Crisp Tofu Katsu With Lemon-Tahini Sauce
Katsu, the Japanese-style fried cutlet dish, is made just a bit healthier in this version prepared with tofu slabs. Here, the slabs are dredged in seasoned bread crumbs, baked, not deep-fried, and paired with quinoa, making it full, protein-dense meal. Note, too, that the leftover katsu here reheats nicely: Simply put it in your oven at 400 degrees, and bake for 10 minutes.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 5tablespoons safflower or canola oil, plus more for greasing
- ⅓cup cornstarch, plus more as needed
- 2large eggs, beaten
- 1 ½cups panko bread crumbs
- 2 ¼teaspoons granulated onion
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 1pound firm tofu, cut about 1/4-inch thick, into 12 equal slices
- 12ounces shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced 1/2-inch thick (4 packed cups)
- ¾cup red quinoa, rinsed well and drained
- ¼cup plus 2 tablespoons tahini
- ¼cup plus 2 tablespoons safflower or canola oil
- ¼cup lemon juice
- 2tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 2teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
- ¾teaspoon grated garlic (about 1 large clove)
- 8ounces cauliflower florets, thinly sliced (2 heaping cups)
- ½cup chopped parsley
- Lemon wedges, for serving (optional)
Step 1Make the katsu: Heat oven to 425 degrees. Grease 2 large rimmed baking sheets with the oil. Put cornstarch, eggs and bread crumbs in three separate shallow bowls, and add 3/4 teaspoon of the granulated onion to each bowl. Season all with salt and pepper and mix well. Add 3 tablespoons oil to the bread crumbs and mix well.
Step 2Working with one piece at a time, dust tofu in cornstarch, then dredge in egg, shaking off excess. Press in bread crumbs to evenly coat. Arrange on one baking sheet, and transfer to oven. Bake until golden and crisp, 15 minutes.
Step 3Place mushrooms on second baking sheet, season with salt and pepper and toss with the remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Bake until golden, 12 minutes.
Step 4Make the quinoa: Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, combine quinoa with enough water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil and cook until the quinoa is tender, about 8 minutes. Drain, then return quinoa to the pan. Cover and let stand for 10 minutes; fluff into a large bowl.
Step 5In a small bowl, combine tahini, oil, lemon juice, mustard, soy sauce, garlic and 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons of water. Whisk together and season with salt and pepper.
Step 6To the quinoa, add mushrooms, cauliflower, parsley and 1 cup of the dressing and mix well. Season with salt and pepper.
Step 7Divide quinoa in bowls and top with tofu. Serve with remaining sauce for drizzling on tofu and lemon wedges, if desired.