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Vegan Oyakodon

I made this for the first time anycah and I hung out outside of college classes. Since we've both lived in Japan and love Japanese food, I decided it would be cool to make the vegan oyakodon I'd been thinking about attempting. And it worked! I had my doubts, admittedly - oyakodon is by its very nature a bowl of rice with chicken (the oya part, meaning "parent") and egg (the ko part, meaning "child") on top. Noooooot exactly vegan. But it worked! And I used genmai - brown rice - as the base instead of white. It was taaaaasty, precious.

Here's the recipe (to serve two, or three if you're using smaller bowls):

1 1/2 cup vegetable stock
2 tbsp soy sauce (I used tamari, or wheat-free soy sauce, which just cut the gluten factor)
1 1/2 tbsp mirin
1/3-1/2 tbsp sweetener (this can be sugar, maple syrup, whatever - I used brown rice syrup, which worked wonderfully)
8 oz seitan "chicken" pieces (I used SmartStrips faux chicken)
8 oz. silken tofu
2 tbsp cornstarch or arrowroot
2-3 cups cooked brown rice

Add the veggie stock, soy sauce, mirin, and sweetener to a skillet and simmer over low heat for about 5 minutes. Add the fake chicken and continue simmering. Meanwhile, in a blender, cream together the tofu and cornstarch, then pour the mixture over the "chicken" and liquid mix. Do not stir - just swish the pan around a little so some of the liquid covers the tofu.

Should look something like this:







Cover the pan and let the mixture simmer until the tofu mixture is slightly firm, roughly 5-7 minutes. Scoop the rice into two donburi (large, deep bowls), then divide the mixture, lifting it from the pan with a spatula and setting it over the rice.









I'll be honest, it didn't taste exactly like oyakodon, but it was hearty and very delicious, I thought. The genmai was a great substitution for white rice, and while the fake chicken had a slightly strange texture, it had a good taste, and I'm glad I used it.

This recipe would also work very well, I think, as an ovo-lacto-vegetarian recipe; that is, keeping the egg and just replacing the chicken with the fake chicken. The liquid mix made by the veggie stock, tamari, mirin, and rice syrup was delicious, and would go as well with egg as it did with tofu, I think. So you can give that a try too, if you're not so keen on the silken tofu-corn starch mixture idea.

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