Vegan Hayashi Rice is the ultimate hearty & comforting flavour packed stew. This shortcut version comes together in under 30 minutes and is perfect for chilly weeknight dinners!
As we enter soup & stew season, I start to crave things I grew up eating. Something about eating foods that bring back childhood memories is just so comforting. One of my favourite stews to enjoy during the fall and winter is Hayashi rice.
What is Hayashi Rice?
Hayashi rice is a classic Western-style (yōshoku) comfort food in Japan that is popular among both adults and children. It’s traditionally made with caramelized onions, beef and mushrooms stewed in a demi-glace sauce which produces a savoury, sweet and tangy stew that is incredibly delicious.
Boxed vs. Homemade
I grew up eating three different variations of hayashi rice: Instant roux blocks, ‘short-cut’ hayashi without demi-glace and from scratch with demi-glace. My mom would make the instant stuff once in awhile on weeknights that were super hectic and busy because of how instant it was to make. On days she had more time, she’d make her short-cut version (which I’m sharing today!) that doesn’t include demi-glace sauce. And lastly, once or twice a year when I would go to Japan, my grandma would cook us up her hayashi rice from scratch with homemade demi-glace.
I originally wanted to share a vegan version of my grandma’s from scratch recipe first but after 7 trials (so far), I just wasn’t super happy with the results so I decided to share this short-cut version first. I promise though, it’s just as delicious and comforting– just in time for stew season!
How to Make Vegan Hayashi Rice
Although one of the main ingredients of hayashi rice is beef and demi-glace, it’s easily made vegan by swapping it for soy curls or any kind of vegan faux meat. Here’s everything you’ll need to make this short-cut version of hayashi:
- Mushrooms: button & shimeji
- Soy curls
- Dark soy sauce
- Vegan consomme: or vegetable boullion
- Red wine: gives a rich & deep flavour but can omit for alcohol free
- Japanese Worcester: if using regular Worcester, add 1 tsp of sugar
- Ketchup & tomato paste: most people in Japan will use only ketchup but I personally find it too sweet so use some tomato paste to balance it out
- Flour: gluten free blend if needed
- Vegan butter
- Tomatoes: grated and stewed right into the sauce
- Bay leaf: gives a slight demi-glace-esque flavour
The Japanese Worcester, ketchup, tomato paste, tomatoes and bay leaf is what kinda mimics the flavour you would typically get from demi glace.
For this shortcut version, it takes about 15-20 minutes to make depending on how long you allow the stew to simmer which is just as quick and easy as using the boxed roux stuff. Here’s how it goes down:
- First fry the onions and garlic with some vegan butter
- Next fry the mushrooms and soy curls
- Add a bit more vegan butter & flour and fry for another minute and then add in all the sauces
- Simmer for about 3-5 minutes or until desired consistency
If you like a thinner consistency, you can add more tomato juice/water or simmer for less time.
The most traditional way to hayashi rice dish is over rice (obviously) but it’s also great over other grains and carbs! My mom would use leftover hayashi and add it over mashed potatoes instead of gravy– still one of my favourites to this day. If you have any leftovers, here are some more ways to enjoy hayashi:
- use it as a sauce for pasta or noodles
- over Japanese hamubrger steak (aka hambagu, recipe coming soon!)
- served with toasted bread or baguette
- over omurice (aka omuhayashi, vegan omurice recipe coming soon!)
I hope you enjoy this classic Western influenced Japanese comfort dish as much as my family and I do! It is truly one of the most comforting dishes to have, especially during the cooler season.
More Vegan Japanese comfort food to love:
SAVE IT FOR LATER! ↓
If you recreate this Vegan Hayashi Rice recipe let me know how you liked it by leaving a comment and rating below or by tagging me on Instagram @Okonomikitchen, I love seeing all of your tasty recreations!Print
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