I grew up eating Tonkatsu made with pork or chicken and loved it. This is a great replacement using crispy tofu. The main secret is the sauce which is sold as Bull Dog Sauce, Ottogi Sauce, or simply Tonkatsu Sauce. The sauce can also be made at home or ordered from Amazon. The sauce is made from applesauce, onion, tomato paste, carrots, prunes, and soy sauce. The sauce is amazing on potato croquets also.
The Tonkatsu variation can also be to simply fry up Gardein breaded chicken and serve with Tonkatsu sauce for a very easy dinner!
Traditionally Tonkatsu is served with white rice and a Japanese cabbage slaw or simply shredded cabbage.
To make the tofu is pretty easy. Take a block of extra firm tofu and first press it. This is not required, but you will get a better result by removing some of the water. You can use a tofu press or two plates and some weight.
Slice the tofu into 3/8″ wide strips.
Place three bowls on the counter. One with 1/2 cup of almond or soy milk. One with 1/2 cup of flour. One with a cup of Panko crumbs. Dip tofu strips one at a time into the soy milk, then coat in the flour, then back into the soy milk, then coat with the Panko. This will make your fingers into a mess.
Heat up 1/2″ of oil in a pan (or you can use a deep fryer). If using a pan, only cook 4-5 strips at a time to not reduce the heat too much. Use tongs to turn. Cook and turn until golden brown. Outside should be crispy and inside creamy. Place on paper towels on a plate to drain.
Serve with rice and Tonkatsu sauce.
Optional sauce recipe:
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup tamari
2 tablespoons agave nectar
2 tablespoons vegan Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon unsweetened applesauce
2 teaspoons spicy brown mustard
Optional Slaw recipe:
6 cups shredded cabbage (1 small head)
1 large carrot, shredded
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 teaspoons agave nectar
1 to 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1 to 2 teaspoons dark sesame oil
Salt and black pepper