Vegan Katsu Curry Recipe with Tempeh - Romy London UK | Vegan Food (2024)

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Delicious Vegan Katsu Curry made with crunchy tempeh 'steaks' and a flavoursome homemade katsu curry sauce.

Vegan Katsu Curry Recipe with Tempeh - Romy London UK | Vegan Food (1)

What you'll love about this recipe:

  • it's 100% vegan
  • the recipe is super easy to make and only takes about 15 minutes to prepare
  • the addition of tempeh adds protein to this dish
  • the sauce is full of flavour and more-ish, with added nutritional benefits from the veg
  • you can make this recipe gluten free easily, by swapping out the panko breadcrumbs for a gluten-free version
  • the sauce can be made in advance and frozen in portion sizes until you need it

Tempeh Katsu Curry Recipe (Vegan)

Dinner goals are served right up with this Vegan Katsu Curry! I can't believe it's taken me so long to create my own katsu recipe for the blog - after all, it's been one of my go-to meals since Wagamama's launched their vegan menu (it's honestly divine!). On another note, also the Wasabi Take-Away Pumpkin Katsu is one of my regular supermarket pickups - for those eves after a long day of work, when I can't be bothered to cook from scratch (yes, those days do happen).

So all in all, it's a miracle that it's taken until now for me to share a vegan katsu curry recipe with you, but here we are!

Vegan Katsu Curry Recipe with Tempeh - Romy London UK | Vegan Food (2)

Katsu Curry is traditionally a Japanese Curry, served with a fried panko protein and a 'Tonkatsu' Sauce that is created with a thick vegetarian pureed fruit-based brown sauce. Aside from the tasty & flavourful tonkatsu sauce, my favourite part about the katsu curry is the crunchy addition on top! For their vegan version Wagamama coat either vegetables or a Seitan steak in panko breadcrumbs, which is then fried. On the other hand, Wasabi coat little discs of pumpkin in panko for an extra crunch in the dish.

For my 'katsu style' recipe I've used tempeh as I find it adds a perfect bite to the recipe, not to mention some extra protein! For my sauce, I've blended carrots, onion and garlic alongside some punch-packing spices and coconut cream for an extra smooth finish.

Please note that this vegan katsu recipe is in no way an authentic representation of a traditional katsu recipe, but simply my own interpretation bringing out the flavours I enjoy the most and using only simple supermarket ingredients. So all in all, it's an easy-to-make recipe at home that packs a whole lot of flavour!


Get your pen at the ready and write your shopping list to make this vegan katsu curry! Here's what you need:

  • tempeh: I love using the plain block from Tiba Tempeh
  • panko breadcrumbs
  • plain flour
  • curry powder
  • plant milk
  • yellow onion
  • carrots
  • garam masala
  • garlic cloves
  • vegetable stock cube
  • coconut cream
  • salt & pepper to taste


  • oil to fry: make sure to use an oil with a high smoke point, I usually stick to rapeseed or avocado oil
  • cooked rice to serve, basmati is a great choice!
  • sesame seeds & chilli flakes to garnish


  • blender
  • oven & baking tray

Instructions (Step-by-Step)

There are 3 main aspects to this recipe: the rice, the tonkatsu style sauce and the crunchy tempeh.

The rice

The simplest part! Simply serve with your favourite rice and prepare according to packaging instructions. I usually have some white basmati in my pantry, so this is what I like to use. I also usually ignore the packaging instructions (naughty me!) and instead wash the rice, then heat a 1:2 rice to water ratio on the stove until boiling, reduce the heat to a minimum and place a lid on top, then allow for the rice to do its thing until fully cooked. Without opening the lid (that's an important part!)! Creates fluffy rice each time. Of course, if you own a rice cooker, go for that.

The tempeh

I like to use the plain Tiba Tempeh block for this recipe. Simply cut it into discs of about 1 cm thickness, then prepare the batter and the panko mix in 2 separate bowls. For the batter, combine curry powder, plain flour and plant milk (see amounts below!) and whisk until smooth. In another bowl, place your panko breadcrumbs.

Heat a little oil in a large non-stick pan. Dip each tempeh disc into the batter, allow for any access to drip off for 5-10 seconds, then pop it into the panko breadcrumbs and place it into the hot oil over medium/high heat. Flip after 1-2 minutes or when the bottom begins to brown and remove from the pan once both sides are golden and crunchy. Place onto a kitchen towel to remove any access oil.

Optional: You can serve the tempeh discs whole or sliced (see pictures) - the sliced version is probably the easier serving option.

The sauce

The sauce is easy to create: simply cook the onion in a little oil until softened, in the meantime cook or steam the carrots until soft, then combine all sauce ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Easy peasy!

Vegan Katsu Curry Recipe with Tempeh - Romy London UK | Vegan Food (4)

How to make this recipe gluten free

In the traditional recipe, panko breadcrumbs are used, which are the main factor why the traditional recipe is not gluten-free.

To make the recipe gluten-free you can of course swap the panko for some regular gluten-free breadcrumbs one to one.

However, I would definitely recommend using panko style breadcrumbs as they create the perfectly thick and crisp, crunchy layer on the outside of your tempeh. I have found that gluten-free panko is not easy to get by in UK supermarkets, however, I've had a quick google and found that there are indeed a bunch of gluten-free versions - the brand Kikkoman actually sells a gluten-free version, spotted on eBay Uk.

You can even make your own gluten-free panko at home, check out this recipe & description from Flour Farm:

You might also enjoy these recipes:

If you love cooking with tempeh, you might also enjoy my Tempeh Pad Thai or my Tempeh Nasi Goreng! If curries are your thing, try my Red Pepper Dhal, or my Creamy Butter Bean Curry.

  • Tempeh Nasi Goreng Recipe
  • Vegan Tempeh Pad Thai Recipe
  • Vegan Peanut Noodles (My Favourite Recipe)
  • Simple Sesame Noodles (Vegan and High Protein)

If - like me - you love Pinterest, you can find me here & if you like, you can pin any of the images on this page to your boards 😊


Vegan Katsu Curry Recipe with Tempeh - Romy London UK | Vegan Food (9)

Tempeh Katsu Curry

5 from 1 reviews

  • Author: romylondonuk
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 25
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 3-4 1x
  • Category: Curry
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: Asian
  • Diet: Vegan
Print Recipe


Delicious Vegan Katsu Curry made with crunchy tempeh 'steaks' and a flavoursome homemade katsu curry sauce - easy to re-create at home!



  • 200 g tempeh
  • 5-6 tbsp panko breadcrumbs
  • oil to fry
  • cooked rice to serve
  • sesame seeds & chili flakes to garnish

For the flour mix:

  • 4 tbsp plain flour
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 100 ml plant milk

For the sauce:

  • 1 shallot or small yellow onion, cooked
  • 2 carrots, cooked
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 350 ml vegetable stock
  • 2 tbsp coconut cream
  • salt & pepper to taste


  1. Start by cutting the tempeh into slices of about 1cm thickness.
  2. Prepare the flour mix in a small bowl and place the panko breadcrumbs into another bowl. Pre-heat a little oil in a non-stick frying pan.
  3. Dip all your tempeh slices into the flour mixture, gently drip off the excess and then carefully coat them in the breadcrumbs. Place them in your frying pan and fry them until golden on both sides. Be gentle with them and move them as little as possible once they’re in the pan. Place them in the oven to keep them warm at a low heat, whilst you’re preparing the Katsu sauce.
  4. For the sauce, cook the onion in a little oil until softened. Cook or steam the carrots until soft, then combine all sauce ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
  5. Serve your Katsu sauce with the tempeh steaks and rice and garnish with sesame seeds & chilli flakes.

Keywords: tempeh curry, vegan katsu curry, tempeh katsu curry, katsu curry recipe, tempeh katsu recipe, vegan curry recipe, vegan katsu curry

Love tempeh? Well, me too! Check out my other recipes served with tempeh here:

  • Spicy Swede Soup
  • Roasted Butternut Squash Pasta

© Romy London / Romina Callwitz | All images and content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images and content without prior permission. If you wish to re-publish this recipe, please get in touch via email. Thank you so much for supporting!

Vegan Katsu Curry Recipe with Tempeh - Romy London UK | Vegan Food (2024)


What is the difference between katsu and katsu curry? ›

The curry is the Japanese-style roux mentioned above, while the katsu, which means “fried cutlet”, is a piece of breaded fried meat, usually made with pork. In recent years, however, people in Britain have started to call the Japanese curry roux “katsu curry”, even if it doesn't contain the vital “katsu” meat cutlet.

What is katsu curry sauce made of? ›

what is chicken katsu curry? a crispy fried cutlet of chicken coated with flaky japanese panko. the curry sauce is made using onions, garlic, and ginger, as well as curry powder, turmeric, chicken stock, coconut milk, soy sauce and sugar.

What is vegan katsu made of? ›

Thick slices of juicy aubergine and sweet potato coated in panko breadcrumbs and shallow fried until crispy and golden brown are accompanied by an aromatic curry sauce, plain rice and a simple green salad. If you make this recipe please tag me on Instagram using the #lazycatkitchen hashtag and @lazycatkitchen.

Is katsu curry the same as Japanese curry? ›

Katsu curry is just a variation of Japanese curry with a chicken cutlet on top. I used a store-bought block of Japanese curry roux which is commonly used in Japanese households. Chicken Cutlet (Japanese version of chicken schnitzel) brings the Japanese curry up to the next level. It's so delicious and filling.

Why is katsu curry so popular in the UK? ›

Chicken katsu curry is a very popular curry dish – traditionally hailing from Japan, this dish comprises of panko breadcrumb coated chicken in a thick curry sauce and rice. Due to the ease of preparation and minimal ingredients list, it is a firm favourite with the British.

Why is Japanese curry so good? ›

The stand-out feature of a Japanese curry is its thick, rich sauce. The thickness of the sauce which can only be found in Japanese curry is supported and beloved by many. The rich and indulgent sauce mixes with rice so perfectly, you will find it difficult stoping eating.

What's the difference between katsu curry and normal curry? ›

Popular variations. A very common variation of Japanese curry is katsu kare (カツカレー), which is a dish of regular Japanese curry rice plus a piece of tonkatsu (deep-fried pork cutlet) put on top.

What can you use instead of tonkatsu sauce? ›

Can you substitute tonkatsu sauce? Yes. If you don't have all the ingredients to make your own, you can substitute with tomato, Worcestershire or barbecue sauce. Otherwise, you could also shake things up by using other Japanese sauces such as takoyaki, okonomiyaki or yakisoba sauce instead.

Is katsu sauce the same as tonkatsu sauce? ›

Tonkatsu sauce – とんかつソース – (sometimes also referred to as katsu sauce) is a sweet and tangy Japanese condiment used for dipping or as a sauce for sandwiches.

What is the red stuff in Japanese curry? ›

Japanese curry is often served alongside with steamed rice and an accompaniment of bright crimson red relish called f*ckujinzuke (福神漬け). These pickled vegetables are sweet and tangy, which is perfect to set off the richness of curry.

What is Japan's national dish? ›

Countries all over the world have their own curry, but Japanese curry is a little unique. For Japanese curry, it is common to cook the meat, potatoes, carrots, and the spring onion along with the curry to give a thick and sticky texture.

Is katsu curry like chip shop curry? ›

This katsu curry sauce is much more simple. In fact, it has much more in common with the chip shop curry sauce I grew up with. It is however still gloriously delicious, probably because of its simplicity!

Is Wagamama katsu curry meal kit vegan? ›

suitable for vegetarians. this delicious katsu curry is done the wagamama way, simply cook with your favourite protein and rice to enjoy this iconic restaurant dish at home. For allergens, including Cereals containing Gluten, see ingredients in bold.

Is Japanese curry mix vegan? ›

S&B VEGAN CURRY MIX IN FLAKES is a new Japanese curry flake that meets the needs of our diverse range of customers. Cook Japanese curry with this product and satisfy all your customers regardless of their dietary preferences. This product does not contain any animal-derived ingredients.

What's the difference between katsu curry and normal curry? ›

Popular variations. A very common variation of Japanese curry is katsu kare (カツカレー), which is a dish of regular Japanese curry rice plus a piece of tonkatsu (deep-fried pork cutlet) put on top.

What is Japanese katsu curry? ›

Katsu curry (Japanese: カツカレー, romanized: katsukarē) is a Japanese dish consisting of a pork cutlet (tonkatsu) served with a portion of Japanese rice and curry. It is served on a large plate and is typically eaten using a spoon or fork. The cutlet is usually precut into strips, eliminating the need for a knife.

What does katsu style mean? ›

September 17, 2015 3:20 pm. Katsu is one of Japan's favourite Western-style foods. So, what is it? Simply, it's a breadcrumbed cut of meat, not unlike a turkey escalope or schnitzel, usually served with shredded cabbage and a thick, salty and sweet sauce called tonkatsu sauce.

Why is it called katsu? ›

From Japanese カツ (katsu, “cutlet”), shortening of カツレツ (katsuretsu), itself from English cutlet.

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