Kid-Friendly Katsu Curry (Vegan)

I only just recently found out about katsu curry. It’s a Japanese curry which is essentially a smooth mild sauce (think chip shop curry sauce, guys – sorry Japan) poured over breaded chicken, veggies and rice. I saw it mentioned again and again when I was looking at reviews of vegan ‘chicken’ dippers. Turns out lazy people  busy vegans are not only enjoying dippers with a plate of chips and ketchup (and who doesn’t), but are also finding lots of inventive ways to use them – i.e. to replace breaded chicken in katsu curry. Genius! Curry sauce with dippers? COUNT ME IN. I was pleasantly surprised by the sauce’s minimal, mostly store-cupboard ingredients and how quick and easy it was to make – it turned out to be a great mid-week dinner and I will definitely make it again. I loved it. My daughter loved it. My husband pretended he didn’t love it.

For the ‘chicken’ dippers, we absolutely love either Fry’s (try the freezer at Holland & Barrett) or Quorn’s new vegan dippers. If you’re vegetarian then you can choose from many more versions (including supermarket own-brand ones).

Serves 4.

Vegan ‘chicken’ dippers – you’ll need about 12 (or about 3-4 per person)

For the sauce:
1 tbsp oil
1 small onion, chopped
1-3 cloves of garlic, depending on how garlicky you like things (and how many vampires you need to keep away)
1-2 carrots, chopped (about 150g)
Half an apple, peeled/cored/chopped (optional, for that extra chip shop je n’ais se quoi)
2 tsp grated ginger
1 tbsp cornflour dissolved in 1 tbsp water
1 tbsp medium curry powder
500ml vegetable stock
1 tbsp maple syrup
2 tsp soy sauce
A couple of handfuls of ‘quick cook’ veggies per person – I like a mix of sugar snap peas, baby corn, small broccoli and cauliflower florets. Trays of stir-fry vegetables are great here.
-Rice to serve-

Get the dippers in the oven while you get on with the sauce. In a large saucepan, warm up the oil over a lowish heat and gently soften the chopped onion, garlic, carrots, apple (if using) and ginger for about 10 minutes. Add the the cornflour paste and curry powder and mix until everything is coated.

Add the vegetable stock, maple syrup and soy sauce. Use a hand blender to blitz until smooth then gently simmer for around 20 minutes or until thickened. (Good time to cook the rice!) Add the veggies and cook for another few minutes. Spoon the sauce over rice and dippers and enjoy!

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