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Last updated: May 9, 2024

Vegan katsu curry with crispy tempeh

5 from 3 votes
The finished vegan katsu curry recipe with breaded crispy tempeh

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You’ve probably seen a vegan katsu curry on the menu of Wagamamas, but I first encountered this delicious meal at a Coco Ichibanya (a chain of curry houses) in Japan. 

I remember walking past these curry houses feeling amazed at just how steamy the windows were from all the curry that was being cooked up and served inside.

My one big takeaway from the katsu curries that I ate whilst in Japan was that they are simple but very comforting. So I always avoid overcomplicating the dish. It doesn’t need lots of stuff in it! With my vegan katsu curry recipe, I have taken the fundamentals of a katsu curry and then just veganised it.

Servings: 4 people




Katsu curry sauce

  • 1 tbsp Rapeseed oil
  • 1 Brown onion medium sized
  • 4 cloves Garlic
  • 1 Carrot
  • 1 tbsp Curry powder
  • 2 tsp Garam Masala
  • 2 tbsp Maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp Tamari soy sauce
  • 1 can Coconut milk organic works best

To serve

  • 240 g Jasmine rice
  • 1/2 Cucumber
  • 1 tsp Brown rice vinegar
  • 1/2 Lime the juice from


Prep the tempeh

  • Heat up your oven to 180° (fan)
  • Mix all of the tempeh ingredients together except for the tempeh and the panko breadcrumbs. Pour it into a large shallow dish
    3 tbsp Tamari soy sauce, 2 tbsp Maple syrup, 1 tbsp Toasted sesame oil
  • Cut the tempeh into thin slices and coat them in the marinade and leave them in there whilst you carry on with the rest of the dish
    400 g Tempeh
    tempeh marinading for vegan katsu curry

Prep the cucumber

  • Put the brown rice vinegar and lime juice into a bowl
    1 tsp Brown rice vinegar, 1/2 Lime
  • Using a peeler, peel the cucumber lengthways into loads of thin slices
    1/2 Cucumber
  • Mix the cucumber slices into the vinegar lime juice mix and leave it in the bowl until serving

Make the katsu curry sauce

  • Roughly chop your onion, carrot and garlic
    1 Brown onion, 4 cloves Garlic, 1 Carrot
  • Heat up the rapeseed oil in a casserole pot on a medium high heat and add the chopped onion, carrot and garlic
    1 tbsp Rapeseed oil
  • Fry off the veg until it starts to soften, making sure to stir regularly. This should take about 10-12 minutes on a medium-high heat
  • Stir in the curry powder and garam masala until the veg is well coated, and fry off for a few minutes
    1 tbsp Curry powder, 2 tsp Garam Masala
  • Stir in the maple syrup with the tamari soy sauce, and then slowly start pouring in the coconut milk, making sure to mix it all together as you do
    2 tbsp Maple syrup, 1 can Coconut milk, 1 tbsp Tamari soy sauce
  • Bring the sauce up to the boil and then leave it on a medium heat simmering away for about 10 minutes

Start cooking the rice

  • Whilst your sauce is cooking away rinse your rise and start cooking according to packet instructions. You can get started with cooking the tempeh whilst this is cooking
    240 g Jasmine rice
  • Once your rice has cooked drain it and put it back into the saucepan. Cover it with a lid that has been wrapped up in a tea towel. Leave the rice to steam on the counter as you finish cooking the meal

Cook the tempeh

  • Drain the tempeh, making sure to save the marinade for future dishes (I like using it for tofu). Coat the tempeh in the panko breadcrumbs, making sure to really massage it in to the tempeh so that it sticks. I only like a light coating so don't worry too much about it all sticking
    30 g Panko breadcrumbs
    breaded tempeh ready for cooking in vegan katsu curry
  • Place the coated tempeh on to a baking tray and bake in the oven for about 10 minutes

Blend the katsu curry sauce

  • Meanwhile, pour the katsu curry sauce into a blender and blend until smooth
  • Pour it back into the casserole pot that you cooked it in and place it on a really low heat on the stove to keep it warm whilst you finish cooking the tempeh
    Cooked and blended vegan katsu curry sauce


  • Serve up your steamed rice on the plate and place your baked tempeh next to it. Pour the katsu sauce over the top of the tempeh and top with some of the cucumber slices
    A close up of the finished vegan katsu curry recipe with breaded crispy tempeh


To speed up this dish, you could marinade the tempeh overnight, or in the morning before you cook it. You don’t actually have to marinate it at all, but it won’t be as tasty.

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Lucy Johnson

One response to “Vegan katsu curry with crispy tempeh”

  1. Vegan Mum avatar
    Vegan Mum

    5 stars
    This is just the best way to eat tempeh. I’m not a huge fan of it and tend to use tofu, but this was definitely an exception.

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