side shot of vegan tomato mushroom demiglace hayashi stew over rice in a white bowl and wooden spoon

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!

hayashi rice with tomatoes, mushrooms, onions and soy curls over rice and parsley on top

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!

ingredients for vegan tomato hayashi stew in white bowls on a blue backdrop

How to Make Vegan Hayashi Rice

The Ingredients

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:

  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • 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.

step by step photos of tomato demiglace vegan mushroom stew cooking in a black pot

The Directions

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:

  1. First fry the onions and garlic with some vegan butter
  2. Next fry the mushrooms and soy curls
  3. Add a bit more vegan butter & flour and fry for another minute and then add in all the sauces
  4. 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.

vegan tomato mushroom and onion stew in a black speckled pot

Serving Ideas

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.

side shot of hayashi rice with tomato and mushrooms over rice and topped with parsely

More Vegan Japanese comfort food to love:


tomato and demiglace stew with mushrooms over rice

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!

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hayashi rice with tomatoes, mushrooms, onions and soy curls over rice and parsley on top

Vegan Hayashi Rice

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5 from 5 reviews

  • Author: Lisa Kitahara
  • Total Time: 28 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


Vegan Hayashi Rice served with 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!


Units Scale
  • 3 tomatoes (200g after being strained, see directions below)
  • 1 onion, sliced (225g)
  • 1 garlic clove, micro grated (4g)
  • 4 oz button mushrooms, sliced (120g)
  • 5 oz shimeji mushrooms (150g)
  • 2 oz dry soy curls, rehydrated (56g dry)
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp vegan butter (16g)
  • 4 tsp plain flour (10g // gluten free if needed)
  • 1/4 cup red wine (60ml)
  • 1/4 cup Japanese Worcester (60g)
  • 3 tbsp ketchup (45g)
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste (30g)
  • 2 tsp dark soy sauce (10g)
  • 1 tsp vegan consomme or vegetable boullion powder (5g)
  • 3 tbsp unsweetened non dairy milk (45ml)
  • 1 bay leaf


  1. Grate the tomato with a bowl underneath to catch all the juices. You can add the flesh and tomato juices or strain it and use just the juices for a smoother stew. If adding the flesh, you can scale back the tomato paste or ketchup by 1-2 tablespoons. 
  2. Fry the onions and garlic in some vegan butter with a wooden spatula or spoon over medium high heat in a shallow pot until it semi-translucent. Add the mushrooms and soy curls and sauté until mushrooms soften. 
  3. Reduce heat to medium low. Add another teaspoon of vegan butter and flour and fry for about 1 minute, stirring continuously so it does not burn.
  4. Add the red wine, Worcester sauce, ketchup, tomato paste, soy sauce, consomme, non dairy milk, grated tomato and bay leaf and stir. Simmer on low heat until thick (about 5-10 minutes). Add salt and pepper to taste. The longer you let it simmer, the more flavourful the stew will become. Add additional vegetable broth or water as needed to reach your desired consistency. 


  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 18 minutes
  • Category: entree
  • Method: stove top
  • Cuisine: vegan, gluten free, japanese


  • Serving Size: 1 serving
  • Calories: 253
  • Sugar: 20.7g
  • Sodium: 627mg
  • Fat: 6.2g
  • Saturated Fat: 2.4g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 1.3g
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 39.9g
  • Fiber: 7.3g
  • Protein: 11.4g
  • Cholesterol: 0

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About Lisa

I'm Lisa, a home cook, recipe developer and founder of Okonomi Kitchen. Here, you'll find a mix of classic and modernized Japanese recipes, and creative, plant-forward meal inspiration using seasonal ingredients. I hope to share more about Japanese cuisine and culture through food and recipes.

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  1. Really enjoyed this recipe! I had to substitute some ingredients I didn’t have but it turned out amazing anyway 🙂

  2. I sadly had only Worcestershire and not the japanese one, but it was still really delicious.

    Thank you very much <3

  3. Yummy! Made this with a whole bag of soy curls, some Napa and regular cabbage, bok choy, and shiitake! So delicious, I’ll be making this often in the winter 🙂

    —chopinliszt27 (from Instagram)

  4. This is a dish I ate growing up, non-vegan. Now that I don’t live in Japan, the boxed store bought roux for Hayashi rice can be a bit difficult to find or expensive for what it is. This recipe was super simple and tasted better than the store roux I remember! It was great because I didn’t have to go out and buy anything special- it uses ingredients that I typically have at home anyways. I subbed in Tonkatsu sauce as I didn’t have Worcestershire sauce, and it tasted great. I also added sliced carrots for additional veg. Delicious, easy and pretty healthy too – doesn’t get much better than that.