clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
overhead image of tofu katsu with Japanese curry

Tofu Katsu

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 2 reviews

  • Author: Chris @ Sweet Simple Vegan
  • Total Time: 24 hours 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4
  • Diet: Vegan


Crispy tofu katsu is easily one of our new favorite ways to prepare restaurant-style tofu at home! Serve this comfort food favorite over our Japanese curry and rice for the ultimate tofu katsu curry bowl. All you need is 8 ingredients! 


Flour mixture:

  • ½ cup (60g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup water

Panko mixture:

  • 1 cup (65g) panko
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • Pinch of black pepper


  • 1 block (16 oz.) extra-firm tofu
  • Vegetable or canola oil for frying
  • Salt to taste
  • Black pepper


  1. At least 24 hours in advance, freeze the whole block of tofu (in its packaging) overnight. Once frozen, remove it from the freezer and allow it to defrost. Keep it refrigerated until you’re ready to prepare the rest of the dish.
  2. Drain and press the tofu for at least 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare your breading station. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, and ½ tsp salt. Then whisk in the water until the mixture is smooth. In another medium bowl, mix together the panko, 1 tsp salt, paprika, and black pepper.
  4. Once the tofu is pressed, cut it in half widthwise. Then cut each piece in half lengthwise so you have 4 equal pieces.
  5. Pat the tofu dry with a towel and season each piece with salt and pepper.
  6. One at a time, coat each piece of tofu in the flour mixture. Allow any excess to drip off before coating in the panko mixture. Then place on a wire rack. Repeat for each piece of tofu.
  7. Heat 1-inch of oil in a large pan over medium heat. To test if your oil is hot enough, toss a piece of panko in. If it immediately sizzles and floats, the oil is ready.
  8. Fry each breaded tofu piece for 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown and crispy. Place on a paper towel-lined plate and immediately season with a pinch of salt while they’re still hot.
  9. Serve with Japanese Curry, and enjoy!


  • Using frozen and thawed tofu yields the best texture, but this recipe also works with tofu that hasn’t been frozen. Just start from step 2.
  • For 2 larger pieces instead of 4, only cut the tofu in half widthwise.
  • Prep Time: 24 hours 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Entree
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: Japanese