I have been using a lot of tofu recently, as I’ve found it very versatile and quick to prepare. It comes in handy when you have a hungry toddler in front of you screaming for food and only 20-30 minutes to get something on the table quick.
Tonkatsu is a popular Japanese dish consisting of a thick, breaded, deep-fried pork cutlet commonly served with curry and rice. (If you have never made your own curry roux or curry, you should try my Japanese curry roux recipe.) It is also common to see it made with chicken as an alternative, which is known as tori katsu or sometimes panko chicken.
For this recipe, instead of using meat, I thought I will give tofu a try, pan frying it instead of deep frying. That way, it’s much quicker to prepare for my hungry son (and his hungry mom).
Since the weather is nice and warm now, I decided to serve the tofu with a simple tonkatsu sauce, over steamed rice with a light cabbage salad in sesame dressing, for a very light and refreshing lunch!
- 250 g firm tofu, drained (cut into approx. 2×5 cm thin square pieces)
- About 1 cup panko
- 1 tsp dried garlic powder
- 1 tsp dried onion powder
- Salt and pepper
- 1 egg, lightly whisked
- Vegetable oil for frying
Lay tofu pieces on two layers of kitchen paper on a plate, in a single layer. Then cover tofu with another 2 layers of kitchen paper and place another plate on top. Set aside for 10-15 minutes to press out the excess liquid from the tofu.
In a small bowl, mix panko with salt and pepper, dried garlic, and onion.
Heat about 2 tbsp of oil in a shallow frying pan on medium-high heat. (Test that oil is hot enough by dropping some panko pieces into the pan. If they sizzle in a few seconds, then the oil is ready to use.)
Starting with one to two pieces of tofu, dunk the squares into whisked egg, turning to coat and shaking off excess. Then dip tofu into the panko mixture, turn to coat evenly, and shake off excess. Place coated tofu pieces into hot oil and fry until brown, about 2-3 minutes each side. Repeat for remaining tofu pieces. Serve warm, with tonkatsu sauce.