The number of tourists visiting Japan is growing year by year, but travelers still have a problem finding vegetarian or vegan-friendly restaurants. Japan is expected to be ready for a variety of tourists and tastes before the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics next summer. From 2020, the Japanese government is anticipating that more foreigners will come to Japan to live. Japan has to aim to be more foreigner-friendly.
The Yuinchu company has launched a catering service for vegans called "MODOKI" beginning from November 2019; delivery is possible in Tokyo and nearby areas in the Kanto region. As there is no physical restaurant, users will have to order their food for delivery. The food creator Sakamoto who developed the food of "MODOKI" said that they received double the number of orders for vegan catering requests in 2019.
What is "MODOKI"?
"MODOKI" means "-like" in Japanese. You see, the menu in "MODOKI" visually looks like totally real meat or fish but its made with vegan-friendly ingredients. There are 5 menus to choose from and you can freely mix and match to enjoy with your friend at a party or picnic. And the best part is that everything is vegan.
Depending on the flavor, but grilled eel has a great reputation from Japanese people and visitors alike. This grilled eel is made from tofu, yam, lotus root, konjac, and seaweed. It is very soft with the same texture of real grilled eel.
Vegan and vegetarian burgers are getting famous recently and there are some inventive types of "meat", for example, "soy meat" "fake meat", and "beyond meat". For cheese, there are vegan cheese options like soy milk or carrot. Even for non-vegan, there is no problem with the taste. It tastes like a real hamburger.
Grilled chicken (yakitori)
Yakitori (grilled chicken) is a popular dish in Japanese pubs (izakaya). It's a good atmosphere to experience without having to visit one. Yakitori typically comes in two flavors: soy sauce or salt. In the case of "MODOKI", you can eat soy sauce-flavored yakitori made from soy "meat" instead of chicken.
Stir-fried sour pork and vegetables (subuta)
It may be difficult to imagine this dish from the name but subuta is a common Japanese food, especially for lunch. This meal is actually from China. The sweet-and-sour taste is from the vinegar and soy sauce-based glaze. Normal subuta is cooked with pork but "MODOKI" uses "ofu" instead of pork. Ofu is primarily made of flour and is very soft. This makes it feel like very tender pork.
Chicken nanban is fried chicken with vinegar and tartar sauce. In this case, tofu is used instead of chicken and the tartar sauce is made from soy milk and pickles.
This is a new option for parties of non-vegans and vegans. For the time being, ordering is available in Japanese only; you may need to ask your hotel or Japanese friends to place an order for you to be delivered.