Tofu is an excellent meat alternative not only because of its high protein content but its adaptability as a replacement in meat recipes. Often, tofu may be processed to achieve a more meat-like texture by freezing and thawing the firm variety but in this recipe, the breading hold the shape of the tofu sufficiently without this step. Besides, I prefer my tofu cutlets to have a fluffy rather than chewy interior.
The recipe ingredients and method are the same for tonkatsu. Even tonkatsu sauce is used as a dipping condiment. Iíve included a homemade tonkatsu sauce recipe, too.
Breaded Tofu Cutlets
1 block extra firm tofu
3/4 cup flour
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ajinomoto
2 cups panko bread crumbs
vegetable oil for frying
Tonkatsu sauce for dipping
Slice the block of tofu into ľ inch slices. If you prefer your cutlets thicker, cut into ĹĀEslices. Place the slices carefully onto a tea towel. Cover with another tea towel and gently press to blot out some of the moisture. Do not crush the tofu!
In a small bowl blend together the flour garlic powder, onion powder, salt and ajinomoto. In another dish, beat the eggs. In a third dish, pour out the panko bread crumbs. Coat one slice of tofu in the seasoned flour mixture. Then, carefully dip it into the beaten eggs. Finally, coat this tofu in panko bread crumbs. Place this slice on a plate and continue with the remaining tofu slices.
In a skillet, heat vegetable oil. It should be enough to come up about one inch in the pan. When the oil is ready (about 350 degrees F), fry the breaded tofu on both sides until golden brown. Turn only once to prevent the coating from falling off and the tofu from breaking. Drain on paper towels.
Serve with tonkatsu sauce on the side.
Tonkatsu sauce is a tangy Japanese steak sauce used mostly for pork steaks, but it is enjoyed on many meats. It is readily available in the Asian food section of most markets today but it is just as easy to make your own using my recipe with ingredients you probably have on hand.
1 cup ketchup
4 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 pinch red chili pepper
Blend together all ingredients and allow flavors to meld.