Common Japanese Ingredients for Vegans
Japanese cuisine is becoming more and more popular globally: sushi, ramen, gyoza, and other meals are incredibly notable nearly everywhere.
Though many of these meals feature meat and other non-vegan products, there are plenty of vegan Japanese ingredients available to enjoy completely vegan Japanese meals. These vegan Japanese ingredients feature plenty of vitamins and nutrients that will leave you full and satisfied.
Here are some basic Japanese ingredients that are easy to procure and enjoy:
If you are familiar with the taste category of umami, chances are, you are familiar with dashi. Dashi is a group of broths made from steeping different items. Common dashi bases include shiitake mushrooms, toasted soybeans, adzuki beans, seaweed, and other combinations of flavorful ingredients steeped into a deep, rich broth.
Though there are non-vegan versions of dashi, many only incorporate a few vegan ingredients that provide the flavorful umami taste dashi is known for. Dashi is often used as a base in many popular Japanese dishes, primarily soups and pasta. Dashi can commonly be found in different soup stocks, as well as rice seasonings and other key meal bases. You can create dashi for multiple meals throughout the week, as it keeps in the fridge for up to five days, and in the freezer for up to two weeks.
Shiitake mushrooms are some of the most commonly used mushrooms of all time: they are rich and have a deep, savory flavor many people crave. They are used in a variety of recipes, often found either fresh, dried, or even crushed into a powder substance.
Shiitake mushrooms are packed with fiber and vitamins key to providing you with the nutrients you need to thrive. Though they can be eaten and enjoyed on their own, they are common in a variety of popular dishes. Around 83% of all shiitake mushrooms are grown in Japan, making them a popular addition to many Japanese entrees.
Shiitake mushrooms can be found in some vegan sauces, vegetable mixes and some soups. Depending on whether you buy them fresh or freeze-dried, shiitake mushrooms can last for up to two weeks in the refrigerators, and far longer if dried or in powder form.
|Japanese Rice Seasoning (Mushroom Rice) 140g | Easy-to-eat|
|Japanese Scattered Sushi Rice Mix / Chirashi Sushi 150g | Easy-to-cook|
Another incredibly popular Japanese ingredient, lotus root is a flavorful ingredient reminiscent of coconut - mildly sweet with a thick texture. Lotus roots are incredibly versatile and can be fried, boiled, pickled and more to add depth and flavor to multiple dishes.
Beyond their versatility, lotus roots offer a significant amount of health benefits. They have high amounts of vitamin B, vitamin C, potassium, iron and more nutrients critical to your health. What’s more, lotus root is known to help various ailments, improving overall circulation and blood pressure, digestion, and even reduce stress and anxiety.
|Japanese Root Vegetable Curry (Medium Spicy) 200g | Ready-to-eat|
|Japanese Rice Seasoning (Gomoku Rice, Vegetables) 150g | Easy-to-eat|
Wakame - more commonly known as seaweed - is one of the most well-known Japanese ingredients. Typically, you can find wakame in two forms: either salted or dried, which each offer distinct tastes rich in texture and that umami flavor. Because both forms of wakame are preserved, they need to be soaked in water to remoisturize or can be blanched, depending on how you want to use it.
Wakame is jam-packed with plenty of essential nutrients, including some key amino acids and minerals. Is it also found to kickstart metabolism, making it a great weight-loss agent as well.
The ingredient is found in plenty of Japanese dishes, including some soups, ramen, and much more. It can also be enjoyed on its own. When dried, wakame can be kept in a pantry or other dark place for up to a full year.
|Instant Wakame Seaweed Soup 7 servings|
|Organic Germinated Brown Rice Ball / Onigiri (Wakame Seaweed) 90g x 2 | Ready-to-eat|
Shiso leaves are an aromatic herb commonly used in cooking as well as alongside sashimi and sushi dishes. Though they come in two different types - red and green shiso - the green type is much more commonly used and consumed as opposed to the red type.
While shiso leaves are most often found paired with sushi, they can be seen with fruits and vegetables as well. Fresh shiso leaves have a strong herbal taste, with hints of clove and mint in their semi-bitter flavor. Like most herbs, they should be used as soon as possible to ensure peak freshness for consumption.
Shiso leaves are a great addition to many dishes with fresh ingredients, but are featured in plenty of other meals as well. They add a certain level of freshness and zest to many different entrees.
Daikon radishes are a common root vegetable that, like most root vegetables, can be enjoyed either cooked or raw in Japanese cuisine. They have a slightly peppery flavor, and are crisp and crunchy, making them a great topping in salads and soups as well as the main vegetable feature in other entrees. Their leaves can be cooked as well, and are sometimes found in different types of kimchi and other side dishes.
Daikon radishes are extremely healthy, being that they are nutrient-dense in vitamin C and very low in calories and fat. Though they can be bought at most grocery stores, they are also relatively easy to grow in a home garden in the summer or fall.
Daikon radishes can be enjoyed fresh or dried, and are commonly found in different types of soups and vegetable medleys. They can also be enjoyed on their own. When bought fresh, daikon radishes can stay in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
One of the most versatile Japanese vegan ingredients, miso is heavily used in entrees throughout Japanese culture. Made with a mixture of soybean and koji, miso is a fermented paste that can be found in multiple different forms depending on the presence of other added ingredients or how it is prepared. Miso has a salty, earthy flavor that adds a great deal of depth into any dish.
Miso can be used with vegetables, tofu and other meat alternatives, or found in soup, ramen and much, much more. There are a variety of types of miso, including sweet miso, dark miso, and others that vary in taste and pair well with different things. Miso can be kept refrigerated for years, though it is best to check that your miso has held its color to ensure peak flavor. It can also be stored in a freezer, where it will stay fresher longer without distorting its flavor.
|Organic Instant Miso Soup 3 servings|
|Japanese Instant Brown Rice Ramen (Miso) 118g | Non-fried Noodle|
Vegan's ingredients are surprisingly easy to find in Japanese cuisine, or you can buy from us to enjoy healthy Japanese vegan food hustle-free.