Let’s get this out of the way first: I have stretched my birthday out for as long as possible, culminating in the following photo being taken this weekend:
I just think it’s important for you to see this image, so that we can balance out how new-age and wholesome this recipe seems at first glance. Brown rice? Tofu?? Vegetables??? Let’s just remember that the night before I made this I drank my body weight in cocktails, sparkling rose and amaretto sours. I’m all about balance.
As you may remember, we went to Wagamama for my birthday lunch, and I tried donburi* for the first time. It was dynamite. Hence me creating this vegetarian version; I used a teriyaki marinade for the tofu, which is then baked (to make it a little more virtuous than the deliciously crispy fried version I made most recently). Fortunately, the marinade gives it more than enough flavour without resorting to deep frying.
So if you’ve overindulged a little (like I obviously have) this is a really tasty and exciting way to sweat out those alcohol-based impurities. Alternatively, going veggie every once in a while is good for you and the planet, so go nuts.
Teriyaki Tofu Donburi (Vegetarian, Gluten-free)
Marinading time: at least 1 hour
Preparation time: 15 mins
Cooking time: 40 mins
Large sandwich bag; bowl & whisk for mixing marinade; baking tray lined with grease-proof paper; small saucepan with lid; small frying pan; microwaveable bowl with clingfilm to cover; some banging tunes.
- 1 block plain tofu (e.g. Cauldron 396g pack)
- Teriyaki marinade (buy ready-made, or see below for the recipe I used)
- 1 medium carrot
- 2 spring onions
- 1/2 head of broccoli
- 1/2 mug brown rice (roughly 120g)
- 1 mug boiling water
- 1 vegetable stock cube
- 2 eggs
- 1 tbsp + splash of oil
- Kimchi (optional)
For the marinade (from Gimme Some Oven):
- 1/3 cup**** soy sauce (as always, be careful if you’re making this GF)
- 1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp honey
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder (usually in the Indian/World Foods section of the supermarket)
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- Mix together your marinade ingredients, if you’re making your own, and drain the tofu, pressing gently between a couple of paper towels to get some of the excess water out. Cut the tofu into 1cm slices and place them carefully into your sandwich bag. Pour over the marinade and get as much air out of the bag as possible before tying it shut/sealing the bag. Leave in the fridge for at least an hour before cooking.
- Turn the oven to 200°C and lay your slices of tofu in a single layer in the pan. Put into the oven and bake for 30 minutes, turning once halfway through cooking. You can otherwise leave it alone, so you can get on with the rice and vegetables. (Throw away the rest of the marinade in the sealed bag, or strain it and drizzle over the donburi at the end if you fancy)
- Put your saucepan on a medium heat and add a splash of oil. While that heats up, prepare your vegetables. Floret the broccoli and cut the carrot and spring onions into as fine strips as you can (peeling the carrot beforehand). You’ll have to cook the broccoli, but it’s up to you as to whether or not you do anything at all with the rest of the veg, as they add a nice crunch and a bit of an onion-y tang in their raw forms. Put the broccoli in a microwaveable bowl and cover with clingfilm, popping a hole in the top to let the steam escape. You’ll put this in the microwave just before you fry your eggs.
- Saute the rice in the oil for a few minutes so that the grains are coated (this helps to avoid burning it to the bottom of the pan, and keeps the grains separate from each other) then crumble over the stock cube and add the boiling water. Put the lid on and cook the rice, untouched, for around 20 minutes — or until the water has been absorbed and holes are beginning to appear in the surface of the rice. Take the rice off the heat and leave to steam with the lid on while you fry the eggs.
- Put the frying pan on the now-vacated hotspot, turn it up a notch, and add 1 tbsp of oil. While this heats up, get the broccoli in the microwave on high for 2 minutes (could be more or less depending on wattage, but this should be sufficient for most microwaves). You can add your carrot and spring onion halfway through if you want to soften them a little, but I’ll leave that to personal taste. Crack your eggs into the hot oil and leave them to crisp up. After a few minutes the whites should be set, but you can tip the pan and gently spoon over some of the hot oil to help it along. This means you get pretty, sunny-side-up eggs, rather than my usual over-easy monstrosities.
- To serve, halve the rice between two deep/wide bowls, with the vegetables alongside. You can shred the tofu or leave it whole (I did half and half), then place this on the vegetables and rice, topping each bowl with a fried egg and a side of kimchi (highly recommended, even if I completely forgot to buy any). Consume with wild abandon.
This is my new favourite way to eat tofu, because in spite of the oil in the marinade (the majority of which isn’t actually consumed), it feels a lot lighter than the fried variety — and it really was incredibly flavourful. You can switch this up by changing the vegetables, or indeed the marinade, as this is fairly basic; let me know if you make any changes, or if you liked this recipe just the way it is!
Damn. I keep looking at that egg. That is a good-looking fried egg. I’m never going to be able to make one that looks that good again. Sigh.
*Donburi literally means ‘bowl’, which I’m glad I found out before I named this recipe ‘Teriyaki Tofu Donburi Bowls’. That would’ve been embarrassing. Like naming a desert after a word that means desert. Who would do that?!**
**It’s white people. We would do that. Man. We do this all the time.***
***I am aware that I am white people, yes.
****1/3 cup = roughly 180ml, but I’d recommend getting a set of inexpensive cup measures, since it’s so much easier than converting everything whenever you use an American recipe.