Vegetarian Hambagu (Soy Meat Recipe)

The perfect dish for vegetarians, I will show you how to make a vegetarian hambagu. It is fluffy but has a firm, meaty texture and you won’t believe it’s meatless! Give this one a try!

Two vegetarian soy meat hambagu with sauce served on a plate

Japanese hambagu or hamburger steak is one of the popular Japanese home-cooking dishes that everyone loves.

It’s usually made from ground meat, but this recipe substitutes soy chunks for a vegetarian version, making it lighter and healthier!

If you have some soy meat chunks in your pantry and don’t know what to do with them, this recipe is the perfect answer. I hope you like it!

    This recipe is for you if:
  • you are looking for a soy meat recipe.
  • you want to make a main dish with soy meat.
  • you want to know how to make Japanese hambagu.
  • you are looking for a vegetarian hamburger steak recipe.

I will show you how to make this delicious main dish. If you want to check the recipe, please jump to the recipe card. Let’s get cooking!

About This Recipe

  • No meat, 100% soy meat
  • Japanese hamburger steak (hambagu)
  • Vegetarian recipe
  • Meat-like texture
  • Comes with a sauce recipe

📋 Ingredients

Here are the ingredients (amounts are in the recipe card below).

ingredients for vegetarian soy meat hambagu
  • Soy meat chunks: Rehydrate with plenty of water and mince with a food processor. You don’t need a food processor if you use minced soy meat. I recommend using non-GMO soy meat chunks.
  • Garlic ginger soy sauce: Homemade sauce with ginger, garlic, and soy sauce. You can use it for any savory dish, such as stir-fried dishes and fried rice. How to make it is described in the recipe card below. It must be made in advance, so if you want to use it immediately, substitute it by mixing soy sauce, grated garlic, and grated ginger.
  • Vegetables: Onion and shiitake mushrooms. You can also use dried shiitake mushrooms, which have an umami flavor and are chewy (I use them in the recipe video). You can use the dashi soup after rehydrating dried mushrooms for the sauce.
  • Other: Egg, panko (bread crumbs), salt, pepper, and oil for cooking.
  • Sauce: Miso, ketchup, chuno sauce. Chuno sauce is a Japanese brown vegetable sauce that is fruity and sweet. You can substitute it with Worcestershire sauce.


I will show you the steps of this recipe. Please see the recipe card below for more detailed instructions. You can also watch this video.

how to make vegetarian soy meat hambagu
  1. Rehydrate soy meat (Put it in boiled water for 30 minutes)
  2. Mince soy meat (Use a food processor)
  3. Marinate (Add garlic, ginger, soy sauce, and mix)
  4. Cut vegetables (Onion and shiitake mushrooms)
  5. Stir fry the vegetables (Cook them until tender)
  6. Make the mixture (Add ingredients and mix well by hand)
  7. Make patties (Make round shape patties)
  8. Pan-fry (5 minutes for each side until brown)
  9. Make a sauce (Simmer over low heat until thickened)
6 vegetarian soy meat hambagu on a plate
Two vegetarian soy meat hambagu with sauce served on a plate

Here you go! The texture is so nice, and the sauce really ties in well with a hambagu it is so flavorful – exactly what you need when cooking meatless dishes.

If the mixture doesn’t come together, try adding some breadcrumbs to bind them.

We added garlic and ginger soy sauce to reduce the smell of soy meat, but other spices such as nutmeg or curry powder work, too. Please give it a try if you are concerned about the smell.

What to Serve With

Japnaese steamed rice, miso soup, and vegetarian soy meat hamagu served with some salad.

If you are not sure about what to serve with, here is an idea. Japanese steamed rice, miso soup, and salad together so that you can have the perfect vegetarian lunch!

Thanks for stopping by!

vegetarian soy meat hambagu with sauce on a plate

If you are looking for a meatless dinner idea, I highly recommend this soy meat hambagu. Please give it a try and let me know how you like it!

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog♡. If you’ve tried this recipe (or any other recipe on the blog), please give it a star rating below!

Also, feel free to leave comments if you have any questions. I love hearing from you!

More Vegetarian Recipes You Might Like

vegetarian soy meat hambagu with sauce on a plate

Vegetarian Hambagu (Soy Meat Recipe)

5 from 2 votes
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Prep: 40 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 55 minutes
Servings: 14 pieces
Author: Juri Austin
The perfect dish for vegetarians, I will show you how to make a vegetarian hambagu. It is fluffy but has a firm, meaty texture, and you won't believe it's meatless! Give this one a try!


  • 3 c Soy meat chunks, 120g
  • 2 Tbsp Garlic ginger soy sauce, See below
  • 1/2 Onion
  • 3 Shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/2 cup Panko
  • a pinch of Salt and pepper
  • Oil for cooking


  • 1 tsp Miso
  • 2 Tbsp Ketchup
  • 2 Tbsp Chuno sauce, Japanese brown sauce
  • 1 cup Water

Garlic Ginger Soy Sauce

  • 400 ml Soy Sauce
  • 1 clove Garlic
  • 1 clove Ginger


  • Rehydrate:  Put soy chunks in boiling water, and rehydrate for 30 minutes.
  • Mince soy meat: Drain the water, squeeze them one by one, put them in a food processor, and pulse until minced. Transfer to a large bowl.
  • Marinate: Add garlic ginger soy sauce to the bowl, mix well, and marinate for 10 minutes or more.
  • Cut vegetables: Finely chop the onion and shiitake mushrooms.
  • Stir fry the vegetables: Add oil to a frying pan, heat on medium heat, and fry the onions until tender. Add shiitake mushrooms and fry.
  • Make the mixture: Add the vegetables, beaten egg, panko, and salt and pepper to the bowl, and mix well by hand.
  • Make patties: Grab the mixture by hand and Make round shape patties.
  • Pan-fry: Add oil to a frying pan, heat on medium heat, place the patties, cover, and pan-fry for about 5 minutes until brown. Flip them over, cover, and pan-fry for another 5 minutes.
  • Sauce: Add all sauce ingredients to the frying pan and simmer over low heat until thickened.

Garlic Ginger Soy Sauce

  • Mince: Finely mince garlic and ginger with a food processor or a knife.
  • Put in a bottle: Put soy sauce, minced garlic, and ginger in a bottle and stir.
  • In the fridge: Keep the bottle in the fridge, and you can use it the next day.



  • Equipment: Frying pan 26 cm/10 inches, Food processor
  • Substitute: Garlic ginger soy sauce needs to be made in advance, so if you want to make this recipe right away, substitute it by mixing 2 Tbsp of soy sauce, a little grated garlic, and a little grated ginger. You can substitute shiitake mushrooms with dried shiitake mushrooms (use the dashi soup which is after dehydrating dried shiitake mushrooms for the sauce). You can substitute chuno sauce with worcestershire sauce.
  • Storage: 3 days in the fridge.
  • When dehydrating soy meat, place a smaller lid or plate on top of soy meat to rehydrate them completely (because they tend to float).
  • If you don’t like the smell of soy meat, repeat rinsing with water and squeezing (2-3 times). Adding species such as nutmeg or curry powder would work too.
  • If the mixture doesn’t come together, try adding some panko to bind them.


Serving: 1piece | Calories: 62kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 1.7g | Cholesterol: 12mg | Sodium: 140mg | Sugar: 1.5g
Course: Main
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: hambagu, japanese hamburger steak, Vegetarian
Did You Make this recipe?Please Leave a star rating!

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  1. Hola,
    If I am allergic to mushrooms, what can I use to substitute them in this recipe?
    Thank you. Love your recipes and Japanese food.

    1. Hola Jorge, shiitake mushrooms add the chewy texture but you can make it without them. Or you can substitute with some chopped vegetables like carrot, burdock, broccoli. I hope this helps!