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Cauliflower Katsu – Recipes for the Planet, Your Bank Account and Your Belly

Eating sustainability isn’t easy. Anyone looking into refining their diet in line with what our planet needs will soon realise the extent of the changes they’re going to have to make – say goodbye to meat!  

With livestock constituting almost 15% of greenhouse gas emissions, it appears to now be time to learn how to make the most of a humble vegetable, particularly those that are local and seasonal.  

British autumnal veg tends to be side-lined as something you’d be a bit disappointed to have to force down as a side to a pie or bit of meat – but fortunately a bit of effort can flip this all around!.  If you’re ever running out of veggie or vegan meal ideas, simply take your favourite recipes from your meat-eating days and replace the meat with a bit of creatively prepped veg.  

This mindset has inspired this cauliflower katsu, which takes a “boring” vegetable and turns every bit of it into something that can alleviate even the most extreme of meat cravings. This recipe has been pared down student-style to ingredients that you might find in your kitchen anyway – saving you money but still providing the Wagamama-esque experience.  

Simple Cauli Katsu Curry 

Makes 2 servings 

Ingredients: 

For the cauliflower: 

  • 1 small cauliflower (with lots of leaves!) 
  • 50g plain flour 
  • 100ml plant-based milk or water 
  • Salt 
  • (Optional) 1 tsp garlic or onion granules 
  • 100g breadcrumbs (great made from stale bread) 

For the sauce: 

  • 1 small onion 
  • 2 garlic cloves 
  • 3cm piece of ginger 
  • 1 carrot 
  • 1 small bunch of coriander (1 tsp dried/ground works too) 
  • 1 tsp garam masala/mild curry powder 
  • 1 tsp turmeric 
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes 
  • 2 tsp mango chutney 
  • 25g plain flour 
  • 400ml veg stock 
  • Lime wedges 
  1. Preheat your oven to 190°C / 180°C fan and line a large baking tray with baking paper. 
  1. Slice your cauliflower into florets and put the leaves to one side. 
  1. In one bowl, whip up your plain flour, a pinch of salt, and your garlic or onion granules with milk or water until you have a crêpe-like batter. Place your breadcrumbs in a separate bowl. 
  1. Dunk each floret into the batter, letting the excess drip off, then coat with the breadcrumbs.  
  1. Spread evenly on a baking tray and bake for approx. 30 minutes until golden and crispy. 
  1. Wash your cauliflower leaves and add to another tray with a coating of oil, a pinch of salt and a sprinkling of garam masala or curry powder. Cook for around 10 minutes until crispy. 
  1. In the meantime, make the sauce! Finely dice the onion, garlic, ginger and carrot and fry alongside the coriander stalks and spices over a medium heat until soft.  
  1. Put on your rice.  
  1. Add the flour and chutney to the pan and stir to combine.  
  1. Whisk in the stock until smooth and simmer for around 10 minutes until you reach a nice thick consistency.  
  1. Remove your cauliflower and leaves from the oven and serve up on a bed of rice with a generous serving of your sauce. Garnish with coriander leaves and a wedge of lime.  

Tips 

  • Most veg and herbs can be frozen one way or another – save excess ingredients from the bin and use another day. 
  • Sub out ingredients for things that you’ve already got – this recipe also works really well with aubergine or tofu. 
  • Google what’s seasonal – make the most of what’s growing around you at the moment and let it inspire your cooking!  
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