Air-Fried Eggplant Katsu

A healthy, and easy vegan katsu recipe. Perfect for serving with your favorite curry, or in a sandwich. 

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Japanese
Author: Monson Made This
For the marinade:
  • 1 (about 12 ounces) eggplant, cut into ⅓ inch slices
  • 2 charred scallions
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable Better Than Bouillon, or favorite vegan bouillon
  • 1 tablespoon Bragg’s Liquid Aminos or low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 piece of kombu
  • 3 cups water
For the breading:
  • 1 ½ cups panko bread crumbs
  • ½ cup chickpea flour
  • ½ cup reserved marinade
  • Salt and pepper to taste
To marinade:
  1. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil. On a grill pan or outdoor grill, char 2 scallions until fairly blackened. Add the charred scallions, kombu, bouillon and boiling water to a 8x8 inch glass baking dish (or equally sized heat-proof container). Stir to dissolve the bouillon. Add 1 cup of water to slightly cool down the mixture.

  2. Cut your eggplant into ⅓ inch discs. Place the slices into the warm broth mixture, and weigh with down wit a plate or bowl so that all slices are submerged.

  3. Allow the eggplant to marinate in the refrigerator for 8 to 24 hours, flipping halfway through.

To bread:
  1. To a bowl, add the chickpea flour, and stir in enough of the marinating broth to reach a creamy consistency. Your batter should be the consistency of beaten eggs. Set aside. To another bowl, add the panko crumbs, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

  2. Working one at a time, place a slice of lightly drained eggplant into the chickpea flour batter, coat the eggplant evenly in the mixture, and then place into the bowl of panko crumbs. Gently turn the eggplant in the crumbs, pressing down on the surface and edges so that the crumbs stick. Place the breaded eggplant onto a prepared baking sheet or drying rack.
To air-fry:
  1. Preheat your air fryer to about 400 degrees F. If you don’t have an air fryer, bake at 400 degrees F.
  2. Work in batches, cooking the eggplant for about 7 to 10 minutes per side, or until the panko crumbs are golden brown.
  3. Serve warm or at room temperature. 

Recipe Notes

You could also pan fry the eggplant in a bit of oil to achieve a crispier and more “fried” appearane