Easy Fail Proof Plant-based Homemade Crispy Eggplant Katsu Recipe

Disclosure: This site contains affiliate links to products. I may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

I saw a YouTube video featuring eggplant katsu, and I knew I had to recreate it. For this recipe, I did not use Chinese eggplant. Instead, I used the circular eggplant, and for seasoning, I kept it simple because I knew I would serve this in multiple ways, such as in a sandwich or on top of my coconut red Thai curry RECIPE HERE.

A few things to remember is to prep the eggplant ahead of time, and this will save you time and cooking in no time.

Eggplant Prep:

  • Cut the ends of the eggplant
  • Peel the eggplant
  • Cut about 8-9 circular even pieces
  • Place a paper towel on a baking pan
  • Place the eggplant on top and sprinkle salt all over the eggplant (set aside about 3-5 min).
  • The salt will drive the moisture out of the eggplant, making this easier to bread and a crispier outcome.
  • Pat the eggplant pieces dry.

While waiting for the moisture, I would also prep the batter at this time.

  • In a wide bowl, mix flour and cornstarch.
  • Slowly pour water into the mixture until you get a smooth consistency (slowly to avoid too thick or too thin batter).
  • On a separate plate or wide bowl, mix breadcrumbs or panko and mushroom seasoning (if you do not have mushroom seasoning, salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder will do).

I don’t like to use too much oil in my cooking, so I lightly fried the eggplant katsu in olive oil for a shorter time and finished frying them in the air-fryer. The lightly frying part is excellent for giving the katsu that golden brown color. If not using the air fryer at the end, fry the katsu a little longer. Also, keeping the heat on a low/medium will help with even doneness and will cook through the eggplant.

Eggplant Katsu

Not a fan of eggplant because of the mushy texture? Try this crispy eggplant katsu, and I promise you will love it. Delicious and super filling.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Course Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish, Snack
Servings 3


  • 1 medium Globe Eggplant
  • 1-2 cups Bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup Whole wheat flour
  • 2 tbsp Cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp Mushroom seasoning
  • 1/2-2/3 cup Water
  • Salt


Eggplant Prep:

  • Cut the ends of the eggplant. Peel, and cut (8-9 circular even pieces).
  • Place paper towel on a baking pan, add the eggplant pieces, and sprinkle salt all over (each side, and set aside for 3 minutes).
  • Pat the eggplant pieces dry.

Cooking Instructions

  • In a wide bowl, mix flour and cornstarch. Slowly incorporate the water, until you get a smooth consistency (not too thick, not too thin).
  • On a plate, mix breadcrumbs and mushroom seasoning.
  • On low to medium heat, add the oil (not too hot to avoid raw center).
  • Dip each eggplant into the batter, then to the breadcrumbs
  • Once the oil is heated through. Pan fry eggplants, do not overcrowd the pan to avoid uneven cooking.

Pan fry and Air Fying Method:

  • Pan fry each side for about 2-3 minutes (longer if not using air-fryer at the end).
  • Finish cooking the pan fried eggplants in the air-fryer for about 5-6 minutes (375F).

Pan frying only:

  • Pan fry the eggplants 7-8 minutes/each side
  • Place fried eggplants on a cooling rack.


  • Serve on a sandwich, topped with marinara sauce and your choice of cheese (DF to keep it plant-based) All up to you.
  • Serve on top of my coconut Thai Red Curry. RECIPE HERE.
Keyword Crispy Eggplant, Katsu, Meatless, Vegetarian

Leave a Reply