When we travel, we will not hesitate to wait in line for hours to eat at a restaurant with great reviews. In February, we played Yahtzee for over almost 3 hours waiting for a table at Morning Glory in San Diego to try their epic brunch. Worth it. We’ve braved the tiresome lines at Au Cheval in Chicago just for a bite of that drool-worthy burger. Also worth it. And once, we forced our entire extended family to stand on the streets of Ometesando for nearly 2 hours just to eat what we read was “the best tonkatsu in Tokyo.” It was. Seriously, don’t travel with us if you’re not into braving the lines. Stock your pocketbook with snacks, games and maybe a Xanax because when it comes to good food: The Benerofe’s do NOT mess around.
Thinking back to that Japan trip, the hubs saw a picture of tonkatsu curry the other day and asked me to recreate it with tofu. He didn’t have to ask me twice, but I had to bail on the traditional carrot/curry powder/turmeric sauce and opt instead for a bright, pungent gingery scallion “curry”. Just as delicious, but maybe just a smidge prettier to look at on the plate. —thebalaboostachef
12 hours 15 minutes
plant-based milk, such as almond
Ginger Scallion "Curry"
scallions, sliced (about 3/4 cup)
1 1/4 cups
packed baby spinach, roughly chopped
jalepeno pepper, seeded and roughly chopped
garlic clove, roughly chopped
any high heat neutral oil (canola, safflower, vegetable)
After you press the tofu of most of its liquid, place in a single layer on a plate and freeze overnight. This step gives tofu a spongier, firmer and chewier texture....which is a good thing! Remove and let thaw on paper towels to absorb the liquid. Pat dry.
Place flour, milk and panko EACH in their OWN shallow dredging dishes. Season the panko with kosher salt. Dredge the tofu first in the flour, then the milk and finally the panko. Make sure you coat all 6 sides.
Heat the oil in a large nonstick saute pan. Once hot, add 4 of the tofu cutlets. Fry until all 6 sides are golden brown. Don’t forget the edges! Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Add the other 4 tofu cutlets to the pan and repeat the process. Reserve while you make the sauce.
Ginger Scallion "Curry"
Give the scallions, spinach, jalepeño and garlic a rough chop. Place in a heat safe bowl along with the pureed ginger and kosher salt.
In a small saute pan, add the oil and bring the heat up on the stove. Heat until wavy, about 1 - 2 minutes MAX. Make sure your pan has NO water on it or the hot oil will splatter everywhere. Pour over the chopped aromatics and stir to coat. Let sit for 10 minutes for oil to “cook” the aromatics and flavor to deepen.
Transfer to a high-powered blender or food processor and puree until fully emulsified and smooth. Add in coconut milk, lime juice and green thai curry paste. Process until smooth.