Time and time again I have heard vegans and vegetarians complaining they couldn’t enjoy sushi in Japan according to their priorities and time and time again I have explained this is completely untrue!
True to tell, this is not Tokyo where you would have to patronize atrociously pricey establishments or Hokkaido where you would be replied by a blank stare.
This is Shizuoka, the Prefecture which has officially (by government reckoning. Actually there are even more!) the largest number of vegetable varieties by far in the whole nation. Ordering or preparing vegan or vegetarian sushi is not much of a problem. To prove it here is a few pictures taken in various establishments in Shizuoka City!
Menegi Nigiri/芽葱握り/Leeks sprouts tied with a dry seaweed ribbon and topped with umeboshi/梅干し/Pickled Japanese plum!
Mitsuba Nigiri/三つ葉にぎり/Japanese honeywort slightly boiled in salted water, pressed and drained and topped with umeboshi!
Daikon nigiri/大根にぎり/Daikon which has been marinated in amazu/sweet vinegar and seasoned with grated yuzu/柚子/lime skin!
Mitsuba to Kyuri Gunkan/三つ葉と胡瓜軍艦/”Mothership style nigiri with boiled Japanese honeywort and young crunchy Japanese cucumber!
Kabetsu nigiri/キャベツにぎり/Nigiri wrapped in boiled cabbage and seasoned with sweet miso paste!
Daikon Maki/大根巻き/Daikon Roll!
The roll was prepared with daikon marinated in amazu with a filling of sushi rice, dry seaweed, umeboshi and boiled Mitsuba. Not easy!
Manganji Tougarashi Nigiri/万願寺唐辛子にぎり/Manganji Chili Pepper is a long, green and soft taste variety of chili peppers that can be enjoyed raw. The one on the left was topped with yuzu koshio/柚子胡椒/lime and black pepper paste, and the one on the right with umeboshi!
A beautiful nigiri set with menegi/芽葱/Leek sprouts, Himesobame/姫蕎麦/buckwheat sprouts, Mitsuba/三つ葉/Japanese honeywort, one raw, the other lightly boiled and topped with umeboshi/梅干し/Pickled Japanese plum!
Natto to negi gunkan/納豆と葱軍艦/”Mothership nigiri topped with fermented beans and thinly sliced leek!
A favorite of mine! Shiso to Ume to Natto Maki/紫蘇と梅と納豆巻き/A roll containing perilla leaf, pickled Japanese plum and fermented beans!
Namida maki/涙巻き/Tears or Bakudan Maki/爆弾巻き/Explosive Roll containing solely grated wasabi!
A specialty probably found only in Shizuoka Prefecture! Wasabi Zuke no inari Zushi/山葵漬けの稲荷寿司/A pouch of grilled and simmered tofu containing sushi rice and pickled/marinated wasabi stems and leaves!
For dessert! Kampyou maki/干瓢巻き/Roll containing sushi rice and dry gourd shavings. The gourd is first dried then shaved. The shavings are then simmered in soy sauce, mirin, sake and sugar! Very sweet!
Are you convinced?
To be continued…
RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES
Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, 47 Japanese Farms Through The Eyes of Its Rural Communities, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento,Adventures in Bento Making, American Bent, Beanbento, Bento No, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box,
Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Cooking Cute, Timeless Gourmet, Bento Bug, Ideal Meal, Bentosaurus, Mr. Foodie (London/UK), Ohayo Bento,
Must-see tasting websites:
-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in kanzai by Nevitt Reagan!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery