Mexican-Japanese Rice Bowl with Sautéed Vegetables, Tempeh and Avocado

Mexican-Japanese Rice Bowl with Sautéed Vegetables, Tempeh and Avocado

As I just finished making hot sauce the day before, I have been wanting to make something that could go well with trying the deliciousness of the sauce. We had a plan for this evening and needed to eat a quicker and easier dinner. So, I wanted to make a warm, nutritional, and satisfying food for lunch today. And I got the perfect idea!

For the main dish, I can cook rice, then sauté the zucchini, onion, and tempeh with soy sauce and put it on top of the rice. Then adding some slices of avocado, sprinkling some toasted sesame seeds, fresh cilantro, and then the hot sauce! This will be absolutely beautiful and delicious!! And for the side dish, let’s get the first Siberian kales’ harvest from our veggie garden and make a little salad. Due to the harsh attack by some ground squirrels, our vegetables needed to start over and we are finally getting some more harvests besides the arugula.

This meal can definitely used also for an easy dinner menu, although I would probably make larger salad for dinner. So, I am going to put this article under both lunch and dinner category!

Today’s Menu

  • Mexican-Japanese rice bowl (Click here to learn how to cook delicious brown rice.)
  • Arugula salad

Domburi—rice bowl

When going to a Japanese restaurant, you might find something on the menu called “domburi.” It is one of the classics on the Japanese menu which is composed of rice and some kind of cooked dish on the top in a large rice bowl. It is easier to make, since you don’t have to create different kinds of dishes to go with the rice, which is a quite common way to compose a meal for Japanese cuisine. Also, it is easier to eat, since everything is in a bowl. And it is a little fun!

Usually, a domburi dish is accompanied with kounomono (aromatic thing), which are fermented vegetable pickles to add refreshing flavor on the side. Today, the hot sauce and cilantro on top are already bringing beautifully aromatic flavor and refreshment to the domburi. Therefore, I made salad on the side instead of fermented pickles to bring a fresher and less salty flavor, but also to eat more fresh vegetables.

Freshly picked vegetables do not need much seasoning!

We were both so excited to finally eat our kale from the garden. When eating freshly picked vegetables, their flavor and energy are so fresh and potent that I feel I just want to eat them as they are. Still for a meal, I enjoy seasoning them a little bit also to make the connection with the rest of the dishes. Today, I drizzled on top of the kale and arugula 1 tsp of garlic-chili marinated brown rice vinegar and 1 tsp of flax oil. No salt or pepper. Just these two ingredients have enhanced the flavor of the fresh greens so beautifully. 

Japanese meets Mexican

On the article, “Japanese Summer Dinner with various summer vegetables” I was mentioning how sautéed zucchini and onion work very well to put on the rice with some avocado and toasted sesame seeds when I want to fix a simple and delicious meal. Today was exactly one of such a days, but a little more gorgeous with tempeh and hot sauce. Tempeh is definitely a good addition to bring some protein to this meal. I have never thought of adding some Mexican touch into a Japanese-style meal. Adding avocado, fermented hot sauce, and cilantro on top of rice and soy sauce seasoned sautéed zucchini, onion, and tempeh… it felt somehow quite fitting. Indeed! It was amazingly delicious.


Mexican-Japanese rice bowl with sautéd onion-zucchini and tempeh with avocado

August 27, 2021
: 2
: 30 min


  • cooked brown rice
  • 100g tempeh
  • 1 small-medium size onion
  • 1 zucchini
  • half avocado
  • fresh cilantro
  • fermented hot sauce (or regular hot sauce)
  • toasted sesame oil (if not, clear sesame oil)
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • white pepper
  • Step 1 Cook the rice or heat the leftover rice. (For how to cook delicious brown rice, see the article ‘The Essentials of Cooking Rice.’)
  • Step 2 Cut onion, zucchini, and tempeh into smaller and thinner pieces.
  • Step 3 Heat the pan with the oil and lay sliced tempeh to fry until it becomes golden in color. Once golden, flip the tempeh and fry the other side in the same way.
  • Step 4 Once both sides are golden, put the onion into the pan and sauté until its color becomes half-translucent.
  • Step 5 Add zucchini and sauté together. After a minute or so, add a little amount of salt to let the moisture in the zucchini to come out.
  • Step 6 Once zucchini is tender, crush white pepper and stir.
  • Step 7 At the end, add 1 tbsp of soy sauce, mix quickly, then turn off the heat.
  • Step 8 Serve the warm rice in the bowl. Put sautéed onion, zucchini, and tempeh on top.
  • Step 9 Cut the avocado in desired size and shape and put on top.
  • Step 10 Decorate with hot sauce and cut fresh cilantro.

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