Vegan Hayashi Rice | ビーガンハヤシライス

A hearty plant-based twist on a classic Japanese “hashed beef” stew. Japanese comfort food made gluten-free, vegan, and with NO boxed roux!

vegan hayashi rice in a bowl with a spoon

Traditionally, hayashi rice is made of thin strips of beef, onions, and mushrooms stewed in a demi-glace sauce. Hayashi rice is very popular in Japanese home cooking, and with the boxed roux widely available these days, hayashi rice can be made at home very quickly and easily. Some boxed roux do contain animal products though, amongst other additives. And if you don’t have access to an Asian grocer, you may not be able to find the boxed roux that easily. So here I’m sharing my homemade vegan hayashi rice filled with tons of mushrooms! It’s hearty, comforting, and so satisfying — perfect for the colder weather in the fall and winter.

INGREDIENTS

There are a few different components to this vegan hayashi rice. First the roux:

Then the shortcut “demi-glace” sauce:

And finally the additional seasonings and ingredients to complete the hayashi rice:

vegan hayashi rice in a bowl on a serving tray

TIPS & TRICKS

  • Make sure to stir the roux constantly and don’t turn the heat up too high (medium low heat is best) as roux burns very easily. This is a time-consuming step but essential to build a rich flavor.
  • Do NOT use metal to stir the roux as it will get very hot. Use a wooden spoon to stir and a silicone spatula if needed to scrape the pot.
  • The roux changes color as it cooks, from white to blond to brown. Darker roux has better flavor but doesn’t have as much thickening power. For hayashi rice, cook the roux to a light brown color (~15 minutes).
  • The roux will be quite runny when you take it off the heat, but it firms up as it cools. It will also be very hot, so be careful not to burn yourself.
  • While I usually just add the roux into the pot and let the heat dissolve it, if you want to ensure even blending of the roux you can take some of the liquid from the pot out into a bowl and mix the roux into the liquid, then add the roux mixture back to the pot.
  • Soak the soy curls in vegetable broth instead of water for more flavor.
  • Make sure to squeeze out as much water from the rehydrated soy curls as you can. This way they will soak up more flavor from the stew, otherwise they will taste very watery.
close up of vegan hayashi rice in a bowl

SUBSTITUTIONS

For best results please follow the recipe as written, but here are my suggestions for ingredients that can be substituted:

  • gluten-free all purpose flour: sub with regular all purpose flour if not gluten-free
  • olive oil: sub vegan butter or refined coconut oil
  • red wine: sub red wine vinegar but use half the amount and add an equal amount of water
  • coconut sugar: sub organic cane sugar
  • Japanese Worcestershire sauce: sub with any vegan Worcestershire sauce and add more sugar to taste
  • soy curls: these mimic the look and texture of the beef slices typical of hayashi rice, but frozen tofu would a great substitution — just make sure to press the tofu so it’s not watery
vegan hayashi rice in a bowl

EQUIPMENT

  • A large pot: I use a Staub Cast Iron Cocotte for all my soups and stews. I was gifted this for Christmas last year and it quickly became my favorite pot for cooking. It heats evenly and is the perfect size for making big batches of soup, curry, chili, or stew.
  • Wooden Spoon for stirring the roux
  • Silicone Spatula for scraping the roux, if needed
  • Blender: I love my Vitamix, but any high powered blender will work.
hands holding a bowl of vegan hayashi rice, one hand holding a spoon digging into the hayashi rice

STILL HUNGRY?

Be sure to check out these other hearty Japanese dishes!

If you try out this Shortcut Vegan Hayashi Rice, don’t forget to tag me in your photos on instagram @ellielikes.cooking, leave a comment and rating down below, and let me know how you liked it! I love seeing your tastry recreations 🙂 Happy cooking! ♡

Vegan Hayashi Rice | ビーガンハヤシライス

A hearty plant-based twist on a classic Japanese "hashed beef" stew. Japanese comfort food made gluten-free, vegan, and with NO boxed roux!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time1 hr 30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Japanese
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 3 oz soy curls
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 4 tbsp olive oil divided
  • 3 tbsp gluten-free all purpose flour
  • ¼ onion chopped
  • 2 carrots chopped
  • 2 ribs of celery chopped
  • 1 cup tomato puree*
  • 2 tbsp red wine
  • 1 tbsp Japanese Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ onion sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 lb mushrooms sliced
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Heat ½ tbsp of olive oil in a pan and add chopped onion, carrots, and celery and sauté 5-10 minutes until browned. Add 1 ½ cups vegetable broth, 1 tbsp olive oil, tomato puree, red wine, Worcestershire sauce, coconut sugar, soy sauce, and bay leaf and stir to combine. Simmer for 30-60 minutes**.
  • Meanwhile, heat 2 cups of vegetable broth in a pot on the stove. Once it starts boiling, turn off the heat and add soy curls to the pot. Let the soy curls rehydrate in the vegetable broth for 10 minutes, then drain. Gently press on the soy curls to remove excess liquid.
  • Make the roux: heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a pot over medium low heat. Once hot, add the flour and stir constantly until the roux turns brown, about 15-20 minutes. Take the roux off the heat and transfer to a bowl.
  • When the vegetables are done simmering, strain and reserve the sauce. Save the vegetables for another recipe.
  • Heat remaining ½ tbsp olive oil and add onion slices and a pinch of salt. Cook until browned and caramelized, stirring frequently. Add a splash of vegetable broth every minute or so to deglaze the pan.
  • Add garlic and sauté a minute until fragrant.
  • Add the reserved tomato mixture, roux, 1 cup vegetable broth, mushrooms, and soy curls. Cover and simmer 15 minutes.
  • Taste and add salt/pepper as desired. Serve with steamed rice.

Notes

*TOMATO PUREE: Can also use tomato passata, unseasoned tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, or diced tomatoes depending on what you have. Note that if using crushed or diced, some of the tomatoes will be lost when straining the sauce.
**SIMMER TIME: The flavor will develop more the longer it simmers, but if you don’t want to wait as long you can stop after 30 minutes (it’s still delicious!). 
MUSHROOMS: You can use any variety you like. My favorites are crimini, enoki, shimeji, shiitake, and maitake.

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