Whether you're living the plant-based life or just trying to save a few bucks, this Vegan Unagi Don made with eggplant glazed in sweet and savory unagi sauce is a classic alternative that will satisfy vegans, vegetarians, and seafood lovers alike.
Wash the rice and add it to a rice cooker bowl. Fill the cooker to just under the 1 cup marker with water.
Crumble the tofu into a clean dishcloth or butter muslin and then gather up the corners of the cloth and twist them together to wring out as much water as you can from the tofu. Add the crumbled tofu to the rice.
Grind the sesame seeds using a mortar and pestle or spice grinder and add them to the rice cooker as well.
Set the rice cooker as you normally would to cook the rice.
For Vegan Unagi
Trim the ends off of the eggplant and slice each one in half lengthwise. Cut a slit down the center of each eggplant, being careful not to cut through the skin.
Cut shallow slits ⅛-inch apart down the length of the cut surface of the eggplant.
Heat a frying pan over medium-high heat until hot, and then add the oil and eggplant, cut side down.
Fry until golden brown, and then flip the eggplant over and add the sake, soy sauce, sugar.
Cover the pan with a lid and adjust to heat to maintain a soft boil. Steam the eggplant for 7 minutes, flipping the eggplant over halfway through.
When the eggplant is cooked, transfer it to a wire rack with the cut-side facing up. Use a pastry brush or spoon to glaze the top of the eggplant with some of the unagi sauce in the pan. If the sauce is still watery, you can reduce it on the stove to thicken it up.
Use a torch to caramelize the glaze. You can also pop it into a toaster oven set to broil.
Serve two portions of rice and drizzle any remaining unagi sauce over the rice. Top with the eggplant and garnish with scallions.