Japanese Vegan Meals: Best Vegan Recipe in Japan

Japanese Vegan Meals: Best Vegan Recipe in Japan


Japanese food restaurants tend to be good places for vegans to eat, with many plant-based options like miso soup, steamed edamame, many Japanese dishes featuring udon noodles and soba noodles, or tempuras made from vegetables such as sweet potatoes.

Interestingly, there isn't a large vegan population in Japan!

This is because Japanese cuisine is largely dominated by seafood.

A 2014 survey found that 2.7 percent of the Japanese population identified as vegan, and an additional 2 percent identified as vegetarian.

By contrast, 7 percent in the U.S. identified as vegans.


WHERE TO EAT IN TOKYO

Though there aren't a lot of Japanese vegans, there are still a number of amazing places to grab plant-based meals if you're visiting Tokyo.

In addition to classic Japanese recipes that are found in local restaurants - vegetarian Japanese or not - like various rice dishes including rice balls, and sweet potato tempura, there are a number of dedicated vegan eateries for you to try.

From entree to side dish to dessert, we've got the definitive list of vegan restaurants to whet your appetite when you're on a Japanese vacation.

T's Tantan is a vegan Japanese cuisine spot in Tokyo.

Go for the plant-based ramen, as the traditional stuff is made with meat broth more often than not.

The menu also features plant-based meat alternatives.

Ain Soph.Ripple Kabukicho serves up Western-style comfort food with a plant-based twist, including highly-rated vegan burgers and macaroni and "cheese."

It is one of a chain of vegan outlets in Tokyo that serve things like vegan cheese fondue, pancakes and fusion dishes.

This is the place to hit for vegan French toast and burritos as well.

Saido offers classic Japanese food such as miso soup and soba noodles, with a focus on beautiful presentation and vibrant ingredients.

Enjoy traditional dishes such as soba, katsu, vegan "eel," curries and bento boxes, as well as desserts like ice cream (without the cream) and cheesecake (without the cheese).

This place gets rave reviews.

The vegan menu at the Olu Olu Cafe is known for delicious and reasonably priced ramen served up piping hot at lunchtime.

Also go for the vegan burgers, curries, gyoza and bento boxes.

The varied menu also includes western options like a taco rice bowl, and of course desserts like cakes and ice cream.

You can't go wrong here.

Taiwan Shokudo is not an entirely plant-based restaurant, but its menu features many vegan options and all are clearly labeled so you don't have to worry about accidentally ordering the wrong thing.

Among the recommended offerings at this Chinese restaurant are gyoza, tofu and soy sweet chili curry, sour soup and spring rolls.

Prices are reasonable and portions are generous.

You probably didn't go to Tokyo to eat falafel, but its an option!

Check out Ballon, and end your vegan sandwich lunch with a scoop of plant-based ice cream - you'll have a ton of flavors to choose from.

If you're not traveling to Japan any time soon but are in need of some Japanese recipes to make authentic Japanese food at home, we've got you covered.

Check out our vegan and vegetarian Japanese food recipes below and turn your kitchen into a vegan Japanese restaurant for a night.

We've got Japanese recipes for two delicious meals for you to try.

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VEGAN JAPANESE RECIPES

VEGAN MISO RAMEN WITH SHIITAKE MUSHROOMS

Along with rice balls and vegetable dishes made from sweet potatoes, ramen noodles are one staple in Japanese cuisine, from a quick lunch to casual dinners.

Ramen can be changed in flavor by adding different vegetable toppings to recipes so you will never get bored of eating it. You can fry tofu, seitan or tempeh and add it on the top with a spicy sauce.

We have a choice of miso and shoyu sauce-based Japanese ramen recipes to choose from.

These recipes are easy to adapt with the ingredients you have on hand - sub vegetables or different varieties of noodles in the ramen dish, and try different vegetables or plant-based proteins in the spring rolls.

You can also use your favorite dipping sauces in place of the one recommended by the recipe.

These recipes are so adaptable!

Ingredients:

  • 1 box Clearspring Organic Japanese Miso Ramen Noodles with Miso Ginger Soup (2 pack with sachets) o 800ml Water
  • 4 Clearspring dried shiitake mushroom (Rehydrate and cut into slices)
  • 1tbsp Clearspring Wild Japanese Arame (Rehydrate and rinse well ) o 1 tbsp Clearspring Organic Sesame oil o 1 clove garlic - minced
  • 2 pan choi or green vegetables - cut to bite-size pieces o 1 spring onion - finely sliced
  • 1 tbsp Clearspring Umami Paste chili or Umami Paste Ginger
  • 1 tsp Clearspring Toasted Sesame Oil
  • 1 Clearspring Seaveg Crispies

Preparation:

  1. Soak the 1 tbsp of Arame as instructed on the pack. In a separate bowl, soak the shiitake as instructed on the pack and set aside. Bring 800ml of water to boil in a pot, follow the instructions on the ramen packs and cook the noodles.
  2. Drain both Amara and shiitake, cut the shiitake into thin slices. (Keep the shiitake water and use for stock)
  3. In a frying pan, add the sesame oil with garlic, add the arame, and sliced shiitake mushrooms and sautée for 1 min. Add the pak choi and cook until everything is soft, season with Umami paste chills or ginger and toasted sesame oil.
  4. Place the noodles on the bottom of a deep bowl, topped with the cooked vegetable, spring onions and pour the hot soup over everything. Top with Seaveg crispies and enjoy this Japanese staple immediately.
Tip: Keep the shiitake water and use for stock.

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AVOCADO AND WATERCRESS SPRINGROLLS

Rice wrapper recipes provide an excellent – and entirely wheat-free – vehicle by which to get fresh salad ingredients from plate to mouth without the aid of cutlery.

Genius.

This version works well as a delicate starter, leaving space for a more hearty meal, or as part of a platter of nibbles before an evening out providing satisfying flavor without being too filling.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pack 20-inch rice wrappers
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 large avocado
  • 8 French radishes
  • 75g watercress
  • 1 bunch dill, washed
  • Salt and pepper to season Dipping sauce:
  • 1 large orange, juiced
  • 25ml soy sauce

Preparation:

  1. To make the dipping sauce, place the orange juice in a pan on a low heat for 7-8 minutes so it reduces by around two thirds. Take off the heat and mix it with the soy sauce. Place in a small bowl and set aside to cool.
  2. Take the cucumber and slice into thin strips using a julienne peeler or sharp knife. Only cut the outer flesh of the cucumber discarding the more watery core
  3. Halve and peel the avocado, remove the stone and slice lengthways in half-inch slices. Slice the radishes lengthways.
  4. Fill a bowl with slightly warm water. The diameter of the bowl needs to be wider than the rice paper so that the rice paper can be fully immersed in the water.
  5. Dunk one rice paper in the bowl of water for five seconds. Give it a shake to get rid of excess water and lay on a clean chopping board.
  6. Near one of the edges of the paper place a handful or two of the watercress tearing any larger clumps into smaller sections as the rolls are meant to be eaten by hand.
  7. Next, place two or three slices of avocado on top of the watercress. Then, take a few sprigs of dill and, using a pair of scissors, chop finely over the avocado and watercress and season with salt and pepper.
  8. Fold the near edge the wrapper over the contents, then fold both sides into the middle and roll-up.
  9. Serve with the dipping sauce and enjoy the fresh taste of this Japanese-inspired dish.
These are just some of the many amazing vegan Japanese recipes you can try.

It's also very easy to adapt traditional Japanese recipes that aren't plant-based, for plant-based purposes.

Before you know it, you can become an expert in modifying Japanese cuisine to suit your vegan lifestyle.

Let us know which Japanese recipes are your favorite in the comments. Maybe you can find something new to try, too.

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Sara Phillipps
A vegan freelance web designer and blog writer based out of Austin, Texas USA.


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