Eggplant is such an amazing vegetable, it’s texture changes so much depending on the amount of heat applied. With lots of quick heat, like in this dish it becomes soft and creamy. The katsu crumb is the perfect thing to hold it all together and the spice laced curry sauce brings the extra flavour it needs. This is a delicious dinner and it just happens to be vegan.
The flavours and textures in this plate are so yummy! The eggplant is actually addictive, crispy exterior, silky soft inside. I love how it does this it’s just magic. If you think you don’t like eggplant you have to try Eggplant Katsu, it’ll change your mind.
If you’re not vegan, you can use eggwhites instead of aquafaba (the water from chickpeas or beans). But if you’re making a salad for lunch (this chickpea and barley one is such a winner) that week anyway then just drain the water from the chickpeas and use it instead of cracking a couple of eggs. Waste not want not right?
You could bake the eggplant instead of frying it but I would recommend spraying the crumbed eggplant with a little oil first to ensure you get the crunch you want. And cranking up the heat on the oven to get it hot enough for your eggplants to be a good texture inside.
The way I’ve made it here is frying it. I am aware that this isn’t the healthiest method of cooking in the world. But everything in moderation and you’re also eating a heap of vegetables with this meal.
I made my own curry sauce as it’s pretty easy and that way I know what’s in it. You can buy the golden curry sauce from most supermarkets in the Japanese section if you don’t want to make your own.
1 Tbs butter or coconut oil
1 Tbs flour
1 Tbs curry powder
1 level tsp turmeric
1 heaped tsp garam masala
500 ml salt reduced stock
2 Tbs prune juice (or Apple juice, or a tsp of honey or maple syrup in a pinch)
1 tsp rice wine vinegar
1 tsp miso paste
1 cup aquafaba (or 2 large egg whites)
3 cups panko crumbs
2 Tbs neutral oil
4 cups mixed lettuce
2 Tbs sesame seeds, toasted
1 tsp rice wine vinegar
1/4 tsp sesame oil
Brown rice to serve
Curry sauce: in a medium pot melt butter and add flour and spices stir to combine and cook for 1 minute on low heat, stirring frequently. While you whisk add the stock in 1/2 cup increments stirring to combine completely before adding more. Add prune juice, vinegar and miso paste and cook until thick and glossy. Set aside.
Slice eggplant into 1 cm thick circles. Briefly whisk aquafaba or egg whites. Place panko crumbs in a shallow dish. Dip eggplant slices into the aquafaba then place in the crumbs, flip and press to coat. Repeat on all your slices.
Heat a large heavy based fry pan on medium high heat. Add half the oil and once hot add the eggplant slices, don’t crowd the pan you will need to work in batches. Cook for about 3 minutes each side until golden and crispy. Drain on a paper towel or wire rack. Repeat with remaining eggplant and oil. How much oil you will need will depend on your pan. Use a fish slice or slotted spoon to scoop out any bread crumbs between batches so they don’t add a burnt flavour to your next batch.
Salad: Combine all ingredients in a bowl and toss to combine.
Serve with Salad and Eggplant next to one another and curry sauce on the side.