Crisp tofu, spiced Japanese katsu sauce, crushed edamame and aubergine pickle, this veggie sharing dish from 100 Islington will keep you going back for more. Find tonkatsu sauce in Japanese supermarkets or substitute with HP sauce and a pinch of chilli powder
groundnut oil for deep frying,
plus a drizzle for the aubergine
coconut milk 400g tin
tonkatsu sauce 1 tbsp
mild curry powder 1 tbsp
garlic 1 clove,
ginger a thumb-sized piece,
peeled and finely grated
plum tomato 1,
coriander seeds ½ tsp
ground turmeric ½ tsp
ground cumin ½ tsp
fennel seeds ½ tsp
caster sugar 2 tsp
white wine vinegar 3 tsp
edamame beans 200g,
extra-virgin olive oil
enoki mushrooms 200g,
spring onion 1,
red shiso leaves a few (optional)
Dijon mustard ½ tsp
Frank’s chilli lime garlic sauce a dash (optional)
panko breadcrumbs 150g
mixed white or black sesame seeds 1 tbsp
plain flour 100g,
firm tofu 400g,
cut into 3cm cubes
To make the katsu sauce, simmer the coconut milk, tonkatsu sauce and curry powder for about 20-30 minutes until reduced by half, thickened and saucy. Season well.
Fry the aubergine in a drizzle of oil until completely soft, then strain out of the pan with a slotted spoon into a bowl. Fry the garlic and grated ginger for a minute, then add the tomato and spices until fragrant. Add the fried aubergine back to the pan with the sugar and 2 tsp vinegar. Simmer for 5 minutes until the aubergine starts to break down. Season well and take off the heat.
Blanch the edamame beans for 2 minutes, then drain well. Tip into a small blender and pulse until you get a coarse purée. Mix in 1 tsp olive oil, the lemon zest and some seasoning.
To make the enoki, mix the mushrooms, radish, spring onion, and shiso, if using. Whisk the dijon mustard with 1 tsp white wine vinegar and 2 tsp olive oil, then toss with the mushroom mix. Add a dash of Frank’s sauce, if you like.
Heat a pan of groundnut oil no more than 1/3 full to 180C, or until a cube of bread browns in 30 seconds. Mix the panko breadcrumbs and sesame seeds on one plate, and put the flour and egg onto two other plates.
Dip the tofu cubes into the flour, then egg, then breadcrumb and sesame seed mix. Deep fry the crumbed tofu in batches in the hot oil for about 3-4 minutes until golden brown. Drain on kitchen paper.
Put some of the katsu sauce onto 4 plates. Add a dollop of the crushed edamame and aubergine pickle and sit the tofu on top. Top with the enoki mix to serve.