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This Vegan Katsu Sando is a homemade version of the classic Japanese convenience store sandwich. It’s made with crunchy yuba, fluffy crust-less bread and crisp shredded cabbage.
What is a Katsu Sando?
This is a beloved Japanese lunch or snack that’s sold in convenience stores, at train stations, and on lunch menus. The original katsu sandwich is not vegan. Rather, it’s a tonkatsu sandwich made with fluffy milk bread (no crusts), a generous layer of butter, a little mustard, crispy pork tonkatsu, shredded cabbage, and katsu sauce.
In order to make the recipe vegan, the only thing we really need to modify is the pork tonkatsu. Instead of pork, this vegetarian version features yuba. Like pork tonkatsu, the yuba is breaded and air-fried. Then, I simply substituted regular butter for vegan butter and used gluten-free Texas toast.
Here’s what you need to make yuba tonkatsu and to assemble the sandwich:
Yuba. Look for pressed sheets of yuba if you can.
Cornflakes. Make sure they’re gluten-free if necessary.
Spices. The breading for the yuba tonkatsu is seasoned with paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
Milk. Any unsweetened, unflavored dairy-free milk will work.
Starch. You can use either cornstarch or potato starch.
Bread. Any fluffy, airy white bread will work great.
Butter. Let your vegan butter come to room temperature for smooth spreading.
Mustard. This is optional but adds a nice peppy bite.
Cabbage. Use finely shredded cabbage so your sandwich is easy to eat.
Tonkatsu sauce. Serve this on the side or smear it on the bread when assembling your sandwich.
What is Yuba?
Yuba, also sometimes called tofu skin, is a soy product with many thin layers that crisp up well, just like a pork cutlet. You can find yuba at Asian markets near the tofu.
What Kind of Bread is Best?
If you’re gluten-free, you’ll love the Texas toast I found online for these sandwiches. Otherwise, just look for a vegan bread that’s sliced thick and is light and fluffy.
How to Serve Vegan Katsu
To get an authentic texture, press your assembled sandwich under a plate or something heavy for a few minutes before slicing it in half and digging in.
Substitute for Yuba
If you don’t want to use yuba, you can use tofu or a vegan faux meat of choice.
Do I need an Air Fryer?
No! I like to make this in the air fryer because it’s faster, but I’ve included oven-baking instructions below as well.
Start by preparing your yuba katsu. Slice your piece of yuba so that it fits your desired sandwich size.
Next prepare three plates. On one plate, mix together crushed cornflakes, salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika. On another, just add the milk and on the final plate add your cornstarch.
Start by coating the yuba in cornstarch, then dip it in the milk to coat and finally into your cornflake mixture. Press in the coating as much as possible, then transfer to a baking tray or into your airfryer.
If using an airfryer, give the yuba a quick spritz with a spray oil then cook for 12-15 minutes at 375F, or until golden brown and crispy. If baking in the oven, bake for 10 minutes on each side, flipping once.
To assemble the sandwich, remove crusts from your slices of bread. Butter each side and add a layer of mustard to one side. Add your katsu on top of the mustard and drizzle with katsu sauce. On the other slice of bread, add your shredded cabbage. Close up the sandwich then press under a heavy plate for 5 minutes.
Hi there, I’m Remy! Welcome to Veggiekins Blog, home to nourishing vegan + gluten-free recipes and tips to live your best balanced and holistic life. I’m a human on a mission to empower you to be well and be kind to your mind, body and soul with the healing power of plants.
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