Chipotle is just one of those fast food places that I crave desperately after being in Japan for so long. While my go-to order is one of their gargantuan steak burritos, I thought I’d give a vegan recipe a try today. I know it can be hard for vegans in Japan to come up with inspired dishes given the limited options here.
When I browse recipes on Western blogs, they often describe a long process of draining moisture from tofu and then pre-frying it to get it into a form for further cooking that doesn’t result in a wet, spongey mush. Luckily, in Japan, there’s a product that allows you to skip several cumbersome steps! This fried tofu is already dehydrated and fried once in vegetable oil, making it super handy for vegans and tofu lovers alike!
For today’s recipe, you’ll need:
This dish serves three and comes out to ¥720 for the meal or ¥240 per person!
Required tools: frying pan, rice cooker
- (1 hour before) Wash rice and start the rice cooker. If you haven’t cooked the peppers/onion, this would be a good time to pop them into the oven or sauté them.
- Wash the tomato, lettuce, and corn. Dice the tomato and avocado. Set aside.
- Break up the tofu with your hands until it is finely shredded.
- Add the tofu to the frying pan with 1/2 of the diced tomato, a dash of lemon juice, and whatever spices you like (I used taco seasoning, but feel free to use any combination of cumin, coriander, chili powder, garlic powder, paprika, etc.). Sauté for a few minutes until combined.
- When the rice is done, use your shamoji (rice paddle), to cut in about a tablespoon of lemon juice and a pinch of salt (to more closely replicate Chipotle’s lime rice).
- In a bowl, layer a scoop of rice with corn, lettuce, diced tomatoes, tofu, avocado, and the pepper/onion mix. Add a little hot sauce if you prefer things spicy!
That’s it! Pretty simple, huh? The only thing I felt was missing was black beans, but unfortunately they are really hard to find in Japan. I’ve heard that Japanese people tend not to like them because they look similar to kuromame (sweet black beans), so they feel weird eating them in savory food. If you find some black beans or think of any cool mods, let me know in the comments!
8/31 Edit: I FOUND BLACK BEANS!