Recipe Review

This Mushroom and Egg Rice Bowl Offers a Vegetarian Spin on a Popular Japanese Dish

published Mar 9, 2022
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Since I began my pescatarian journey three years ago, I’ve added more vegetarian and vegan dishes into my weekly meal schedule, too. While I’ve loved discovering new recipes like vegetarian empanadas and vegetarian chili cheese nachos, I still get cravings for some of my favorite meat dishes — one of which is the famous Japanese dish gyudon that my best friend’s mother would make when I visited.

Traditionally, gyudon is prepared as a rice bowl topped with beef and onions cooked in a sweet and savory sauce. But thanks to food blogger and photographer Sonia Wong (known as @saltnpepperhere on Instagram), there’s now a meatless spin available that I’m sure will satisfy everyone. With just a few easy steps, this 30-minute meal is the perfect way to conclude your day. 

The first thing you’ll want to do for this mushroom and egg gyudon is prepare a cup of Japanese short-grain rice. In Wong’s twist on the dish, king mushrooms are the star of the show; they are a popular vegan substitute for meat due to their natural “meaty” texture and ability to absorb flavors. Hand-shred the mushrooms into thin strips before sautéing them in a neutral oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Because the sauce used in the dish is salty, there is no need to salt the mushrooms during this step. To avoid overcrowding, Wong suggests cooking the mushrooms in batches. Once the edges are nice and brown, place the mushrooms on a separate plate and set them aside. 

Next, drizzle more oil into your skillet, add some sliced onions, and top with a tablespoon of sugar. Allow the onions to sauté for three to five minutes until they are soft and take on some color. Add your mushrooms back in the pan with the onions and reduce the heat. Prepare the sauce by mixing the sake, soy sauce, and mirin in a measuring cup. Then, add the sauce to the sautéed onion and mushroom mix, allowing it to simmer for five minutes. 

While it’s simmering, whisk the eggs in a small bowl and once the mushroom-onion mixture is ready, slowly pour the egg all over it. Cover the pan and cook on medium-low heat until the egg is set but slightly runny. Then, serve over the rice and top with chopped scallions.

Of course, this meal can be eaten as is, but if you love spicy dishes like me, try adding some shichimi togarashi for an extra kick.