This hearty Japanese meal includes crispy sesame-panko-crusted Tofu, tender vegetables, a rich, flavorful curry sauce, and a hearty Japanese dessert. You can also substitute the curry with cold shredded green cabbage and some katsu sauce to make it even quicker.
FOR CURRY ROX
extra-virgin olive oil
Extra-virgin olive oils, dilled
baby bella mushrooms, halved
Small yellow onions
Fresh ginger, peeled thinly and cut into inch
Low-sodium vegetable broth/water
Russet potato, cut into sixes
large carrot, cut into irregular chunks
Medium Fuji apple, peeled & grated
Small Roma tomatoes chopped into large pieces
Soy sauce as required
Block firm tofu (14 ounces), frozen in a package for 24 hours, then defrosted
Panko bread crumbs
Vegetable oil for frying
For serving, cook rice
- Prepare curry roux Heat 2 tablespoons olive oils in a small saucepan on medium heat. Slowly add flour, stirring to combine. Continue to cook, whisking continuously, until fragrant and golden, about 1 to 2 minutes. Mix in the spices. Continue cooking, stirring until fragrant, about 30 seconds to one minute. Mixture should have the texture of wet sand. While you prepare the vegetables, transfer the mixture to a small bowl.
- Saute mushrooms in olive oil: Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Place mushrooms in a single layer and cut sides down. Cook until the cut sides are golden. Mix, season with salt and continue cooking for 3-4 minutes. Turn off heat.
- Slice onion in half from root to tip. Then cut each half into four thick slices. Over medium heat, heat remaining tablespoon of olive oil in large saucepan. Season onion with salt and cook for 4 minutes. Cook ginger until fragrant for 1 minute.
- Add the broth to the onions and season with a large pinch of salt. Bring to boil. Use a wooden spoon to scrape up any brown bits. Bring to a simmer. Transfer 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid to a small bowl. Whisk in approximately 25% of the curry roux. Mixture should be returned to the pot. Stir to combine. Continue this process three more times until the roux has been completely dissolved in the pot. Stir in potato and simmer for 5 minutes, partially covered.
- Add half of the grated apple and carrots. Add half of the grated apple and carrots to the pot. Bring to a simmer, and let the vegetables simmer for 8-10 minutes.
- Add cooked mushrooms, tomatoes, remaining apple, and season with soy sauce.
- Sandwich the tofu between two layers of paper towels. Then, press down gently with a flat-bottomed pot or a second cutting board to absorb moisture.
- Tofu can be placed on its small, short side by throwing away the towel. Divide the tofu in thirds and cut into three thinner rectangles. Salt each slice from all sides.
- Make bread station: Add flour and nondairy milk into one bowl. Then, add panko to the third bowl. Mix mustard with milk, sesame seeds and panko in a bowl. Place paper towels on a baking sheet and cover with a rack.
- Start with one piece of tofu at time. Once you have dredged the flour, shake off any excess. The tofu should be added to the milk mixture. After that, return it to flour. To help the crumbs stick, dip the tofu in the milk mixture again. Transfer the breaded tofu onto a rack. Repeat with the remaining pieces.
- In a large skillet, heat about 1/2 inch of vegetable oil on medium-high heat. When a panko piece bubbles when it is added to the oil, the oil is ready. Cook the tofu in the hot oil until it is golden brown on the underside, about 4 to 6 minutes. Flip the tofu and continue cooking until golden on the other side. Transfer to a cooling rack and season with salt.
- Sliced tofu can be served over rice or curry.