The easy Ja­panese

Katsu curry with panko aubergines and pick­led radishes

The Guardian - Feast - - News -

Prep Cook Serves 35 min 1 hr 4

For the pick­led radishes 100g radishes, sliced very thinly ½ tsp salt

3 tbsp ricewine vine­gar 3 tbsp whitewine vine­gar

For the curry sauce 3 tbsp rape­seed oil 1 onion, peeled and chopped

2 car­rots (about 200g), peeled and cut into 1cm dice

1 sweet potato (about 175g), peeled and cut into 1cm dice 4 gar­lic cloves, peeled and sliced 1.5cm piece gin­ger, peeled and grated

2 tbsp curry pow­der 2 tbsp plain flour 500ml ve­gan veg­etable stock

(I use Marigold bouil­lon)

2 tbsp soy sauce 2 tbsp tomato ketchup

½ tsp salt to taste) (or

For the panko aubergines 2 aubergines (about 600g), cut length­ways into 0.5cm-thick slices

8 tbsp plain flour ½ tsp salt 200g panko bread­crumbs Rape­seed oil, to fin­ish

Rice, salad leaves and black sesame seeds, to serve Panko bread­crumbs are a cut above nor­mal ones in that they’re much crunchier and flakier. The three el­e­ments here could be made in­de­pen­dently, but they do co­habit a plate rather nicely. You’ll need a blender for this.

Put the radishes in a heat­proof bowl, cover with 100ml of just­boiled wa­ter, add the salt and both vine­gars, then stir and leave to cool.

To make the sauce, heat the oil in a fry­ing pan for which you have a lid, then fry the onion, car­rots and sweet potato for 10 min­utes. Add the gar­lic and gin­ger, fry for two min­utes more, cover and leave to steam through for five min­utes.

Add the curry pow­der, stir for a cou­ple of min­utes, then stir in the flour un­til the veg­eta­bles are coated. Add the stock a lit­tle at a time, then bring to a boil. Add the soy, ketchup and salt, then take off the heat. Blend smooth, then re­turn the sauce to the pan.

Line an oven tray with bak­ing pa­per. Put the aubergines on a plate. On a sec­ond plate, slowly mix the flour with about 180ml wa­ter and the salt to make a thin paste. Put the panko on a third plate. Coat both sides of each aubergine slice in the flour paste, shak­ing off any ex­cess, then press into the panko to coat. Lay the coated slices on the pre­pared tray and driz­zle both sides with oil. Bake for 15 min­utes on each side, turn up the heat to 240C/465F/gas 9 and cook for 10 min­utes more, un­til crisp, then take out of the oven.

Just be­fore serv­ing, gen­tly re­heat the curry sauce for five min­utes, adding more wa­ter and salt to taste. Put three or four aubergine slices on each plate, douse them in the sauce, then serve with some drained pick­led radish, rice, salad leaves and a sprin­kling of black sesame seeds.

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