Meatless Monday // Shiitake Mushroom “Unagi Don” with Cucumber Noodles

My husband and I both have a passionate food affair with Eel sushi when we go out to eat. We usually split a few rolls, and if it has the eel on it, you can bet we will get it! It’s such an interesting flavor and the eel sauce is the BEST!

For meatless Monday I was totally craving Unagi Don… basically the barbecue eel on a bed of rice. I decided to sub in shiitake mushrooms for the eel because it has a savory flavor and meatlike texture. The sauce was surprisingly simple to make as well, and it brought out a spicy, woody flavor from the mushrooms that was so delicious!

Recipe after the jump

You Will Need

  • 4-6 large shiitake mushrooms
  • Your choice of rice (I used basmati)
  • 2 Tbsp Sesame oil
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 6 Tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce (plus a bit more for frying)
  • 4 Tbsp mirin
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 a cucumber, spiralized or sliced thin

The Process

Cook the rice as directed. While rice cooks, start slicing your mushrooms (stems and all) about 1/3 inch thick in long slices. Place in a wok or large skillet. Add some soy sauce (about 1-2 Tbsp) and about 2 Tbsp sesame oil. Sprinkle on 2 tsp ground ginger. Let rest in ingested wok while starting the sauce.

In a small pot, add 6 Tbsp soy sauce, the mirin, The brown sugar, and a dash of vinegar and heat to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and let simmer until it thickens, stirring occasionally.

While sauce is going, heat the wok over medium high heat and sautée the mushrooms. When sauce has thickened, pour into the wok and continue to fry the mushrooms until the sauce is mostly absorbed or evaporated off.

Serve over rice with cucumber on the side.

Use the cucumber as a palate cleanser when the flavor gets overwhelming. Shiitakes in general tend to coat your tongue and it can be muddling to your sense of taste, so a crisp, cool refresher like cucumber is a great way to “reset” your taste buds for more yumminess!

My husband boldly claimed this to be the best thing I’ve ever made. If I do say so myself, this is a very viable meatless option for one of our favorite dishes!


Don’t forget to check out my other meatless meals!

  1. Spinach, Mushroom, & Broccoli Quiche
  2. Chickpea Fried Rice
  3. Asian-inspired Vegetable Noodle Soup
  4. One Skillet Mexican Rice Casserole
  5. General Tso’s Cauliflower with Rice & Veggies
  6. Meatless Sloppy Joe’s (Guest Post/Curated Recipe by Niamh @

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