brown.

Tofu katsu served on a plate.

Serve the tofu katsu with a generous portion of shredded cabbage and an optional slice of lemon and drizzle the savory sauce over the crispy tofu katsu or dip it. Besides that, explore more variations like tofu katsu curry, or a tofu katsu don (rice bowl). Enjoy your delightful Japanese vegetarian meal!

Recipe Tips

  • Press tofu Thoroughly: Ensure you press the tofu well before breading to remove excess moisture. This step helps achieve a crispier texture.
  • Bake for a Healthier Option: If you prefer a healthier alternative, bake the breaded tofu in the oven until golden brown instead of deep-frying.
  • Use Frozen Tofu: Freezing works its magic, giving tofu a meaty texture that adds a delightful twist to your tofu katsu.

Storage

As time passes, the crispy texture of tofu katsu will soften, so I highly recommend eating it right after cooking for the best experience. If you need to store it, place it in an airtight container, refrigerate it, and try to consume it within two days.

Your Questions Answered

What can I serve with this tofu katsu recipe?

This recipe is excellent, served with a bowl of steamed rice, mushroom miso soup, and Japanese pickled daikon!

What is a good substitute for egg in the breading process for vegans?

For a vegan alternative to egg, create a flour-water mixture using equal parts flour and water (1:1 ratio). Dip each tofu piece into this mixture before coating it with panko breadcrumbs.

Can I experiment with different seasonings in the flour or breadcrumbs for unique flavors?

Try incorporating seasonings like garlic powder, onion powder, curry powder, garam masala, smoked paprika, or herbs into the flour or breadcrumbs for personalized flavor profiles.

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Tofu katsu served on a plate.

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Tofu katsu served on a plate.

Crispy Tofu Katsu Recipe (Japanese Vegetarian Cutlet)

5 from 2 votes
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Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
Servings: 2
Author: Juri Austin
Are you craving a delicious vegetarian meal? This Tofu Katsu is a must-try! This easy recipe pairs tofu with crispy panko for a tasty delight. Learn how to make it!

Equipment

  • 1 Frying pan , 22 cm/9 inches

Ingredients

  • 1 Tofu, 350g
  • Salt and pepper
  • Oil for frying
  • ¼ Cabbage
  • 2 slices Lemon, optional
  • Chuno sauce or your favorite sauce, for serving

For The Breading

  • 1 Egg
  • 2 Tbsp All-purpose flour, plain flour
  • 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs

Instructions

  • Press and Prep the Tofu: Start by pressing the firm tofu to remove excess water. Cut the tofu into desired shapes, usually rectangles or squares, and salt and pepper to taste.
  • Shred Cabbge: Finely shred the cabbage, soak it in water for 2 to 3 minutes, and drain it in a colander to remove excess water.
  • Bread the Tofu: Set up three shallow bowls with flour, beaten egg, and panko breadcrumbs. Take a tofu piece, dredge it in flour, dip it into the egg, and coat it thoroughly with panko breadcrumbs, gently pressing down to adhere.
  • Deep fry the Tofu: Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Fry the breaded tofu until golden brown and crispy on all sides. Place them on a wire rack or paper towel to remove excess oil.
  • Serve: Serve the tofu katsu alongside shredded cabbage and a slice of lemon (optional). Drizzle the flavorful sauce over the crispy tofu or serve it on the side for dipping.

Video

Notes

  • Storage: Place the tofu katsu in an airtight container, refrigerate it, and try to consume it within 2 days.
  • Please make sure you press the tofu well before breading to remove excess moisture. This step helps achieve a crispier texture.
  • If you prefer a healthier alternative, bake the breaded tofu in the oven until golden brown instead of deep-frying.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 383kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 27g
Course: Main
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: tofu katsu
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