Monday, July 25, 2011

Chick'n Katsu & Katsudon

If you have ever seen a bento box menu at a Japanese or Hawaiian restaurant, chances are you'll see katsu or tonkatsu (pork katsu). Tonkatsu is generally the more famous of the various types of katsu one can get, though there are also beef, chicken, fish, and minced meat versions. So, hey, why aren't their veggie versions?! Exactly. There is probably someone out there that makes or sells tofu katsu. I thought about trying that, but then I realized we vegans and vegetarians are mighty lucky to have the super nifty company, Gardein. "Chick'n Katsu" was born.

Chick'n Katsu
* Prep Time: 10 minutes
* Cook Time: 15 minutes
* Ingredients:
  • 1 package of Gardein chick'n scallopini, thawed
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 egg replacements, preparing according to package instructions*
  • 2 cups panko
  • 4 lemon wedges
  • tonkatsu sauce, for dipping* 
* Recipe:
  1. Pour oil into deep frying pan and cover at least 1 in. thick. Heat on high.
  2. Sprinkle salt, pepper, and garlic powder over chick'n patties.
  3. Place flour on one plate, panko on another, and egg replacer in a medium bowl.
  4. Dredge chick'n in flour, then saturate entirely with egg replacer. Coat with panko completely and press to make sure chick'n is well coated.
  5. Slip chick'n into oil and cook until both sides are golden brown, about 5-10 minutes.
  6. Drain chick'n on paper towels once removed from pan.
  7. Using a sharp knife, cut into slices about 1/2 in. thick.
  8. Serve with lemon wedge and tonkatsu sauce for dipping.
* Note: For egg replacer, I swear by Ener-G for all my needs. Tonkatsu sauce is used for all sorts of katsu. It's sweet yet tangy. Kikkoman has a vegan one readily available. This recipe was modified from Japanese Home Cooking by Shunsuke Fukushima.

Chick'n Katsudon
Katsudon is a combination of katsu and donburi. It generally involves an egg. Vegans don't eat eggs. I modified it with my own little scrambled "egg" recipe in order to compensate for this.

* Prep Time: 5 minutes
* Cook Time: 10 minutes
* Ingredients (for donburi sauce):
  • 1 cup water
  • 5 tbsp soy sauce or tamari*
  • 5 tbsp mirin*
  • 1 tsp vegan dashi*
  • 1/2 tsp sugar*
  • 1/2 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
* Ingredients (for scrambled "egg"): 
  • 1/2 package (14 oz.) firm tofu, pressed, smashed with fork
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • 1 tsp tumeric
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder 
  • 2 tsp nutritional yeast
* Ingredients (for chick'n katsudon):
  • 4 chick'n katsu, sliced into 1/2 in. pieces
  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced 
  • 1 tbsp nori, ripped or cut into narrow strips
* Recipe (for donburi sauce):
  1. Combine all ingredients in sauce pan.
  2. Bring to boil and remove from heat.
* Recipe (for scrambled "egg"):
  1. In a small skillet, heat the sesame oil and add the smashed tofu.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and cook on medium heat for 5-10 minutes.
* Recipe (for chick'n katsudon):
  1. Place serving of rice in a bowl. Add scrambled tofu, then one sliced chick'n katsu.
  2. Add donburi sauce over the rice, egg, and katsu.
  3. Top with scallions and nori.
* Note: One could probably use Bragg's Amino Acid in replace of soy sauce or tamari. Mirin is a sweet rice wine cooking liquid. VegWeb has a great vegan dashi recipe that one can store and use for later. I highly recommend it. Make sure your sugar is vegan. I modified this recipe from Japanese Home Cooking by Shunsuke Fukushima.

Thinking about it, the one thing I'm not sure one could actually veganize in Japanese cooking is shabu-shabu (if you've seen Lost in Translation, you know what I'm talking about). I guess someone could try it with seitan. That would be interesting to see!


Anonymous said...

you are just the best.


lauren said...

Looks great!

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