A few weeks ago, I was scrolling down Instagram’s “explore” section, and I saw a photo of eggplant katsu. I had never heard of “katsu”. As I LOVE eggplant, I had to try this ASAP. But how?
As this was something that I had never heard or eaten before, I had to learn it from somewhere. After a long search, I decided to try “The Foodie Takes Flight”s recipe. I also decided to use it in a burger since I was also craving a burger. I applied The Foodie Takes Flight’s recipe to my eggplant slices, which were slightly different. But the measurements are the same, so please check that recipe first to give credit. I also soaked my eggplant slices for half an hour in salted water before doing anything, as I always do with eggplant.
So, katsu is basically a fried cutlet or seafood coated with breadcrumbs. It certainly can be applied to vegetables as well. In this case, eggplant gives an incredible result. You coat the eggplant (or the cutlet) slices with a simple batter and then with breadcrumbs. After this, you fry them for just a few minutes, and you’re done!
I used brioche buns for this burger, and I will put the recipe link below. But you can certainly use another burger bun if you like – store-bought or homemade. I also used two sauces – one is a Turkish salad/sauce recipe that I wrote about a few years ago, and the other is a mayonnaise mix that I found in another blog. Again, you can find all the necessary links below. You can make other combinations and use different kinds of sauces, so this is just a sample combo. But I must tell you, it’s a fantastic combo!
(makes 6 burgers)
For eggplant katsu:
1 eggplant, trimmed and sliced* 1cm thick, soaked in salted water for 30 mins and then dried with a paper towel
1.25 dl (or 1/2 cup) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch baking powder
1.5 tsp salt
1.5 dl (or 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp) water
5 dl (or 2 cups) panko breadcrumbs**
5 dl (or 2 cups) frying oil
a jar of sliced pickled cucumbers
For brioche buns:
Use the recipe here.
For hot sauce:
Use the recipe here for “hot spicy salad” (it will make more than you need for this recipe, but you can eat the leftover for a few days).
For mayonnaise mix:
I used the recipe here.
*I cut the slices a bit diagonally to get bigger and slightly elliptical pieces. My eggplant was 415 gr, and I got 6 slices from it.
**You can find panko breadcrumbs in K-city markets. I didn’t check other markets.
- First, make the brioche buns (if using) and the sauces. For brioche buns, go to the recipe and do the first 5 steps. At step 6, divide the dough into 6 pieces. Continue the same steps 7 and 8, but in step 8, bake these buns for 25 minutes instead of 20. But check at 20 minutes anyway. Depending on your oven, they may be ready already at 20 minutes).
- For eggplant katsu, combine the dry ingredients (flour, starch, baking powder, salt) and whisk a little.
3. Add water and whisk until you get a smooth batter.
4. Coat the eggplant slices (both sides and edges) first with batter and then with breadcrumbs generously. Put them on a plate.
5. In a pan, put 5 dl frying oil on medium heat and let it warm for a few minutes. Check if it is hot enough to fry using a piece of breadcrumb.
6. Fry the eggplant slices in the hot oil, about 3-4 minutes for each side. Do not overcrowd your pan (I fried mine in 2 batches, 3+3). When you have nicely browned sides, take them out of the pan using a slotted spoon and let them cool down.
7. Assembly time! Cut the buns in two. Assemble the burger in the following order: mayo sauce, pickled cucumber, hot sauce, eggplant katsu, pickled cucumber, hot sauce and mayo sauce. You can add other stuff you like putting in a burger, like greens. Serve with a light salad. Enjoy!