Vegan tofu katsu is the perfect accessory to stir-fry noodles, on top of a fluffy bed of rice, or shared with a light soup. It can be air-fried, baked in the oven, or seared on a skillet - whatever way you choose, this may become your favorite way of enjoying tofu.
Crispy Tofu Katsu [Vegan]
Ingredients You Need for Crispy Tofu Katsu [Vegan]
- 1/2 cup coconut aminos (soy sauce subsitute)
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 block extra-firm organic tofu
- 1 cup gluten-free panko breadcrumbs (I use Cauli Crunch, found at Whole Foods)
- 1 cup cassava flour (or any other flour like almond or all-purpose)
- 1 cup + filter water or plant milk
- Pinch of salt
How to Prepare Crispy Tofu Katsu [Vegan]
- First, make the marinating sauce by combining all ingredients and whisking. Set aside.
- Remove the extra-firm tofu from the package, drain and set onto a towel. Wrap the tofu in the towel and place a heavy pan on top. If you're fancy, use a tofu press. Press the liquid out over 10-15 minutes and then transfer it to a cutting board.
- Using a large knife, take the tofu block on its side the slice downward, making three even tofu slabs.
- Marinate the slabs in the sauce for 10 minutes (minimally), reserving some for dipping later on.
- Using two separate bowls; create a crunch station. Start by adding one cup flour and one cup water; while mixing, slowly add enough water until it's at a consistency that will coat the tofu slab without sliding off and throw in a pinch of salt. In a separate shallow bowl, add the breadcrumbs.
- Remove one tofu slab and dunk it in the batter, covering all sides. Next, transfer to the breadcrumb bowl and cover with an even layer; set onto a parchment-lined baking tray. Add excess breadcrumbs to any bare areas during transfer. Repeat this for the other tofu slabs.
- Choose which method you plan to cook the tofu katsu: Air-fry: set the air fryer temperature to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and cook for 15 minutes, flipping halfway. Bake: set the temperature to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and cook for 20 minutes, flipping halfway. Pan-fry: in a nonstick large frying pan, add oil on medium heat and cook each side for 6 minutes or until golden brown on both sides.
- Remove from heat and slice the long way creating ½-inch-wide strips (see photo below). I prefer thinner over thick slices; cut to your preference!
- Use the reserved marinade as a dipping sauce or drizzle it over the top! Garnish with spring onions and sesame seeds for added flare.
- Store any leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container for up to three days.
- I recommend the air fryer baking method or pan frying as it ends in a really crispy crunch, perfect for vegan katsu!
- You can serve it on top of a noodle stir-fry, a fluffy bed of brown rice, sushi rice, or as a side to a light soup like ramen. Keep it gluten-free using cauliflower rice.
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