Katsu curry doesn’t have to be made with chicken you know, a chestnut mushroom rolled in breadcrumbs can do just as well… I think… Not that I’ve ever tried chicken. Well I did once, I ate a chicken burger from New York Chicken & Ribs in Letchworth Garden City when I was 15 but I was so drunk, I don’t remember what it tasted like. Probably pretty good considering anything fried and greasy tastes amazing when you’re inebriated.
Anyway, realising chicken katsu curry is in fact vegetarian, (minus the chicken on course) I decided to give it a go. It’s not that hard to make but it can be a bit of a faff, so I tend to make double the sauce and freeze the rest for later. This means that when I’m feeling lazy, (which is a lot) I can forget the breaded mushrooms altogether and simple pour the silky sauce over some roasted butternut squash, it’s divine and a little less fiddly. However, if you’ve never tried katsu curry, then I highly recommend you start with this mushroom version, it’s well worth getting your hands a bit messy for.
Unlike an Indian curry, Japanese curry is a bit sweeter, not as spicy but has just enough chilli to warm through you as you eat it. Perfect for people afraid of a bit of heat (like my mum). Enjoy, or as they say in Japan 楽しんで… (I think).
Mushroom katsu curry
Serves 2 / Hands on time 30 mins / Total time 1 hour 10 mins / V Df ❄
1 tbs sunflower or vegetable oil
1 onion, peeled and chopped
5 garlic cloves, peeled
2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
2 tbs plain flour
1 tbs medium curry powder
600ml vegetable stock, I use Knorr
1 tbs reduced salt soy sauce
1 bay leaf
2 tsp honey
½ tsp garam masala
Rapeseed spray oil (see tip below)
8 large chestnut mushrooms
2 handfuls Pako breadcrumbs
2 medium eggs, beaten
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp soy sauce,
1 tsp rice vinegar
sprinkle of sesame seeds
250g sushi rice and salad leaves
TIP: Buy an empty spray bottle and fill it with your favourite cooking oil – I use rapeseed oil. This distributes the oil evenly over food and is a great way of cutting calories when roasting or frying as you don’t need to use as much.
1. Preheat oven to 200C°/180°C fan/400°F/gas mark 6. If making sushi rice do this first and follow the packet instructions. To make the sauce, fry the chopped onion and whole garlic cloves in the oil in a large saucepan, on a medium heat, for a couple of minutes. Add the chopped carrots, give it a stir and put the lid on. Continue to sweat for a further 10 minutes.
2. Add the plain flour and the curry powder and cook for a minute, stirring continually. Add the stock in a slow steady stream and continue to stir (this avoids any lumps). Add the bay leaf, soy sauce and honey and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, beat the eggs in a bowl with a fork and pour out a generous amount of pako breadcrumbs onto a large plate. Spray a large oven tray with oil and pull the storks out of the mushrooms. Take each mushroom and dip it in the beaten egg. Once covered, roll it in the pako breadcrumbs until well coated and place on the oiled baking tray. Repeat this process until all your mushrooms are covered. Spray with oil and put in the oven for 20 minutes, turning halfway through.
4. Add the garam masala to the sauce and season with salt and pepper. Give the curry a stir and take off the heat. Pass the curry through a sieve using a wooden spoon to help force it though. (If you prefer a chunkier sauce, don’t bother sieving it but remember to remove the bay leaf. Or if you like a smooth but thick sauce, sieve it but add the vegetables back in (minus the bay leaf) and blend with a hand blender). Pour into a new pan and heat on a low heat to keep the sauce warm until your mushrooms are ready.
5. If making a salad, mix the dressing ingredients together and dress 2 handfuls of mixed leaves in a bowl.
6. Remove the mushrooms carefully from the oven and serve on top of the curry sauce, accompanied with sushi rice and salad.
TIP: To make the sushi rice into domes, simply spoon sushi rice into a tea cup and mold to the cup by pushing down with a spoon. Turn out onto a plate.
If you’ve had a go at making my mushroom katsu curry or any of my recipes, I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale firstname.lastname@example.org
V– Vegetarian Df– Dairy free
❄– The curry sauce is suitable for home freezing. Keep up to 3 months