The easy Japanese
Katsu curry with panko aubergines and pickled radishes
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.