We’re huge Wagamama fans – but with only five restaurants in New Zealand (all of them on the North Island), we had to get creative when the cravings struck. Luckily, one of their most popular (and delicious) dishes, katsu curry, isn’t all that hard to make at home. Although chicken katsu is a fan favourite, the vegetarian version is packed full of flavour and crunch – and if you’re a vegan, you’ll only need to swap out the eggs used for breading the veg.
This recipe serves around 3-4 people, plus more if you’re serving with rice and salad for a more authentic Wagamama experience.
2 tablespoons sunflower oil
2 onions, sliced
5 garlic cloves
2 medium carrots
2 tablespoons plain flour
3 tablespoons curry powder
600ml vegetable stock
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon garam masala
Breaded aubergine & courgette (a.k.a eggplant & zucchini)
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons plain flour
1 egg (*or aquafaba for a vegan option)
100g fine breadcrumbs or panko breadcrumbs
230ml vegetable oil for frying
1 large or 2 small courgettes
2 sweet potatoes/kumara (for making the sauce go further, or for added veggie goodness)
short grain white rice (1/2 cup or 90g per person)
mixed salad leaves
If adding sweet potato to your sauce, peel and cut your sweet potatoes, and boil until soft. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large non-stick saucepan, add onion and garlic and cook until softened. Chop and add your carrots, cooking on a low heat for around 10 minutes.
Add the flour and curry powder and cook for one minute, then stir in your stock until fully combined. Add the honey, soy sauce and bay leaves, and slowly bring to the boil. Add in your sweet potatoes. Simmer for around 20 minutes.
Using a potato masher, squash any large chunks of carrot or potato until sauce is smooth and thick. Stir in the garam masala. Keep on a low heat until you’re ready to serve. If you’re having rice with your curry, now’s the time to get it on.
Cut your aubergine and courgette into disks and season both sides with salt and pepper. Place flour, egg* and breadcrumbs in separate bowls and arrange in a row. Coat the slices in flour, then dip them in the egg, then coat in breadcrumbs, making sure you cover both sides evenly.
Heat 1cm of oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Place your veg into the hot oil and cook until golden brown (around 1-2 minutes each side). Once cooked, place on kitchen paper to absorb any excess oil, and keep warm in the oven.
Plate up your veg and pour your curry sauce over the top. If you’re feeling fancy – or really going for the Wagamama experience – use a teacup or small bowl with some cling film wrapped around it (or grease the inside), and fill with your rice, pushing it gently into the mould. Tip onto your plate and slowly let the rice slide out, and then add your salad.