These Japanese Soy Garlic Onion 'Steaks' are the perfect way to enjoy whole onions! Sweet, juicy and big on flavour– perfect for sandwiches, burgers or served as a side dish.
Onions are so often used but not shown a lot of love. Let's make onions the star of the dish with this delicious, juicy and tender onion 'steak' infused with classic Japanese steak flavours. The natural sweetness comes out from the onions, caramelized to perfection.
How to Make Onion 'Steaks'
- Onions: Any type of large onions can be used for this recipe, however I do recommend sweet onions, Spanish onions or new onions as they're larger in diameter and have a subtly sweeter flavour to them.
- Kombu dashi granules: optional, but adds more flavour into the onions.
- Garlic: for flavour.
- Vegan butter: or margarine.
- Soy sauce: or tamari for gluten free.
- Mirin & sugar: for sweetness.
- Sake: helps reduce the 'spicy' and pungent onion flavour.
- Thickly slice the onions, about 3-4 cm in thickness. You can slice them thinner, but they tend to fall apart easier in the pan.
- Place the onions in a microwave safe container or dish and sprinkle with kombu dashi granules. Cover and microwave each side for 1 ½ - 2 minutes or until mostly cooked through. It will look more translucent and smell sweet.
- Heat a pan over medium high heat with some oil and carefully place the onions on the pan. Cook until you get nice charring (about 1 minute). Flip and cook other side (about 1 minute).
- Move the onions to one side of the pan and then add the garlic, mirin and sake. Cook for about 20 seconds, swirling the pan (the sake will begin to evaporate). Then add in the soy sauce, sugar and water and swirl the pan to coat the bottom of the onions. Cook until sauce is slightly reduced. Carefully flip the onion and then cook the other side coating it with the sauce until thickened.
- Thickly slice the onions. The thicker the onions, the easier it is to flip. However, if you don't mind them falling apart and want them to cook quicker, slice them thinner.
- Do not flip the onions often or they tend to fall apart. I only cook each side twice. Once for getting some charring and once for cooking it in the sauce.
- Variations: change up the sauce for different flavours! I shared some sauce ideas in my daikon steak recipe.
More vegan 'steak' recipes to try:
SAVE IT FOR LATER! ↓
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Japanese Soy Garlic Onion 'Steaks'
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: 1 serving 1x
These juicy, sweet and tender onion steaks are the perfect way to enjoy whole onions! Infused with the classic Japanese soy garlic steak flavours, delicious with sandwiches, burgers, rice and more.
- 1 large Sweet or Spanish onion (450g net weight)
- 1 tsp kombu dashi granules or mushroom stock powder, optional (3g)
- 1 garlic clove, minced (4g)
- 1 tbsp vegan butter (15g)
- 1 tbsp Japanese soy sauce (15ml // tamari for gluten free)
- 1 tbsp mirin (15ml)
- 1 tbsp sake (15ml)
- 1 tbsp water (15ml)
- ½ tsp sugar (2g)
- salt and pepper to taste
- Slice onions into 3-4 cm thick rounds. Place the onion rounds into a microwave safe container or dish and sprinkle with kombu dashi granules. Cover and microwave each side for 1 ½ - 2 minutes or until mostly cooked through (it will start to look more transparent and smell sweet).
- Heat 1 tablespoon of cooking oil over medium high heat and carefully place the onions on the pan. Cook until you get nice charring (about 1 minute). Flip and cook other side (about 1 minute). Move the onions to one side of the pan and then add the garlic, mirin and sake. Cook for about 20 seconds (the sake will begin to evaporate). Then add in the soy sauce, sugar and water and swirl the pan to coat the bottom of the onions. Cook until sauce is slightly reduced. Carefully flip the onion and then cook the other side coating it with the sauce until thickened. Remove from heat, serve and enjoy!
- Helpful Equipment: non-stick skillet, sharp pairing knife, microwave safe with with a lid
- Nutritional Information Disclaimer: Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated on an online tool (Cronometer).
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Category: side dish
- Method: stove top
- Cuisine: vegan, gluten free, japanese
- Serving Size: 1 serving
- Calories: 348
- Sugar: 24.3
- Sodium: 1014mg
- Fat: 11.5
- Saturated Fat: 3.2
- Unsaturated Fat: 7.7
- Trans Fat: 0
- Carbohydrates: 52.9
- Fiber: 6.7
- Protein: 6.4
- Cholesterol: 0
Keywords: onion steaks, vegetable steaks, vegan steaks, vegetarian steaks, onion recipes
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You can’t go wrong with this recipe. It’s so simple and easy to make and the ingredients can be replaced by any of your choice. The onions get all the taste and juiciness and this will leave you craving for more!
Moon Joo says
So simple and tasty, will definitely make this, again.
This was so unbelievably delicious and super easy! The onion gets so soft and sweet... I’m obsessed!
Incredible recipe! Super simple and deceptively delicious. Great as a side or a main dish. Definitely adding it to the dinner rotation!
This recipe was soo good and easy! I had it with a burger it was so delicious!
Loved this delicious savoury meal! Was super quick and easy to make and the flavour combo was divine.
Lizzy Van Heest says
Another super flavorful and easy recipe! The onion prepped with her instructions is the perfect texture. This sauce is amazing and it was really good served over rice.
Once again, 10/10!!
Pearl Iredale says
Tried this recipe and absolutely loved it! I used it as a burger substitute, it was so flavorful, juicy and delicious! So simple and easy to make as well, which I really appreciate. I will definitely be using this recipe again in the future!
Thank you for the simple and delicious recipe !
I love the umami taste!
The pnly thing i dont like, is to put food in the microwave! I steam boiled the onion instead!
Samantha Pena says
Highly recommend everyone try this! Vegan or not, it’s absolutely delicious. I’m always down to try new things, especially food. I was stoked when I saw this on my IG. I couldn’t find sake anywhere near me (I live in a rural area, so finding certain ingredients is hard for me) but it still came out so flavorful & tender. I will be making this again. I showed my best friend the video & my photos - is now hooked too 🙂 thank you Lisa! It’s phenomenal!
This recipe is absolutely fantastic, delicious, flavourful, everything you could want from a vegetable ‘steak’! I paired this with a simple salad and enjoyed it thoroughly!
I never liked onions before this recipe. Now I can’t wait to make this again! So easy and flavorful.
Really loved this! I think I’ll try with a smaller onion next time to get more sauce to coat and seep in ~
Looking forward to trying more recipes!
I tried making this, and it’s such a simple yet amazing recipe - I loved how the onion soaked up all of the flavors; my mom really loved it! I’ll make this again soon!
Tried vegan “steak” last night and it was an interesting concept compare to regular steak. Super easy to make and I like how simple and quick it is to make one! Can’t wait to try other recipes
Seriously so delicious. My boyfriend was reluctant because he's a beef steak kind of person but even he loved the onion steaks. They were so good I had to promptly make 4 more and triple the sauce recipe to have extra for drizzling over rice. Beyond good and so easy to make. I couldn't find sake at the grocery store so I substituted with cooking sherry and it was phenomenal.
breakfast for dinner says
I made this with yamaimo instead of onion (minus the garlic because I was lazy). So good.
I’m definitely not a vegan, but Lisa’s recipe made me more adventurous in trying out new ideas! Made this and loved it so much!
Made this as a meme recipe but this turned out to be the most delicious way to enjoy onions! Well done~
Tl;dr: Make this recipe, you wont regret it!!
I saw a video for this recipe on @Okonomikitchen on Instagram and knew I had to make it for lunch. Less than 15 minutes later, I had the best onion I've ever eaten! Another 15 minutes later, my roommate also had the best onion she's ever eaten. And in the evening, I made it again for dinner. This recipe was so simple, delicious, and the flavors of soy and garlic do a beautiful job of subtly highlighting the onion's natural sweetness and umami. Thank you Lisa, I'll be making this at least once a month from here on out!
Such a yummy recipe! When I tried it out I didn’t add sugar, just the mirin, which already has a fair bit of sweetness to it. I also tried doing the initial bit of frying with sesame oil. I wanted the onion fairly soft so I also cooked it with a lid on for a little while. I’ll definitely make this again
Such an amazing spin and creative way to make Onion taste absolutely amazing
So good, quick and simple ! Absolutely loved it !
I can only recommend this recipe ... it's a very tasty and simple dish ... I was very pleasantly surprised by what is possible to conjure from ordinary onions
I am impressed by how simple the recipe is, delicious and tasty!! I will be making this recipe often.
As an onion lover, this recipe is HEAVEN!! I loveee it so much!! It’s easy to recook too!! But I ate the whole large onion by myself and kinda get some digestive problems afterward:”) Things aside, I loveee it so much!!
Loved this recipe! Such a cool trick to microwave your onions. It was so easy to prepare and was a delicious side to our meal. Thanks for the recipe!
I've been frying up onions and eating them as a snack since high school so I was STOKED to try out a new onion recipe!! this is the only way I eat them now because it's too👏🏽damn👏🏽perfect! I like thick slices so I'll sometimes make em a lil thicker but regardless, 10/10.