Some authentic Japanese foods every vegetarian could try

Finding exclusively vegetarian dishes in a Japanese restaurant is a bit difficult task, especially for those who are not familiar with Japanese environment. While most of the Japanese authentic food items make use of Dashi(fish stoke), fish, meat etc., there are some tastes that can be picked up by the vegetarians from the Japanese menus. Let’s see some of them.

  1. Vegetable tempura: Tempura is battered deep fried dishes popular in Japan. This delicious dish makes use of seafood as well as veggies. For vegetarians, ‘Yasai tempura’ is a Japanese dish that can be tried. Almost all vegetables including asparagus, eggplant. lotus root, sweet potato, mushroom, Pumpkin etc. can be used for making this delicious Japanese dish.

    Eggplant. pumpkin tempura
  2. Salad: Vegetable salad is a common side dish coming with every Japanese meal. It usually includes cabbage carrot, lettuce, corn, tomato etc. You can make use of eggless mayonnaise, sesame sauce etc. to make it tastier.
  3. Natto: Natto is the traditional Japanese food which is the fermented soybean. Usually, it is served with rice. It is a very cheap but healthy food item.But it is not often served in restaurants. The slimy texture and the strong smell of natto make it difficult to consume it. But if you can admit it, natto is a tasty and healthy Japanese food for vegetarians.

    Photo by Yamanaka Tamaki on Flickr
  4. Tofu: Tofu is soybean curds usually white coloured blocks made from soymilk. It is also a healthy food item in Japan. It is used in miso soup or served as itself with soy sauce. Soft, Hard, and medium hard varieties of tofu could be found in the market, the taste of each differs. Tofu can also be found under various names and tastes. Namatofu is the tofu served with soy sauce and grated ginger.
  5. Japanese rice(Gohan): The sticky Japanese rice is very common food in Japan. It is a very good option for any vegetarian in Japan to get some white rice in any restaurant. It is really tasty to eat it as such.
  6. Edamame: Edamame is boiled salted soybeans, which are a favourite item for everyone in Japan. It is usually served in every Japanese drinking parties.
  7. Senbei: These are rice crackers, which are available in various flavours, shape, and colours. Some Senbei is flavoured with seafood, meat etc. But vegetarian Senbei is very common in every supermarket.
  8. Mochi: Mochi is rice cakes made with Japanese sticky rice. It is a very special food item in Japan. Mochi is made and served during New year and other important occasions in Japan. They are sometimes used in soups and other dishes. Mochi is also available in various forms. Read about the types of mochi.                              
  9. Dango: Dango is Japanese sweet dumplings made from sticky rice. It is found in various colours and flavours. Seasonal Dango sweets are also available.
  10. Onigiri: Onigiri is the rice balls available in various types. It is an easily available food item at all the convenient stores of Japan. Vegetarians can check before buying Onigiri. Plain onigiri, umeboshi(pickled plum) onigiri, Azuki(red beans) onigiri etc. are the common 100% vegetarian onigiri tyes available at convenience stores.

There are still many other food items that are solely vegetarian. Even dashi is sold without making use of the fish stock. There are vegetarian hotels in some cities of Japan where you can try every food without getting much confused.