Tofu Katsu Sandwich
Why we love it:
- 2 packages Firm Tofu (or extra firm)
- 1⁄4 cup White Miso (or yellow)
- 1⁄2 head Green Cabbage (or cabbage only pre-sliced slaw mix)
- 2 Lemons
- 2 teaspoons Kosher Salt (divided)
- 2 Tablespoons Ketchup
- 2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
- 2 Tablespoons BBQ Sauce
- 1 cup Flour (all-purpose)
- 2 Eggs
- 3 cups Panko Breadcrumbs (Japanese breadcrumbs)
- 1⁄4 cup Vegetable Oil
- Sliced Brioche (8 slices)
- 1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard (for serving)
Open tofu and drain. Slice into 8 even, thin squares.
Whisk the miso, and a ½ cup water in a medium bowl until it’s an even consistency. Add the tofu and let this sit as long as you can and up to overnight (if waiting longer than 3 hours, cover and place in the fridge).
Cut the cabbage in half and remove the core. Slice it very thinly into ribbons, as if for cole slaw. If you have a mandolin, this is a great time to use it but a sharp knife would be ok. Place in a medium bowl. Finely grate lemon zest over top, then slice and squeeze in the juice. Add half of the total salt listed.
Using your hands, toss, gently squeezing the cabbage until slightly wilted. Set aside.
Stir together the ketchup, soy sauce and BBQ sauce. Set aside.
5. BREADING STATION
Set out 3 shallow bowls in a line with a clean baking sheet on the end. Separately, one in each bowl, place the flour, cracked eggs, and the panko. Add the remaining salt to the panko bowl.
*It’s great to have a wet hand and a dry hand while you do this. Essentially, you’re passing the tofu squares off to each hand/bowl alternately so you don’t end up with a triple breaded hand!
Pull a tofu square from the miso marinade and dredge though the flour, shaking off any excess. Then dip it in the egg on both sides. Let any excess drip off and place it in the panko. Flip and lightly press to coat both sides evenly. Set on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the rest.
Pour oil into a wide and heavy bottom sauté pan (cast iron is great). Heat oil over medium-high until an instant-read thermometer registers 350°–365°. (If we’re being honest, we don’t use a thermometer. When it looks shimmery, toss a pinch of flour into the oil and if it sizzles, you’re good to go. If it doesn’t make any noise, heat a little more.)
Carefully lower a piece of tofu into skillet, letting it slide away from you as it touches down so you don’t splash yourself. You can probably cook between 3-4 pieces at a time depending on your pan. Don’t overcrowd. Cook about 2 minutes, then flip. Cook about 1-2 minutes more.
Use tongs to remove the tofu and place on a plate lined with a paper towel. Let the oil heat up again and repeat.
Slice the bread you’re using into slices or just set them out.
Drizzle tonkatsu sauce over tofu squares. Spread mustard on 1 side of half of bread slices; top with cabbage mixture, then 1-2 tofu squares, sauce side up. Close sandwiches and slice each in half or thirds for presentation.
We love serving this with a side of fresh, tangy fruit like oranges, pineapple, or mango.