Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Vegetarian on the go in Japan - Convenience Stores

Vegetarian on the Go in Japan

Sometimes, especially while travelling, it’s hard to find a restaurant offering vegan or vegetarian food in Japan. If you live in Japan, you will already know about the many 24 hours convenience store chains like 7eleven, Family Mart or Lawson and what to get from there.
Anyways, for Japan first-timers this information might still be useful.

Some good vegan/vegetarian rice balls to get from convenience stores are:
  • pickled plum
  • Konbu/ sea weed rice balls
  • salted rice
  • azuki beans
pickled plum rice ball
left: salted rice, right: azuki beans

Although for „pickled plum“ and „sea weed“ it needs to be said that I cannot be 100% sure, if they are always vegan/vegetarian.
The labels usually do not have animal ingredients on them, but sometimes there is the  mysterious word 調味料 / „other flavours“ or „佃煮“ „simmered in sauce“ on the label without specifying exactly what flavours or sauces are used.
Anyways, I believe they are animal-free and eat them, but don’t take my word for it, if you want to be 100% sure.

Other good options from the convenience store especially in summer are the various cold noodles like Soba, Somen, Udon & Chukamen (Chukamen contain eggs!).
I buy them, leave out any of the meat toppings and put my own sauce on top as the sauce that comes with them always contains fish stock.

Cold soba and Somen noodles with different toppings.
Beware of the fish Vegetarian on the Go in Japan

For salads it's the same:
don't use the dressing that comes with it.
A really nice sauce, if you get tired of only soy sauce, is „Ponzu“ which you can also buy at most convenience stores in the sauce section.
Ponzu is made from soy sauce, glucose sugar, vinegar, lime juice and is almost certainly vegetairan/vegan. It goes with salads, noodles, grilled veggies etc…
Ponzu Sauce can be used for almost everything
Obviously there is more to buy from a convenience store that is vegan/vegetarian, but these are some of my favourites for now.

Vegetablian Tokyo 40 - Reimen Tsurushiko / Cold noodles in Shibuya

Reimen Tsurushiko is a noodle shop near Shibuya serving mainly cold noodles made from potato starch. Usually these noodles come in a meat broth, but this store serves many vegan options!!
I went there two times already and enjoyed the noodles which have a very special „spongy“ texture.
The first dish I had were hot curry noodles which I ate in winter, the second one were tomato basil noodles. I took additional cheese topping on the basil noodles, but this is optional. Both were 1180 Yen and I liked them.

I can definitely recommend this restaurant. Especially on a hot day its nice to eat something cold. However, not everyone might like the special texture of these noodles.

hot curry noodles

Reimen Tsurushiko outside


Is has signs for the vegan/vegetarian options
basil tomato noodles with cheese topping

〒150-0011 東京都渋谷区東1丁目27−6 Y.Mbil 1F

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Vegetablian Tokyo 39 - L for You

Today I had vegan lunch at a relatively new café: L for You ( near Omotesando. The restaurant also sells some vegan/organic groceries like soy meat, organic miso paste, organic vegetables.
The shop was hidden in a side street and not crowded during lunch time on a weekday.
The vegan meal was 1.200 Yen on weekdays - on weekends it apparently costs more - and consisted of several vegan delis, a miso soup and tea. You could choose between brown rice or bread and I chose the brown rice, which was delicious. There is also a non vegan version of the lunch plate for anyone who joins you who is not vegan.
All in all the lunch was quite nice, I especially enjoyed the vegan miso soup. Maybe I will check out the after lunch dishes at some point - the vegan burger and taco rice on the menu looked nice, too.

L for You from outside
The vegan lunch deli

Organic groceries sold in the store

1200 Yen for a vegan lunch plate
after lunch menu

Ikegami Building 1F 3-9-3 Minami-Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-0062