A hearty plant-based twist on a classic Japanese “hashed beef” stew. Japanese comfort food made gluten-free, vegan, and with NO boxed roux!
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.
- gluten-free all purpose flour
- tomato puree
- vegetable broth ⟶ I use Better Than Bouillon* and mix with water
- red wine
- coconut sugar
- bay leaf
- Japanese Worcestershire sauce*
- soy sauce
- soy curls* ⟶ mimic the tradition thinly sliced beef
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.
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 ⟶ Rice flour will probably work, or regular all purpose flour if not gluten-free.
- Oil ⟶ You can use canola oil, vegetable oil, olive oil, avocado oil, refined coconut oil, or even vegan butter.
- Red Wine ⟶ You can try subbing white wine or even sake.
- For an alcohol-free alternative, try red wine vinegar but use half the amount and dilute with water (i.e. 2 tbsp red wine vinegar + 2 tbsp water per original recipe).
- Coconut Sugar ⟶ granulated sugar or even brown sugar
- Japanese Worcestershire Sauce ⟶ 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 pan-fried tofu or tempeh would probably be good as well.
- 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.
- Blender ⟶ I love my Vitamix*, but any high powered blender will work.
More Hearty Japanese Dishes!
If you try out this 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
- 2 tbsp oil**
- ½ onion chopped
- 4 carrots chopped
- 4 ribs of celery chopped
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 2 cups tomato puree
- ¼ cup red wine
- 2-4 tbsp Japanese Worcestershire sauce*
- 2 tbsp coconut sugar
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 cup vegetable broth for straining
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 6 oz soy curls*
- ¼ cup oil**
- 6 tbsp all purpose flour or
gluten-free all purpose flour*
- 2 tbsp oil**
- 1 onion sliced
- 4 cloves of garlic minced
- 2 lb mushrooms (any variety) sliced
- salt and pepper to taste
- MAKE DEMI-GLACE SAUCE: Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a pan and add chopped onion, carrots, celery, and a pinch of salt. Sauté 5-10 minutes until browned. Add 3 cups vegetable broth, tomato puree, red wine, Worcestershire sauce, coconut sugar, soy sauce, and bay leaf and stir to combine. Simmer for 30-60 minutes**.
- REHYDRATE SOY CURLS: Meanwhile, heat 4 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 ROUX: Heat ¼ cup 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.
- STRAIN DEMI-GLACE: When the demi-glace mixture is done simmering, strain the vegetables and reserve the sauce. Save the vegetables for another recipe. You can pour the extra cup of vegetable broth over the veggies to help loosen the sauce.
- MAKE HAYASHI RICE: Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large pot 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 soy curls and cook until browned, stirring often. Add a splash of the demi-glace sauce if the soy curls start to stick to the pot.
- Add garlic and mushrooms and cook for a minute until the mushrooms start to soften.
- Add the demi-glace sauce and roux. Cover and simmer 15 minutes. Add extra broth if you want a thinner stew, or simmer uncovered for a thicker stew.
- Taste and add salt/pepper as desired. For more sweetness you can add sugar, Japanese Worcestershire sauce, or ketchup. Serve with steamed rice.
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I want to try to make this but I can’t figure out the directions regarding the 7 cups of vegetable broth.
– we’re to use 3 cups in Step One
– 2 cups in Step Two (my additional question here is: when we drain the re-hydrated soy curls, do we pour the vegetable broth down the sink or reserve it for later?)
– in Step Five, we’re supposed to add “splashes” of vegetable broth. How many splashes… how much broth do you want us to use in Step Five?
– in Step Seven we use two more cups of vegetable broth.
That all adds up to seven cups of vegetable broth, plus whatever amount we “splash” in.
Can you please please make this a little clearer for me? (I’m not an experienced cook).
My final question—if I want this ‘stew’ to be thick, instead of soupy, should I add less vegetable broth? If so, in which step should I reduce the amount of broth, and by how much?
Thanks for your help, Malcolm
Hi Malcolm, sorry for the confusion with this recipe. It’s definitely a more advanced recipe and requires various steps. I will try to reword it to make it clearer in the future (maybe include a video), but per your questions:
-In total, you will use about 10 cups of vegetable broth: 3 cups for the demi-glacé sauce, 4 cups for soy curls, and 2-3 cups for the final stew.
-You will drain the liquid from the rehydrated soy curls.
-In Step 5, the amount of vegetable broth you need will depend on how long you cook the onions, how high your heat is, the pot you use – it varies. You could end up using around 1 cup if you cook the onions long enough. You want to caramelize the onions, so just add broth as needed to prevent the onions from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Sometimes I short cut this step and only cook the onions for a few minutes, so I only end up using about 1/4 cup of broth.
-For a thicker stew, I would leave out the final 2 cups of broth in step 7. The roux will thicken the stew, so after simmering for 15 minutes (step 7) the stew will thicken and you can add broth if needed to thin out the stew.
Let me know if you still have questions, and I will work on making the instructions clearer!