Katsu aubergine
Fast food
Vegetable and halloumi yakitori
Katsu aubergine
Leek and cheese gyoza
Seaweed and potato patties
Sweet potato tempura
Fried cabbage rolls
Pumpkin korokke
Cheeseless pizza
Tofu and courgette pizza
Japanese curry
Introduction :: Soups and dashi :: Egg dishes :: Sushi :: Fast food :: Noodles and rice :: Side dishes :: Desserts
6 katsu
Tonkatsu is a deep fried pork cutlet which is often served with rice and miso soup or with shredded white radish. No vegetarian equivalent exists so I came up with this alternative. In the restaurant I often serve it over a noodle salad dressed with a ponzu dressing. In the picture here I have served it over braised green onions. Both recipes can be found in the side dishes section.

12 slices of aubergine
oil for frying
100g (4oz) mozzarella
4 tbsp bbq sauce
1 egg
100ml (½cup) milk
flour for dipping

Bbq (Tonkatsu) sauce
30ml (2tbsp) tomato sauce
20ml (1tbsp) vegetarian worcester sauce or Hendersons or HP brown sauce
30ml (2tbsp) mirin
20ml (2tbsp) sake
20ml (2tbsp) sesame oil
1 thumb of fresh ginger, grated
20ml (2tbsp) soy sauce
2 teaspoons white sugar
First of all make the bbq sauce by mixing all of the ingredients from the tomato sauce down to sugar in a bowl. Grate the ginger on the finest grater you have.

If you find this sauce too sweet use a savoury tomato sauce. If you can't find a vegetarian worcester sauce use another type of brown sauce - use your favourite.
Lightly brush each slice of aubergine with oil, place them on a baking sheet, and bake in a medium oven for about 15 minutes or until they are just cooked through. They don't need to brown.

When ready allow them to cool and then spread them out onto a work surface. On 6 of the slices lay a thin slice of mozzarella and a little of the bbq sauce. Top with another slice of aubergine.
Place the flour in a bowl. Whisk the egg and milk together and place the mixture in a separate bowl. Finally place the breadcrumbs in another bowl. (There are some notes on Japanese breadcrumbs and tips on making your own breadcrumbs in the glossary)

Dip each katsu in the flour first, then the egg mixture and then the breadcrumbs. Flatten each katsu together with the palm of your hand to seal them well and allow them to sit on a tray for couple of hours to dry a little.
Heat some oil over a medium heat in a frying pan and pan fry the katsu both sides until golden brown. Serve immediately.
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Mirin is a sweetened sake with a similar taste to a sweet sherry. It is used a lot in Japanese cooking and used in many recipes in this book so it is worth seeking out a bottle. Lots of supermarkets now stock mirin and you will more than likely find it in your local Asian grocer. It can be quite expensive but no more than a good sherry.
Sesame oil isn't generally used for cooking but added as a finish to sauces. The oil should be dark brown and have a strong toasted sesame seed flavour. Use any Asian style brand. You will find it in most supermarkets.
Sake is a Japanese rice wine. The quality can vary enormously but for cooking purposes I would buy quite a cheap one to start with. If you like to drink it buy a big bottle.
The Breadcrumbs used in Japan are called panko breadcrumbs and are particularly light and crispy. They are made from bread without crusts. They are availabe in some Asian shops and also extensively online.

But why not make your own. All you have to do is cut the crusts off some old and drying white bread and lay them out on a tray so they are exposed to the air and allow them to dry naturally for a couple of days in your kitchen. Don't pile the bread up or keep it in a closed container otherwise it will go mouldy instead. When the bread is dry just whizz it up in a food processor or crush it up in a pestle and mortar.