Wednesday, September 10, 2014
How do I describe tonkatsu? Crispy deep fried bundles of joy. Tonkatsu is wonderful by itself but pair it up with the gastronomic delight that is tonkatsu sauce and you have one of my ultimate top comfort foods. Normally tonkatsu would be pork cutlets breaded with panko crumbs and deep fried. My vegetarian version of this is extra firm tofu that has been frozen, thawed and breaded in panko before being deep fried to a crunchy golden brown. The process of freezing the tofu gives it a much different texture that is perfect for this kind of dish.
This tonkatsu bento is also an example of my stunningly brilliant freezer stash plan. Over the weekend we had tonkatsu for dinner and the leftovers promptly went back into the freezer for easy reheating bento-style. I popped them straight from the freezer into the oven for about 12 minutes before cutting into slices for the bento. Reheating in the oven thaws out the tofu and dries it a little bit (freezing tofu always creates extra water that needs to be either squeezed or baked out) and makes the panko nice and crisp at the same time.
The only problem with our love of tonkatsu is that A-chan is now old enough to eat way more of my tonkatsu sauce than I would like. But that's okay because I taught her how to make it this morning. She can now make more whenever she runs out. Or I run out, whichever...
In the bento: Basmati rice, tofu tonkatsu, pomegranate seeds, baby corn, checkered cucumber slices, black pluot chunks and a carrot flower.
The little kitties were made from provolone cheese and yellow egg sheet. Their faces were punched out of nori and glued on with a tiny bit of mayo.
Not shown: the huge container of tonkatsu sauce that A-chan took with her this morning.