Monthly Recipe: Vegetarian Katsudon (ベジタリアンカツ丼)

This month has flown by, and I almost forgot to cook! I asked my Facebook friends for some last-minute recipe suggestions, and someone suggested katsudon (カツ丼). Being a pescetarian, I can’t eat regular katsudon (which is made with pork), so I decided to make a veggie one. I found a recipe here on Japanese Vegan in Scotland which worked out pretty well, although I think I should have cooked the tofu a bit longer maybe. I apologise to my English readers that this recipe includes measurements in cups. I’ve just recently won some wonderful measuring cups from, and I’d encourage you to get some if you like cooking and get frustrated by cup measurements!

Vegetarian Katsudon

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 4 servings of sticky rice
  • 400g firm tofu
  • 1/2 cup plain flour
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 cups panko (Panko are Japanese breadcrumbs. They are different to English breadcrumbs, but I couldn’t get any here so I used English breadcrumbs, which worked fine.)
  • Spring onions (to garnish)

Katsudon sauce:

  • 6 tbsp soy sauce
  • 4 tbsp mirin
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp cooking sake (I actually left this out as I don’t have any)
  • 1 onion
  • 200g silken tofu
  • 1 tbsp cornflour (or ‘corn starch’, if you’re American!) mixed with the same amount of water

Cooking: Vegetarian Katsudon


First, cook the rice. I use a rice cooker, so it’s easy to just leave it cooking while you get on with everything else.

Drain and press the tofu with kitchen paper to remove as much moisture as possible. Slice the tofu into 5-7mm thick pieces.

Cooking: Vegetarian Katsudon

Toast the panko/breadcrumbs in a frying pan over a medium heat until brown. (Try not to get impatient like I did – I definitely could have toasted them for longer!)

Cooking: Vegetarian Katsudon

Pre-heat the oven to 220°C/gas mark 7.

Mix the flour and water in a bowl. Dip the sliced tofu first into the flour/water mixture, and then coat in breadcrumbs. NB. I found there was quite a lot more flour/water mixture and breadcrumbs than I actually needed, so you might want to cut the quantities down a bit.

Cooking: Vegetarian Katsudon

Cooking: Vegetarian Katsudon

Bake the tofu for about 10 minutes, then flip over and bake for another 5 minutes. (Actually, you could probably bake it a little longer.)

Cooking: Vegetarian Katsudon

While the tofu is cooking, place the soy sauce, mirin, cooking sake and sugar in a pan and bring to the boil.

Cooking: Vegetarian Katsudon

Cooking: Vegetarian Katsudon

Cooking: Vegetarian Katsudon

Turn down the heat to medium and add the sliced onion. Cover and cook until the onion is soft.

Cooking: Vegetarian Katsudon

Mush the silken tofu and add it to the pan.

Cooking: Vegetarian Katsudon

Cooking: Vegetarian Katsudon

Add the cornflour and water mixture and stir.

Cooking: Vegetarian Katsudon

Bring to the boil and turn off the heat.

Serve up the rice in a bowl.

Cooking: Vegetarian Katsudon

Top with a tofu cutlet and sauce. Garnish with spring onion.

Cooking: Vegetarian Katsudon

Enjoy! 🙂


I’ll be back in September with a new recipe. If you have any suggestions, or perhaps you would like me to try one of your recipes from a book or website, please leave a comment below or get in touch! All the recipes I try on this blog have some connection to Japan and, because I don’t eat meat, they need to be vegetarian or pescetarian. I’m particularly interested in helping to promote Japanese recipe books, so do let me know if you have one I might like!

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