Panko Tofu with Scrambled Eggs
with sesame sauteed spinach / rice
Katsudon is a popular Japanese comfort food that typically uses pork cutlets, but for this vegetarian version, we bread and sear tofu "steaks." Serve the crispy tofu over the same unique sauce made from scrambled eggs and flavorful cooking liquid as the original.
Panko Tofu with Scrambled Eggs:
- Rice, uncooked white or brown - 3/4 cup
- Tofu, extra firm (vacuum packed preferable) - 16 oz , sliced into steaks
- Onions, medium - 1/2 , thinly sliced
- Stock, any type - 1/2 cup
- Soy sauce, low-sodium - 2 1/2 Tbsp
- Sugar - 1 Tbsp
- Mirin - 2 tsp (sub rice vinegar)
- Green onions - 2 stalks , chopped
- Eggs - 2 + 2 , beaten
- Oil, cooking - 3 Tbsp + 1 Tbsp
- Flour, all-purpose - 1/2 cup
- Panko breadcrumbs - 3/4 cup
Sesame Sauteed Spinach:
- Spinach, baby - 10 oz
- Salt - 1/2 tsp
- Vinegar, rice - 1 tsp
- Lemon juice - 1 tsp
- Sesame seeds, white - 2 tsp
- Rice - (Skip if rice was made ahead on Monday.) For white rice, rinse until clear. Fill a saucepan or Dutch oven (or rice cooker) with rice, water (use 2:1 ratio for water to rice), and some salt. Cover with lid and bring to a boil. Once water boils, stir, lower heat to a low-medium, and cover. Check white rice after ~20 min; brown at ~45 min. Rice is done when it's absorbed all the water. If it's not done, leave the cover on until all water has been absorbed. Take cover off to release steam and fluff with a wooden spoon after 5 minutes. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Tofu - If tofu is packaged in water, press out liquid first. Slice into even "steaks" about 1/2" / 1.25cm. (Can be done up to 2 days ahead)
- Onions - Thinly slice onions. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Prep cooking liquid - Combine stock, soy sauce, sugar and mirin. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Green onions - Chop green onions. (Can be done 1 day ahead)
- Prep breading stations by placing flour in one bowl. In a second bowl, whisk first portion of eggs with some salt and pepper. In a third bowl place panko breadcrumbs. Coat tofu "steaks" first in flour, then in eggs and then in panko, pressing panko into all sides of the tofu. Set aside.
- Heat a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Add spinach, salt and vinegar and cover with a lid just until spinach starts to wilt, 1 to 2 minutes. Drain off excess liquid and transfer spinach to a serving dish. Top with lemon juice and sesame seeds and cover to keep warm. Return pan to heat.
- Reduce heat to medium. Add first part of cooking oil and then breaded tofu. Sear tofu on both sides until deep golden brown and warmed through, 5 to 6 minutes total (reduce heat if the panko starts to turn dark brown before tofu is warm). Set tofu aside and return pan to heat.
- Add second part of cooking oil and then onions to heated oil. Saute until onions are soft, 4 to 5 minutes. Pour cooking liquid over onions and bring to a simmer.
- While onions simmer, transfer tofu to a cutting board and slice.
- Whisk remaining eggs.
- Pour whisked eggs over onions and give it a stir. Place tofu slices on top. Cover the pan with a lid or foil and cook, covered, until eggs are nearly set (traditionally the eggs are served while still slightly soft so that they have a soft of creamy texture), 1 to 3 minutes.
- If rice was made ahead, reheat in the microwave.
- Divide rice between serving bowls and top with onions, sauce and tofu. Finish bowls at the table by adding sesame spinach, green onions and extra soy sauce for seasoning.