Vegan Katsu "Cutlet" Curry

November 15, 2022
Ever wondered what makes the Japanese curry different and super delicious? Its signature thick sauce is not as spicy as other curries but rather milder and sweeter. When I discovered what is usually used as a sweetener, it took me by surprise! Never have I ever thought to use mashed banana or freshly grated apples to curry and I just had to try it for myself. Here’s a fun recipe to try out:
vegan katsu curry in a bowl

Vegan Katsu “Cutlet” Curry

Recipe Type: Hearty Entrees
utensils YIELDS 2 servings
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  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 4 tbsp flour
  • 1 tsp mild curry powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 3x garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1 thumb ginger (minced)
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 medium potato (chopped)
  • 1 medium carrot (chopped)
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 small banana (mashed, for natural sweetness sans sugar)
  • ¼ cup coconut cream
  • 2 stalks spring onion (chopped for topping)
  • (black/white/ mixed) toasted sesame seeds (for topping)
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1. On a hot pan, drizzle 1 tbsp oil and cook your flour until golden brown (this will be for your curry roux/ paste to help thicken your sauce). 

2. Then mix in your spices (mild curry powder, turmeric powder, garam masala) and tomato paste until well combined. You can add 1–2 tbsp of water if your pan gets too dry then set aside on a separated small plate for later. 

3. On the same pan, add another 1 tbsp oil and sauté your chopped onion, minced garlic and minced ginger until aromatic.

4. Then add your chopped potatoes and carrots until they are golden on both sides. 

5. Next add your vegetable broth to simmer and add your natural sweetener—mashed banana (you can also use applesauce puree or freshly grated apple as well! This is the secret to a balanced sweet and hot Japanese curry) 

6. Then add back your curry roux/ paste and coconut cream to thicken. 

7. Stir occasionally until your roux has been fully dissolved. 

8. While waiting, prepare your vegan “cutlet”—on three separated plates, prepare your flour mixture (flour, salt & pepper, paprika), your cornstarch batter (this will replace eggs to help stick your breadcrumbs) and lastly your panko or breadcrumbs. 

9. Make sure your firm tofu is patted dry and fully cover it with your flour mixture first on both sides. 

10. Next dip onto your cornstarch batter then finally full coat it with breadcrumbs. 

11. After that, pan fry your “cutlet” (you can either deep fry or use an air fryer) until golden brown and crispy. 

12. Serve on a plate with your curry sauce topped with some spring onion and sesame seeds, a bowl of hot white rice and a side of your choice of salad (shredded cabbage would go well with this) and savor yourselves in this awesome meal!

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Photo: Bel Faustino

Bel Faustino
Bel’s curiosity for healthy living started at a young age of 11. From mindful eating to exercise, she always had a sweet tooth struggle and her weakness are desserts. It then took her high school and uni days to find the balance to maintain the healthy lifestyle yet enjoy desserts in a more guilt-free way and veganizing them seems the way to do it. Obsessed with always finding healthier alternatives, she hopes to recreate her favorite non vegan treats and share her recipes through her culture (Filipina born in Macau, S.A.R., China), lifestyle, childhood memories and travels (Southeast Asia, USA, Mexico, UK and more to come!). Follow her journey in Instagram @belbrosasfaustino.


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