Are you looking for a mad quick, super tasty, VEGAN aubergine katsu curry!? Yes? Well, that’s worked out well, because this gorgeous dish is ready in just 30 minutes, the perfect midweek dinner with the added bonus that it feels a bit like you have a takeaway—the dream.
I’ve wanted to post this recipe for AGES, it’s been made several different ways since it’s inception, but this way is THE way. The sauce is perfect, the aubergines are baked rather than fried, and the portion size is just right! I um’ed and ah’ed about making it super spicy, but settled on the classic mild curry. We’ve eaten about 100 katsu curries, at least it feels that way.
At the time of writing, we’re almost a year deep into the global pandemic. I’ve forgotten what normality feels like, yet it feels like only yesterday I published my Chicken Katsu Curry recipe, right at the beginning of my Accidental Chef blogging journey, everything and nothing has changed since then. I’ve worked just 3 months out of the last 12, and I’m slowly climbing the walls and longing for an ordinary life again. Anyway – cooking is good for your mental health IMO, so let’s focus on that. We got this.
The ingredients list for this one doesn’t contain anything crazy, so there will be nothing you need to get that your local supermarket won’t stock.
Quick disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase using the links in this post, I may receive a small commission at no extra expense to you. I only recommend and link to stuff that I personally love, and either own or have owned, that’s the tea.
What Is Katsu Curry Made Of?
Traditionally katsu is a crispy fried piece of meat or seafood, coated in Japanese breadcrumbs, called panko breadcrumbs, topped with a thick curry sauce and served with rice. So I guess this vegan katsu curry isn’t a katsu curry at all?! There’s a whole guide to non-vegan katsu’s here that I found really interesting to read through.
To make a thick katsu curry sauce you will need:
- 2 medium onions
- 1 large carrot
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 40 grams of ginger – about the size of an adult thumb.
- A tablespoon of mild curry powder
- 1 teaspoon of turmeric
- A 400ml can of coconut milk
- 1 vegetable stock cube dissolved in 100ml of boiling water
- 2 teaspoons of maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
- The juice of one lime
- 2 bay leaves
There are many, MANY variations on this sauce, from straining the sauce and thickening with flour to blending it all up for a thicker sauce. This recipe follows the principles of the latter. This process creates a tastier, thicker and healthier sauce that doesn’t compromise on flavour.
This recipe serves four people, with some sauce leftover. The leftover sauce makes incredible fried rice, the king of leftovers.
For soft flavour packed aubergines with a crunchy moreish topping, you will need a couple of large aubergines, 30 grams of panko breadcrumbs and a tablespoon each of soy sauce and maple syrup.
Top Tips and Questions
You could! But I’d highly recommend investing in Japanese style panko breadcrumbs. They’re a bit chunkier, and won’t burn during the 30-minute roasting we’re going to give them on top of the aubergines.
Slicing the aubergines helps to cook them more evenly, and quicker. It also means that the soy sauce and maple syrup we brush them gets inside them and adds even more flavour to this super tasty dish.
I’ve seen a lot of veggie katsu curry’s done this way – but it’s just not for me! You can do it this way if you want. Just slice the aubergine into thick slices, dip into egg replacement, vegan milk substitute or a bit of oil and then bake until crispy. My personal opinion is half an aubergine per person, without any oil involved, is a nicer, tastier texture.
Serve your vegan katsu curry with fluffy white rice, or on top of soft rice noodles if you’re looking to mix it up. My go-to garnishes here are carrot, cucumber and coriander. Use a Y-peeler to cut the carrot and cucumber into ribbons. You can then curl your veggies to make the finished dish look even more beautiful.
Scatter of the coriander, and top your crunchy baked aubergines with a wedge of lime.
If you’re into a bit more spice – sprinkle over some red chilli flakes just before serving.
Storing and Reheating Left Overs
The cooked aubergines and sauce will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days after they’ve been cooked. I would strongly advise storing them in separate containers in the fridge, though. You can reheat in the microwave for 3 minutes – or until heated through.
If you have leftover sauce here, it will freeze well. Allow it to cool, before transferring to a freezer-safe container, make sure you use it up within 3 months. Just thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating.
I’d strongly advise NOT freezing this sauce though, and instead, creating a leftover’s fried rice number. Just fry rice and some veg for 6 – 7 minutes, and then pour over leftover katsu sauce and cook until warmed through.
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Did You Make This Recipe?
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Aubergine Katsu Curry
- 2 large aubergines
- 30 grams panko breadcrumbs
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 medium onions
- 1 large carrot
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 40 grams ginger
- 1 tbsp curry powder
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 400 ml coconut milk
- 100 ml vegetable stock
- 2 tsp maple syrup
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 lime
- 2 bay leaves
- Half a cucumber cut into ribbons
- 1 large carrot cut into ribbons
- 1 lime cut into wedges
- A small bunch of coriander
- Pre-heat oven to 200°C/ 390°F
- Slice the aubergines in half lengthways, and score diagnolly in a criss-cross pattern on each half. Mix together a tablespoon each of soy sauce and maple syrup and brush onto the scored aubergines. Top with panko breadcrumbs and roast for 30 minutes.
- Roughly chop the onions and peel and chop the carrot. Add a glug of oil to a high-sided saucepan over medium-high heat, add the vegetables and cook for bout 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Reduce the heat to medium and grate in garlic and ginger, cook for 2 – 3 minutes then stir in the curry powder and turmeric and cook for two more minutes.
- Add the remaining sauce ingredients, excluding the lime juice, season well with salt and pepper, stir, cover and allow to simmer for 15 – 20 minutes until carrots are super soft.
- If you're serving with rice now is the time to get your rice on.
- Remove the bay leaves, add the juice of a lime, and then trasnfer to a blender and blend until you have a smooth sauce.
- To serve place the rice on the plate first, add aubergines on top and cover with the thick curry sauce. Garnish with ribboned carrot and cucumber, lime wedges and fresh coriander leaves.