Vegan Unagi Donburi Recipe


Unagi Donburi – Vegan Eel bowl

Unagi refers to ‘eel’ in Japanese. Unagi donburi is a traditional Japanese recipe that contains grilled unagi over a plate of rice. Today’s recipe is my vegan take on this classic Japanese dish!

In this recipe, you will be creating an eel-like texture with tofu and eating it with a typical eel sauce. Some people don’t like eel because of the fishy smell, but of course, the dish here is not fishy at all. Normally, we eat eel with white rice but I have used amaranth and millet to increase the nutritional value.




  • 300g (101/2oz) firm tofu
  • 2 tablespoons potato, finely grated
  • 1 tbsp tapioca flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 sheet nori
  • 2 teaspoons neutral oil 


  • 60ml (2fl oz) mirin
  • 20ml (1/2fl oz) sake
  • 2 teaspoons unrefined sugar
  • 70ml (2 1/2fl oz) soy sauce
  • Mixed grain rice
  • 1 1/2 cup medium grain rice
  • 1/4 cup millet
  • 1/4 cup amaranth
  • 2 cups water


  • Sansyo pepper (optional)


  1. Thoroughly get rid of excess water from tofu by boiling and let it stand for 10 minutes or if you don’t boil it, let it stand with a heavyweight on top for at least two hours.
  2. To make the sauce, place mirin and sake in a small pot, bring to the boil, and keep boiling for 1 to 2 minutes to get rid of the alcohol. Add sugar and soy sauce and simmer over a medium low heat for 5 minutes or cook until slightly thick.
  3. To cook rice, wash the rice and grains.
  4. Place washed rice, grains and water in a medium pot and put on a lid then bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for? 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and let stand for 10 minutes.
  5. To make eel fillet, place the tofu, grated potato, tapioca flour and salt in a food processor and process until smooth.
  6. Place the tofu mixture onto the nori sheet and spread evenly.
  7. Make lines on the surface with chopstick or knife to look like eel
  8. Cut into 8 pieces.
  9. Heat oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Place the tofu slice with the nori side down.
  10. Cook until golden colour and turn over to cook on the other side.
  11. To serve, place the rice in a bowl then put 2 pieces of eel fillet on top, and pour on some sauce.
  12. Sprinkle the sansyo pepper (optional) on top.

Gluten-free option: Use tamari instead of soy sauce.


This recipe is from Cooking With Soy. Want to learn more healthy Japanese cooking? Grab my Cooking With Soy for real knowledge of Japanese cuisine and easy recipes using soy!



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