Look lads, I am reeeaaallly missing going out to eat. Apparently my prior essential activity of going to restaurants is now deemed as non-essential and this is my struggle (obvs staying at home with gratitude though, and so should you).
I have had a particular craving for katsu curry though, a usual go-to when I am sporting a pretty big hangover… it is comfort, carbs and more, and will always help you get back on track after a big one. Discovering how easy the sauce is to make is going to be an absolute revelation for you, just as it was for Mr Hangry Em and I… ‘We can have katsu curry whenever we want?!’… life changing stuff here.
Some words on panko. I appreciate you might not have the Japanese style breadcrumbs at home, and it is completely ok to switch these out for whatever breadcrumbs you have. I am also going to share with you the most sage and helpful cooking advice I have learned whilst bread-crumbing food: right hand dry hand, left hand wet hand. Your right hand deals with flour and breadcrumbs, your left deals with the egg – this will stop your fingers becoming covered in that congealed, gooey egg paste that will end up getting all over your house in a matter of minutes no matter how hard you try to keep it contained. Life-changing recipe today in more ways than one it seems.
Album to cook to: ‘Carry On Up The Charts’, The Beautiful South
Recipe feeds 2 (don’t try and stretch the sauce out for more people… you will regret sharing in an instant)
Prep Time: 1 hour (this includes 30 mins of letting the aubergine rest in salt… don’t let this put you off!)
Cook Time: 30 mins
For the aubergine:
1 large aubergine, sliced 1/2cm thick
1 egg, whisked
2 tbsp flour
5 tbsp panko breadcrumbs (though you might need more or less depending on the size of your aubergine…)
For the curry sauce:
1 onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 inches of ginger, grated
2 heaped tsp curry powder (if you have Japanese curry powder, that is excellent – I only had Caribbean and it still works well)
1 tsp garam masala
2 tsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp flour
400ml chicken stock
100ml apple juice
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp golden syrup or honey
1 carrot, peeled and chunkily diced
2 tbsp vegetable oil
Pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees celcius, and pop your aubergine slices on a plate, sprinkling them with salt. You might have to layer the aubergine to fit it on the plate, just make sure you salt each layer. Leave them to rest for 20-30 mins to remove some of their water, and dab this away with some paper towel.
Pop your flour, egg and breadcrumbs in three different bowls (lining them up in this order), and please, please remember the advice I have given – right hand dry hand, left hand wet hand. Look, I think I am going to enforce this with instructions: using your right hand, place a slice of aubergine in the flour, evenly coating it. Using the same hand, pop it into the egg THEN SWITCH to your left hand, using it to coat the aubergine in the egg, using your thumb to massage it over the flour. Using your left hand, pick up the aubergine and place it in the breadcrumbs THE SWITCH to your right hand, picking up the breadcrumbs and pressing it into the aubergine slice until it is coated. Repeat this until all of your aubergine slices are covered in the breadcrumbs, and place on a baking sheet. Pop these into the oven for 25-30 mins, flipping them over halfway through cooking.
Now it is time to make the sauce, although you can make it whilst the aubergine is resting in the salt and keep it warm. Heat the oil in a saucepan on a low/medium heat and add the onions, gently cooking them for 5-8 minutes. We don’t want them to brown, so sprinkle them with a bit of salt and keep an eye on them. When they are translucent, add in the garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes.
Sprinkle in the tablespoon of flour, the curry power and garam masala, stirring in to the onion/garlic mix. Allow this to cook for a minute or so to remove the floury taste from the sauce. De-glaze your pan with the vinegar, then slowly add your chicken stock, whisking it in to the curry roux you have just made. When this is combined, add the apple juice, ginger, soy sauce and golden syrup, and throw in the diced carrot. Leave this on a low simmer for 20-25 mins whilst the aubergine is cooking. It will thicken up nicely and smell absolutely incredible, and I will admit I ‘taste tested’ this numerous times when it was on the hob… had to make sure it was ok to serve, right?
Serve the aubergine and curry sauce with some rice (jasmin rice goes well here) and some salad, and commit to making this whenever your katsu cravings come into force… I might need to stock up on curry powder.