Vegetarians can rejoice, as meatless options abound!
Looks can be both beautiful and deceiving.
With a choice of meat or soy patty fillings, vegetarians and meat lovers alike will fall in love this healthy fast food option.
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Popular Japanese fast food chain Mos Burger has opened a new restaurant that serves gourmet meals, alcohol and a special vegetarian burger made from a whole tomato.
Vegetarians traveling to Japan may find it difficult to find food that fits their dietary lifestyle. Fish seems to be in everything including the soup stock used to make miso soup. To make matters worse, many foods in convenience stores, bakeries or even Starbucks have misleading labels, and that “vegetable sandwich,” or “vegetable pizza” may actually have meat in it too! You can order foods like okonomiyaki or monjayaki with no meat, but you still can’t be sure it won’t come with shredded fish flakes on top that there isn’t fish lurking in the dashi-based sauces.
I always recommend to my vegetarian friends that rather than asking Japanese restaurants to make something special for them, it’s better to just order food that doesn’t have fish or meat (or dairy) in it from the beginning. Fish has always been a staple in the Japanese diet, but the eating of wild and domestic game was banned for over 1,200 years in Japan, and Buddhist tradition gave rise to a special vegetarian cuisine called shojin ryori. Even now, the traditional Buddhist meal called ozen (rice, miso soup, pickles, boiled/simmered vegetables and beans), is still served at funerals in Japan.
So traditionally, there is a lot of vegetarian food in the Japanese diet. You just have to discover it. And RocketNews24 is here to help! In this article we’ll introduce you to common Japanese dishes that can be ordered at almost any Japanese restaurant that have no meat, fish or animal products in them, so, let’s jump into Japanese vegetarianism 101.
If you’re vegetarian or simply not a fan of raw fish, a visit to a sushi train restaurant with friends isn’t exactly going to fill you with joy. While the touch panel screens and the treat of watching your orders arrive on a conveyor belt is always entertaining, wouldn’t it be nicer if there were a few more fish-phobic options on the menu?
That’s exactly what a new chain of restaurants in Japan is offering, with vegetarian sushi, made with fresh, seasonal vegetables, and a host of other meat-based dishes, including ham and pork-topped sushi options, available for customers.
We paid a visit to Sushi Nova at their brand new location, the first of a hundred to hit Japan by 2019, and were incredibly impressed with what they had to offer.
Popular conveyor belt sushi chain Kappa Sushi (pronounced Kappa Zushi) is known around Japan for its tasty morsels, starting at 108 yen (US$0.90) per plate, and its family-friendly setting, with cosy booths and a cute logo featuring an animated kappa, or water sprite (think Sandy from the TV series Monkey Magic, only tinier, rounder and a thousand times cuter).
Now the well-known chain is moving things up a notch, with the September 18 opening of a new type of conveyor belt restaurant called Sushi Nova. Featuring fashionable, modern interiors and a salad sushi menu that uses seasonal vegetables in place of fish, the company plans to open 100 of these new restaurants in Japan by 2019.
Unlike in some countries, where even a steak restaurant will offer at least one vegetarian option, it can be difficult to find meat-free meals in Japan. There are, however, some vegetarian restaurants to be found in the capital, and I’m making it my mission to go around trying them all.
Today I’d like to introduce Karan Koron Shokudo, located right next to Yoyogi Uehara Station.
Okonomiyaki is one of the most popular foods cooked at home in Japan. One of Japan’s Top 10 Comfort Foods, the dish is fun to make with family or friends and best of all, it’s easy! Okonomiyaki is also popular with foreigners who when visiting Japan can sample the dish at any of the myriad specialty restaurants dedicated to this vegetable-rich meal.
So, what exactly is okonomiyaki? And how do you make it? Glad you asked!
Read on to find out more about this simple dish: watch a how-to video showing you how to make it, check out photos that show you some unusual ingredients, and get inside tips from Kazuko who regularly makes the dish for her seven grandchildren.
Yoshinoya, Japan’s most ubiquitous domestic fast food chain, is known first and foremost for its beef bowls. So strong is the mental connection between the restaurant and gyudon, as beef bowls are called in Japanese, that Yoshinoya’s nickname among fans is Yoshigyu.
So we were surprised to hear that Yoshinoya’s newest menu item is not only beef-free, but doesn’t contain any meat at all! A vegetarian option at the king of beef bowl restaurants? Not only does it exist, but we’ve tried it.
Japan is filled with excellent food, but one of our absolute favorites is ramen. There’s just something (possibly everything) about it that’s absolutely delicious. That said, it does present a problem for vegetarians and vegans, since even the broth uses a fairly copious amount of animal products. Now, you may not care about that, but maybe you have a few friend who do. Or maybe you’re just looking for new takes on traditional food. If so, T’s Tantan, a vegetarian ramen restaurant, is just what you’ve been looking for.
We recently sent one of our Japanese writers to check it out, and now you can read his report below and then go try it out for yourself! Or at least tell all your vegetarian friends about it. We promise they’ll love you if you do!
Upon coming to Japan, a lot of people are surprised to discover just how difficult finding vegetarian food can be. Many people imagine Japan as a country that eats very little meat, and while that’s definitely true in comparison to North America and western Europe, the flipside is that you’ll find at least a little bit of meat in just about all dishes, including salads and vegetable stews with surprising frequency.
Things get trickier still if you’re trying to stick to a vegan diet. Even something as simple as noodles are generally out, since almost all broths are made with meat or fish stock. But if you’ve got an aversion to meat coupled with a craving for soba or udon, you’re in luck, with two new types of vegan instant noodles produced by a Zen Buddhist temple.
The goya represents summer in Japan in many ways. This bitter gourd is a staple of Okinawa cuisine with a tropical image, its bitterness is celebrated as one of the healthiest foods around. If you can stand the bitterness then it is excellent for the skin, a beauty aide for women!
The ever popular ‘green curtain’, which is a vine plant grown on netting over windows to keep out the heat, often consists of goya plants. The leaves grow thick and can keep direct sunlight out considerably saving on cooling costs!
Goya growers and super markets throw out the over-ripe goya when it yellows, I suppose because it stops being the well-loved summer vegetable we all know.
But wait! If you let it ripen, it turns into a bright yellow sweet fruit! WOW! Where did that bitterness go?