Oyakodon and various Katsu dishes that are served atop rice in large bowls are some of my favorite dishes from Japan.
As a child, I couldn’t wait to leave the boring military base, and step out of the gate into the Japanese economy to eat out with my parents. Even if I didn’t know what something was called and couldn’t read the menu, all I had to do was point to order! One of the great things about many Japanese restaurants is the resin visual menus in the outer window. You might not know what it is but it looks good. As a vegetarian/vegan you will probably need to ask questions but it’s easy to appreciate the artistry in creating a menu where you can see the dish in 3D.
So here’s my vegan version of Oyakodon made with Katsu (cutlet). The dish means “Parent and Child” and is traditionally made with chicken and egg.
I say both parents and children will love it!
Vegan version of Oyakodon using tofu for both the “chicken” and the “egg”.
- 4 cups of vegan dashi stock or 4 cups of water with (1) 3 inch piece of kombu
- 4 TBSP tamari (use GF if needed)
- 3 TBSP mirin (Eden foods makes a good one)
- 2 TBSP sweetener (turbinado sugar, maple syrup, barley malt or brown rice syrup)
- 1/2 large onion, sliced thin
- 1/2 pack tofu
- 3 TBSP organic cornstarch (Rapunzel) or arrowroot powder
- 1 tsp black salt
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- “Chicken” Katsu
- 1/2 pack tofu
- 2 TBSP organic cornstarch (Rapunzel) or arrowroot powder
- 2 TBSP potato starch (optional)
- 3 cups panko crumbs (GF if needed)
- Sunflower oil for pan frying
- Saute pan
- Cast iron skillet
- Long rubber spatula
- Drain the tofu and cut in half. One half will be the mother (the “chicken”) and the other half will be the child (the “egg”). Put the egg half aside in a blender.
- Take the other tofu half and cut into cutlets. They should look like long rectangles. Press out moisture between a tea towel.
- Take a large saute pan and add the stock, tamari, mirin, onions and sweetener. Heat for 10 minutes on medium or until onions are soft.
- While sauce is cooking, you can fry the cutlets. Lightly coat each piece of tofu with cornstarch/potato starch and set aside on a plate. Make a slurry in a shallow bowl or plate with the remaining starches by adding water and mixing until it is like pancake batter. Put panko crumbs on another plate and create an assembly line.
- Heat a frying pan (cast iron skillet is best) with 1 inch of oil on medium high.
- Take a piece of tofu and dip into the slurry, making sure to coat all sides, then press into panko crumbs on both sides. Place into oil and fry until golden on all sides. Place cutlet on a plate lined with paper towels.
- Once the cutlets have been fried, you can create the “egg”.
- Blend the tofu, cornstarch, black salt and a little water to make it easier to process. You will smell an eggy, sulfur-like odor from the blender but this will dissipate a bit when cooked.
- Remove kombu from stock and discard (compost!)
- Pour the tofu mixture into your heated stock (use a long rubber spatula to get the mixture out).
- Spread it apart but do not stir as you want it to solidfy. Sprinkle the turmeric randomly to create some yellow parts to simulate the “yolk”.
- Cut the cutlets into strips and place in the hot stock. Heat through for 3-4 minutes.
- Serve in large bowls on top of brown rice.
- Miso soup and cucumber wakame salad rounds out the meal.
Serving Size 4
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.