While I wandered through Japan, bewildered, vegetarian, and alone, sometimes I came upon a fast food chain where all the pink and white fish cakes had a number 8 printed on them. Does anyone know the name of that chain? It also served vegetable fried rice. Honestly, I'm not sure if the rice was really vegetarian or not, but at least it wasn't sprinkled with tiny octopus corpses nor served with a large, unidentifiable bone.
(FYI, in Japan "tako" doesn't mean taco. Nothing there means taco.)
Suffice it to say I had a very hard time finding vegetarian food my first month alone in Japan, but if I had known how to make this—and how to use my rice cooker or stove—I probably would have done better.
Mushroom Fried Rice
Leftover, unappealing cold cooked rice, white or brown
portabello or shiitake mushrooms cut into thin slices
mirin or sugar
soy sauce (GF ok)
egg, beaten, or an egg-sized amount of soft tofu, drained.
1. Spray a pan with oil. Add rice and stir until glistening with fatty goodness.
2. Add a few glugs sake, a few less of mirin, and a little bit of soy sauce. Mix it up.
3. Add mushrooms. Cook until they're nearly done (you can cover the fry pan to speed things up).
4. Make a well in the center. Add egg/ tofu. Mix it all up into a gooey mess. When it's almost done, taste to adjust seasonings.
5. Grind on some fresh pepper and serve steaming hot.
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