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Donburi Japanese Rice Bowl Recipe by Nina Olsson
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Donburi Japanese Rice Bowl Recipe by Nina Olsson

This Japanese rice bowl recipe with aubergine, shiitake and quick-pickled cabbage Donburi is a popular everyday comfort bowl in Japan and one of the most common lunch dishes. It’s usually based on rice and topped with meat or vegetables.

The sauce is reminiscent of teriyaki sauce and it makes the perfect sweet and savoury union with the sauteéd aubergine and mushrooms. Plain freshly cooked rice is never as good as this, soaking up a sauce full of flavour. Adding pickled cabbage and fresh carrot and cucumber makes a perfect balance of sour, sweet and savoury in this delicious, easy bowl.

Serves 4

200g brown rice
120g red or white cabbage, shredded
Drizzle of rice vinegar
Drizzle of toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon agave syrup
1 aubergine, chopped small
200g shiitake or brown mushrooms, chopped
4 shallots, chopped
½ cucumber, cut into sticks
2 carrots, julienned
1 avocado, stoned, peeled and sliced

Donburi sauce

80ml soy sauce
50ml mirin
1 tablespoon maple syrup
½ teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1 garlic clove, finely chopped to a paste
Salt and pepper
Nori and sesame sprinkle
Handful of toasted nori flakes
1 tablespoon shichimi togarashi
Handful of black sesame seeds


1. Cook the rice according to the packet instructions.
2. Place the cabbage in a bowl. Mix the rice vinegar, toasted sesame oil and agave syrup in a small bowl and pour over the cabbage.
3. Set aside to pickle.
4. Mix the ingredients for the donburi sauce together in a small bowl.
5. Heat a frying pan over a medium–high heat and add a drizzle of olive oil.
6. Fry the aubergine, mushrooms and shallots for 5 minutes, stirring. Add the donburi sauce and let it cook for a further 5 minutes, still stirring.
7. Divide the rice and the vegetable mix between four serving bowls.
8. Add the pickled cabbage, cucumber, carrots and avocado.
9. Mix the nori and sesame sprinkle ingredients in a small bowl and sprinkle over the donburi before serving.


Bowls of Goodness Nina Olsson Nina Olsson is a recipe maker, photographer and author of the vegetarian food blog Nourish Atelier. She has worked creatively with food for magazines for 10 years and is an award winning art director, stylist and designer. Nina’s recipes are always vegetarian and often vegan. Her food philosophy is all about balance and fun. Nina’s blog showcases plant-based bowl food at its very best. Bowls of Goodness is wholesome vegetarian food at its best and it is inspired by cooking from around the world. Including smoothies, plant based recipes, salads and sharing dishes – all foods that are all served in a bowl.


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