John and Lisa's Weekend Kitchen

Sweet potato and tofu katsu curry

This vegetarian take on the popular Japanese dish is a great alternative for the whole family. The breadcrumbs add delicious texture to the dish.

Serves 4

Prep: 20 minutesCook: 30 minutes


For the vegetables:

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1cm thick slices100g plain flour450g firm tofu, drained and sliced150ml oat cream1tbsp plain flour, plus extra for dusting100g panko breadcrumbsVegetable oil, for shallow frying

For the sauce:

2 tbsp vegetable oil1 onion, finely grated or grated1 clove garlic, grated or crushed2 tsp turmeric11⁄2 -2 tsp medium curry powder2 small Granny Smith’s apples, cored and chopped1 heaped tbsp tomato ketchup300ml vegetable stock2 tsp light soy sauce1 tsp cornflour, mixed with 1 tbsp cold waterSalt and pepper

To serve:Cooked rice (see perfect rice tip below)


  • Parboil the sweet potatoes in boiling water for 8 minutes or until soft, then drain.

  • For the sauce: Heat the oil in a saucepan, add the onion and garlic and fry for 3-4 minutes untilsoftened. Add the turmeric and curry powder, fry for 30 seconds then add apples, tomato ketchup, stock and soy sauce.

  • Stir in the cornflour mixture. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

  • Remove the sauce from the heat and use a stick blender or liquidiser to blend until smooth. Reheat gently before serving.

  • Sweet potato and tofu: Dust the sweet potato slices with flour. Mix the oat cream with flour. Place the breadcrumbs in a separate bowl. Dip the sweet potato firstly in the oat cream mixture and then the breadcrumbs.

  • Dip the sweet potato slices in the oat cream a second time and finally give them a second coating of breadcrumbs.

  • Repeat steps 5 and 6 with the tofu.

  • Heat the oil in a frying pan until hot. Then fry the sweet potato and tofu in batches for 2-3 minutes each side until golden brown. Drain on kitchen paper.

  • If liked spoon hot rice into a small dish and turn out onto a plate. Place the sweet potato and tofu on the plate and spoon over the katsu sauce to serve.

TIPS:For an authentic mound of rice: Wet the inside of a small (preferably rounded) bowl with water, spoon in fluffy rice to the top of the bowl, patting the rice down and invert onto a plate.

Season the katsu sauce lightly with salt as vegetable stock is quite salty.

Perfect rice:

  • For 4 servings: Take a large coffee mug (or similar) and fill it with long grain rice, place the rice into a pan which has a tight fitting lid.

  • Now wash the rice three times (this stops it from becoming too sticky). Place the pan under running water and fill the pan with water and stir it around, drain and then repeat twice more.

  • Take the same large mug and fill it with water and pour over the washed rice. Add one and a half more cups of water. Add a pinch of salt and give it a stir.

  • Place the lid on the pan and bring to the boil, turn the heat down to low and cook for 3/4 minutes. Now turn the heat off and do not touch it, lift the lid or anything but leave where it is with the heat off for a further 20 minutes.

  • Take a fork, lift the lid and run the fork through the rice so it is fluffy and not sticking together.

John and Lisa's Weekend Kitchen