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To make classic Japanese tonkatsu, pork cutlets are breaded with panko, fried until perfectly browned and served with a savory-sweet dipping sauce. For this vegetarian version, we use tofu, cut horizontally into cutlet-like planks. The crisp breading is a delicious contrast to the tender tofu, and the umami-packed sauce is perfect for supplying loads of flavor. It’s essential, however, to press the tofu planks for 30 minutes before breading. This forces out some of the moisture so the “cutlets” crisp well. Serve with Japanese-style rice and, if you like, a shredded cabbage salad.
14-ounce container firm OR extra-firm tofu, drained and cut lengthwise into 4 planks of even thickness