Wagamama-Inspired Yasai Cha Han Donburi (Brown Rice Bowl with Stir-Fried Veggies and Tofu)

In early Summer, my family were eagerly anticipating a trip to Wagamamas. On the way there, we psyched each other up, talking about how much we were looking forward to tucking into our favourite Wagamama dish – the Yasai Cha Han Donburi. Upon arrival, the waiter showed us to our seats and handed us the menu. Our eyes immediately moved to the spot where the dish is usually listed, but it wasn’t there. We scanned both sides of the menu but it was nowhere to be seen. We called over the waiter and he explained that they had a new summer menu. Sadly, the Yasai Cha Han Donburi hadn’t made the cut.

Has that ever happened to you? Where you’re looking forward to tucking into your favourite dish at a restaurant, or you specifically go to that restaurant because you’re craving a dish… only to find that it’s been taken off the menu. It’s happened to my family a few times and it’s always such a bummer.

Well this time, I decided to look on the bright side. I’d been meaning to try my hand at making the Yasai Cha Han Donburi at home for a while, and now was the perfect opportunity. I could still remember what the bowl tasted like and its main components, so I set to work re-creating it.

One of my favourite parts of the bowl is the flavouring added to the rice, so I really wanted to nail this part. I chose to use two of my favourite pantry staples as the basis of the dressing – Clearspring Organic Tamari Sauce and Meridian Organic Toasted Sesame Oil. The tamari provides the ‘umami’ flavour, while the toasted sesame oil add a touch of smokiness. I then added a tablespoon each of maple syrup and rice vinegar for some ‘sweet ’n’ sour’ flavour, and finished it off with a sprinkling of garlic granules. I was extremely happy with the way the dressing turned out. For me, it’s the perfect compliment to a Japanese-inspired rice bowl.

For this dish, I prefer to use original tofu, which I press for 30 minutes then pan-fry. If you’ve not cooked tofu from scratch before, rest assured that it’s not difficult at all. I’ve given some tips in the recipe below of how I do it.

I absolutely adore this rice bowl, and it’s been a huge hit with the rest of the family too. I’ve made it multiple times these past couple of months and we never tire of it. The flavour is as good (if not better, in my humble opinion hehe) than the Wagamama version. It’s far cheaper too!

Move over Wagamama, we have a new favourite Yasai Cha Han Donburi and, I can safely say, this one will always be on the menu :o)

Pin for later ⬇️

Big thank you to Suma for supplying me with the gorgeous ingredients for this bowl. It’s hugely appreciated!

I’d also like to give a shout out to the lovely Amy from Suma who has just given birth to a gorgeous baby girl called Josephine ❤️ We wish you and the family all the very best! Be sure to keep my Insta feed filled with shiny new baby pics :0)

Much love,





4 thoughts on “Wagamama-Inspired Yasai Cha Han Donburi (Brown Rice Bowl with Stir-Fried Veggies and Tofu)

    1. Aren’t they just? 😍 This dish looks even more colourful in real life thanks to the bright yellow sweet corn. It hasn’t shown up so well in the photos.

  1. Looks delicious.

    Beats visiting some restaurants I’ve visited. Tiny portions at high prices. Lacking that Thai garnish with the takeaway foods. Many Thai restaurants serve the dry in a packet tofu. Cost effective. When asked if it’s fresh tofu, they’ll say yes. It isn’t. It’s the dried tofu. That has to be soaked for hours to soften. It feels very dry & synthetic on the tongue. It’s tasteless & difficult to season.
    One overly expensive Thai restaurant in Dorchester even deep fries them. Served with sweet & sour sauce. Yuck.
    Priced nearly £8.00
    A packet of dried tofu cost a couple of pounds

    Ridiculous. I’ll then leave my reviews

    I’ve stopped visiting Chinese & Indian restaurants, for ethical reasons of cruelty to animals.

    I prefer to make my own Indian & Thai foods now.

    We are so fortunate to now gain online access for free authentic recipes. Plus, to Google the Thai shops for the recipes.

    1. It’s wonderful to hear that you’re making your own Indian and Thai foods now. Home-made is always the best… and so much cheaper too! As you rightly said, we’re incredibly lucky these days as we’re able to access many authentic recipes online for free 👍☺️

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