Friday, October 2, 2009

Tofu donburi

After a long day at work and a long bus ride home, I was starving. Donburi to the rescue! It took a little thought, because I was veganizing a recipe from Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian that she calls Tofu donburi, or Soft Japanese Omelet and Bean Curd over Rice, which calls for 6 eggs.

This "omelet" is poached in broth, not fried. Interesting, hey? What's a vegan to do to substitute six eggs in a poached omelet? Well, I tried out the omelet recipe from Vegan Brunch, and it didn't disappoint. That is one versatile recipe—fry it, poach it, whatever, it's still packed with guilt-free omeletty goodness.

Donburi is, according to Wikipedia, a "'rice bowl dish' consisting of fish, meat, vegetables or other ingredients simmered together and served over rice. Donburi meals are served in oversized rice bowls also called donburi. Donburi are sometimes called sweetened or savory stews on rice." Wikipedia has a link to many images of donburi; apparently it can look like anything at all.

I used leftover rice from yesterday as the base, and from there, what you do to make what I had today is:

Tofu donburi
adapted from Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian
(tofu/stock/omelet part will serve 4 at least)

8 oz tofu
Canola or peanut oil for frying
2 cups vegetable stock (I used mushroom dashi—more on that later)
¼ cup soy sauce
2 tbsp sake
3 tbsp sugar
1 full omelet recipe from Vegan Brunch
2 scallions, thinly sliced (with more for garnish if you like)
½ cup edamame beans
Other toppings (I used seasoned shiitake mushrooms, fresh soy sprouts, radish sprouts, lightly fried zucchini, and avocado)

Press the tofu (if you're using fresh) for approximately half an hour while you prepare everything else, then cut into ¾ inch cubes and fry in a 7-8 inch non-stick skillet—Madhur Jaffrey advises in 1/3 cup oil but I used less and was diligent in flipping the tofu pieces so they ended up browned all over.

Set the tofu pieces aside, wipe out the pan, and add stock, soy sauce, sake, and sugar and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for a minute, then put in the tofu pieces and cook gently for a further 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix up the omelet ingredients in your blender or food processor, and then add them to the simmering stock all at once, along with the scallions and edamame beans. Cook on medium-high heat until the mixture begins to bubble, then turn the heat to low, cover, and cook another 6-7 minutes, until the omelet is nicely set.

Have your hot rice in a deep bowl, and spoon over it some of the omelet mixture (and some liquid from the pan too). Add the other toppings you've prepared, and serve immediately.

This wasn't as quick and easy as advertised, though it probably could have been if I hadn't had to do all the pondering and scheming about egg substitutes and toppings, but it was darn good. I ate & ate 'til I could eat no more, and still had quite a lot of omelet left over (for breakfast, yay!):

P.S., Want to know how to make your green onions curl like mine? I just learned this yesterday myself: shred them up as finely as you can with a sharp knife--long, thin shreds--then soak them in ice water.


  1. That looks delicious. And thanks for the green onion tip - they are cute!

  2. I've been catching up on my MoFo reading for the past hour or so. It's nearly 3am here, and for the first time I completely stopped in my tracks and nearly licked my monitor.