This easy air fryer Tofu Katsu is served as a wholesome Japanese meal over the bed of brown rice, sautéed veggies and drizzled with delicious sweet and spicy sauce. Its a crunchy, chewy and satisfying recipe along with being healthy and vegan.
I am quite fond of Japanese cuisine but finding a vegan option sometimes gets difficult. Therefore, I am always on a lookout to veganize the restaurant recipes.
Katsu is a quite popular dish and is commonly available in many forms like burger and curries. However, here, I decided to make it in a bowl form so that we can all enjoy our favorite flavors on a weeknight as well.
Therefore, I came up with this vegan katsu concept. Here, I decided to air fry this Japanese flavored tofu so as to make it absolutely oil free and healthy.
Also, I have some easy weeknight meal to share with you which might interest you:
Red Lentil Dal
Thai Red Curry Vegetables
Almond Butter Stir Fry Noodles
Spicy Orange Cauliflower
Spicy Cashew Broccoli Stir Fry
Black Rice Tempeh Bowl
Coming back to this recipe, I have tried to make a Japanese cuisine for the first time for my blog and it was an instant hit with my family. Even my mom, who is a quite fussy in trying out new recipes, loved it.
Therefore, I am here to share this vegan tofu katsu.
Ingredients you will need:
Whole wheat flour
Dairy free milk
Extra firm tofu
Crushed chili flakes
I have used these easily available ingredients in this recipe which you may buy from any local grocery store. However, I have provided links to few of them here for your convenience.
If you plan to buy from these affiliate links, I get a small commission which in turn encourages me to bring in more delicious recipes for you all.
- Whole wheat flour – it’s fiber rich and more nutritious than the processed flour. I used it here to coat the tofu very well and bring firmness to it. This helps in making tofu crispy.
- Almond flour – I used it to balance the flavor and add a slight nutty flavor to this recipe. Overall, this helps in enhancing the flavors of the final dish.
- Flaxmeal – It adds healthy and essential fats to this recipe along with fiber. Moreover, I used soaked flaxmeal here to replace eggs from the traditional one. This plays an important role in flavoring tofu even more and binding as well.
- Panko crumbs – it’s a Japanese bread crumbs but much crispier than the regular ones. Therefore, using panko is important in this recipe to get the right texture and taste of this katsu.
- Sesame oil – You may use any oil of your choice for sautéing veggies. However, the combination of sesame oil and sesame seeds is ultimate and enhances the overall flavor of the tofu katsu recipe.
- Coleslaw – I used the store-bought coleslaw salad kit for convenience. However, you may use shredded cabbage and julienned carrots here as well.
- Maple syrup – its plant based healthier sweetener. However, you may substitute it with brown sugar if desired.
After going through the ingredients in detail, now, all you have to go through the steps and get started with this delicious vegan Japanese tofu.
I am sure your family will love this as much as we did. I must have made this twice in the last week and had no leftovers. Therefore, happy me.
How to make Tofu Katsu
Step1: How to air fry tofu
Firstly, I sliced pressed tofu into ¼ inch thick length wise.
Secondly, in a mixing bowl I combined the dry ingredients and made a flour mixture. Then, I coated each slice with it very nicely.
Next, I whisked the wet ingredients in another mixing bowl and dipped each slice in it.
Thereafter, I rolled ach slice in the panko crumbs generously and immediately placed them in the air fryer basket.
Once, I placed all the tofu in the air fryer basket I attached it to the air fryer and turned it on at 350 degree for 20 minutes. Once done, I left it in the air fryer closed to keep it warm and crispy.
Step2: How to sauté vegetables
- Firstly, I heated sesame oil in a nonstick pan and sautéed white sesame seeds in it for 30 seconds followed by dried garlic.
- Secondly, I added cabbage, carrots and remaining condiments in it and sautéed it for 2 minutes.
- Next, I turned it off and kept it aside.
Step3: How to whip up the sauce
In a mixing bowl, I combined all the sauce ingredients and whisked it nicely until all the ingredients were well combined.
Steps4: How to assemble
- Firstly, in a serving plate I placed some cooked brown rice as the first layer.
- Secondly, I topped it with sauteed veggies.
- Next, I placed tofu slices on it and drizzled the sauce generously.
- Lastly, I garnished it with white and black sesame seeds and green onions and served it immediately.
It’s a beautiful dish to present to your guests as well. However, we enjoyed every bit of this vegan Japanese dish. Its super easy to make and absolutely delectable.
- While coating the tofu slices with flour mixture make sure to add lots of it with a spoon on all side to make a thick covering around the slice.
- It is important to note that each slice should be well covered with the wet ingredients. So, for this make sure to bathe them nicely by using the spoon. Do not let the dry ingredients be visible at all.
- Most importantly, if you grease tofu katsu with the cooking spray in the air fryer basket the end result is nicely browned and moistened along with being perfectly crisped.
It tastes best when served immediately. If kept for long they become soft and soggy.
Brown rice can be cooked a day ahead and refrigerated. You may also whisk the sauce and refrigerate in an air tight glass container for a week. You may prepare the flour mixture and keep it at room temperature for a week. When ready simply follow the rest of the steps. Warm up the rice and serve as suggested.
Originally, it is a crispy cutlet made with meat or seafood. Here I have used tofu to substitute for vegan protein.
It has a nice sweet and spicy taste from the sauce and crispy savory cutlet taste from air fried tofu.
Simply grease a nonstick frying pan and place crusted tofu slices on it. Cook until brown from the bottom. Then with the help of tongs or a flat spatula flip them gently to cook again until brown. Make sure to keep rotating on all sides until its brown from all sides and serve immediately.
Did you make it?
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- Slice tofu into ¼ inch thick length wise. In a large mixing bowl combine wheat flour, almond flour, ½ tsp salt and ½ tsp black pepper and mix well. Place a slice in the flour mixture and cover it from all side very well.
- In another mixing bowl combine soaked flaxmeal, dairy free milk, ½ tsp salt and ½ tsp black pepper and keep it aside. In a separate flat plate keep panko crumbs ready. Then, gently dip it in the wet ingredients and cover. Spoon the milk mixture on the slice well so as to coat it well with milk.
- Then, roll it in panko crumbs to cover it generously.
- Immediately place it in the air fryer basket. Repeat steps 1-3 for the rest of the tofu slices. After placing all the tofu slices in the basket, grease them with the cooking spray and attach the air fryer basket to the air fryer. Turn it on at 350 degree for 20 minutes. When done turn it off and let it stay warm in the air fryer until ready to use.
- In the meanwhile, heat oil in a nonstick pan and add sesame seeds. Sauté for 30 seconds and add garlic to it. Then, add the remaining ingredients of the veggies to it and sauté for 2 minutes. Turn it off and keep it aside.
- In another mixing bowl combine all the sauce ingredients and mix it well. Keep it aside. In a serving plate place cooked brown rice as the first layer and top it with some cooked veggies. Then, place the tofu katsu and drizzle the sauce over it generously. Garnish with white and black sesame seeds and green onions. Serve immediately.
- For stove top option: Follow until step 3. Warm a nonstick pan and grease it with a cooking spray or drizzle some oil. Then place crusted tofu on it and cook until light brown from the bottom. Then gently flip the slices with the help of tongs or a flat spatula and cook again until brown. Keep rotating the slices on all sides until nicely browned from all sides. Take it out and serve as suggested.
- For oven option: Follow until step 3 and then place the slices on a cookie sheet/baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Grease the slices with cooking spray and place it in the preheated oven at 400-degree Fahrenheit for about 40 minutes or until brown and crispy.
- This recipe makes about 12-14 slices.
- You may substitute maple syrup for brown sugar if desired.
- I used coleslaw ready to use salad kit to sauté veggies but you use 1½ cup shredded cabbage and ½ cup julienned carrots of desired.
- The nutritional information is provided without the rice and garnishes.