The first time I ate katsu curry was on a lunch out with my daughter. We’d been shopping in Brighton and decided to stop at Yo-Sushi to recover. We were already looking for plant-based foods and pumpkin katsu was on the menu. I was bowled over just how delicious it was. It was soon a favourite go-to dish.
Later on, once I started following the Overcoming MS programme, I learnt that the sauce contains coconut – sadly one of the few no-go plant-based foods due to the high saturated fat levels. Which was a real downer as coconut is one of my favourites foods. Add that to the fact the breaded cutlet is deep fried (probably another reason why it tasted so good!), katsu curry was, most disappointingly, off the menu 🙁
So of course I had to find a way to adapt is so I could eat it again!
I’ll post the whole katsu curry recipe on a separate post soon. Today, I’m focusing on one of the two key elements – the sauce.
Having done a little research, I discovered the sauce was already fully vegan. Or it is as long as vegetable not chicken stock is used. I needed something with texture that was a little sweet to replace the coconut milk – carrot was the perfect answer. Texture, sweetness and a little colour all wrapped up one lovely root!
You can make the sauce as spicy as you like; I recommend using a generic curry powder. I’ve used madras powder (as my husband took the other ‘curry powder’ skiing and left it up a mountain!) but the flavour was too strong and overpowered the dish. It needs to be more delicate than that. I’ve also added garam masala as a garnish at the end; feel free to leave it out if you wish.
This sauce is gluten free, oil free and nut free so it covers most ‘free from’ bases. It also tastes fabulous, so if you love the flavour of katsu curry but can’t find a sauce to meet your needs, do give this a go. And let me know what you think.
Katsu curry sauce
- 1 medium white onion chopped
- 1 large carrot peeled and diced
- 1 large clove garlic grated
- 1 2 cm piece fresh ginger peeled and grated
- 1 tbsp tamari/coconut amines/soya sauce
- 1-2 teaspoons mild or medium curry powder
- 400 ml vegetable stock
- 1 heaped teaspoon arrowroot powder or cornflour
- 1/2 teaspoon garum masala
- salt and pepper to taste
- Heat a couple of tablespoons of water in the base of medium-sized pan. Add the onion and carrot and sauté for 5 minutes until it starts to soften.
- Add the grated garlic and ginger with the tamari and a little extra water. Stir well and continue to sauté for another few minutes, stirring so the garlic doesn't burn.
- Add the curry powder and vegetable stock. Mix to combine then simmer with the lid on for another 10 minutes until the carrot is soft. Turn off the heat and leave to cool slightly.
- Pour the mix into a blender jug and blend to smooth.
- Pour back into the saucepan and gently bring back to a simmer. Mix the arrowroot powder or cornflour with a little water to make a paste. Pour into the sauce and stir continuously until the sauce thickens. Add the garum masala, let it bubble a minute or so longer then turn off the heat.
- Season with salt and pepper and serve straight away if using. Or leave to cool fully and store in a pot in the fridge.