When I first went vegan many years ago, I found that Japanese food was both the easiest and most difficult food to eat in a restaurant. Was there hidden egg lurking in that tempura batter? (Usually, the answer is yes.) Could fish sauce or oyster sauce sneak its way into my meal? With that said, finding veggie sushi is generally a total breeze, and there’s usually comfort in ordering seaweed salad and miso soup. With these 25 vegan Japanese recipes, you can easily ensure that everything is 100% vegan and vegetarian.
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Bring the flavors of Japan to your kitchen at home. Many of these recipes are naturally vegan and vegetarian in Japan. Some of them are made vegan, and some of them are interesting takes on Japanese cuisine. I suggest making several of these recipes to create your very own Japanese “all you can eat” buffet!
Vegan Japanese Recipes: Sushi
Sushi! I had to put all of the sushi recipes first. When you think about Japanese food, I’m sure that sushi immediately comes to mind. Vegan sushi is super easy to make. Rice, seaweed, veggies. Once you have the technique figured out (it’s not that difficult!), you’ll make sushi all the time.
This vegan avocado sushi recipe by Any Reasons Vegan is super easy to make, and the rice on the outside looks really impressive. You’ll just need to have avocado and carrots for the filling, as well as rice and nori sheets. Add a little wasabi for some extra kick!
Did you ever think about making sushi with quinoa instead of rice? For some reason, it never crossed my mind! This quinoa sushi by Any Reasons Vegan is even healthier than regular rice sushi. It’s protein packed, rich in vitamins, and tastes delicious. Roll up your favorite veggies, like cucumber, carrot, and avocado.
Vegan Sushi Donuts
This recipe is adorable and really fun for kids to make (and adults, too!). These vegetable sushi donuts by Recipes From A Pantry only use five ingredients. You’ll just need a donut pan to create them. There’s even a recipe to make blueberry sweet vegan donuts for something a little different, too.
This is a really fun take on sushi! Sushi snackers by Tasting Page are grain free and dairy free. You’ll replace the rice with a raw sunflower seed mixture that’s yummy enough to lick off the spoon. The rest of the recipe remains the same: nori sheets and veggies of your choice.
Ramen is such a comforting traditional Japanese meal. It’s hard to find vegan ramen at Japanese restaurants. Generally, there’s some sort of meat or animal broth involved, and there might also be cream or milk. The following ramen dishes are completely plant based Japanese recipes, free of all animal products (like everything in this blog post). Enjoy these vegan Japanese recipes for ramen!
Creamy Tomato Ramen
This creamy tomato ramen soup by Any Reasons Vegan will have you wanting seconds! The creamy soup base uses tomato paste, vegetable stock, and soy milk. There are lots of other veggies and flavors in the pot with the ramen noodles. This one will be a new favorite at home!
Soy Milk Vegan Ramen
The key to a delicious ramen is starting with a yummy broth. This one doesn’t skip out on any flavor. This vegan soy milk ramen by Rhian’s Recipes features a broth comprised of nutty sesame, earth shiitake mushrooms, creamy soy sauce, miso, and soy milk. Add piles of ramen and veggies to the mix, and you’re done!
Instant Pot Vegan Ramen
How about a one pot, easy to make vegan ramen dish? This vegan instant pot ramen by Recipes From A Pantry is so easy to make and super yummy. Just toss all of the ingredients into the pot, cook, and you’re done. Get an instant pot if you haven’t already as it’s a total game changer in the kitchen.
Vegan Japanese Meals: Soup
There’s nothing more comforting than a bowl of soup. Okay, maybe a bowl of ramen soup as listed above. Here are some vegan Japanese recipes for soup that don’t involve ramen noodles.
Vegetable Udon Noodle Soup
This is an easy, one pot meal that’s a snap to make. This easy vegetarian udon noodle soup recipe by Mama Likes to Cook is comforting and delicious. There are loads of veggies, slurpable noodles, and a flavorful broth.
Easy Miso Soup
Miso soup is one of the easiest vegan Japanese meals to make at home. It’s healthy, yummy, and the perfect side dish or lunch time meal. Take a look at this easy miso soup recipe by Happy Kitchen for umami-packed vegan Japanese food. You can keep it simple or add mushrooms and tofu.
Many years ago (when I first started blogging!), I posted a series of my favorite recipes on this blog. Check out my miso soup recipe for even more inspiration!
Miso Udon Noodle Soup
Although traditional udon noodle soups use dashi as a broth (which contains bonito, or fish flakes), this broth uses veggie bouillon and miso paste instead. It’s 100% vegan and 100% delicious. Try this vegan udon noodle soup by The Passport Kitchen for one of the most hearty and satisfying vegan Japanese recipes.
Vegan Curry Udon
Here’s an udon noodle soup that uses a rich curry broth. Vegan curry udon by Rhian’s Recipes is creamy, rich, a little spicy, salty, and sweet. Over the flavorful broth, add your favorite veggies and thick, udon noodles. Feel free to add tofu, too.
Japanese Vegetable Dishes
Getting in your veggies will be far from a chore with these drool-worthy vegetable dishes. These are traditional vegetarian Japanese recipes or dishes inspired by Japanese seasonings.
Swiss Chard: Ohitashi & Japanese Pickled Stems
Have you tried swiss chard before? If not, you’re missing out! Here’s a fabulous, Japanese swiss chard recipe: Ohitashi and Japanese pickled stems by Very Vegan Val. I love this dish because it doesn’t waste any part of the vegetable, even the bits that are usually discarded. Eat them alone or serve with rice.
Vegan Eddo: Lemon Thyme Taro Root
Eddo is a root vegetable similar to taro, commonly eaten in China and Japan. They’re a little smaller than taro roots, and you can substitute taro if you can’t find eddo at your local grocery store. Try this vegan lemon thyme eddo recipe by Very Vegan Val to try one of the most amazing Japanese vegan dishes at home.
Miso Glazed Eggplant
Love or hate eggplant? This miso-glazed eggplant dish by Delicious Everyday will make you fall in love with eggplant, even if you think that you don’t like it. This is a really easy to make meal that uses only 8 ingredients in total. While it might seem like a simple dish, it’s packed with umami through the sweet and salty miso glaze.
Kabocha no nimono (Japanese Simmered Squash)
Kabocha squash is bright orange and commonly called pumpkin in Japan. This recipe for Kabocha no nimono (or Japanese simmered squash) by Caroline’s Cooking delivers the traditional methods for preparing this dish in Japan. Including the squash, there are only 5 ingredients involved in creating this traditional Japanese meal.
Who doesn’t love a good dumpling? They’re so versatile. They can be stuffed with your favorite veggies and proteins, paired with different dipping sauces, and either fried or steamed. Here are two different kinds of vegan Japanese recipes for dumplings that are so unique from one another that you’ll need to try them both.
Instant Pot Steaming Dumplings
Is there anything that an instant pot can’t do? Here’s a recipe for vegan steamed dumplings by Corrie Cooks that you cook entirely inside the instant pot. Make sure that you find vegan dumpling wrappers as some contain egg. They’re the perfect appetizer to enjoy before the main course, or even enjoy them as a little snack at night.
These vegan potstickers by Mama Likes to Cook are yummy little bites that you’ll wrap and fry up on the stove. Don’t settle for frozen potstickers when you can make these ones from scratch, especially since they don’t take too long to prepare. Dip them in soy sauce or another favorite dipping sauce.
Japanese Inspired Salads
These aren’t your average green salads! These vegan Japanese recipes for salad are inspired by the flavors of Japan. Some can be enjoyed as a side dish, and some can be treated as a whole meal.
Miso and Sesame Noodle Salad
This Asian miso and sesame noodle salad by Simply Healthy Vegan will soon be a favorite at home. It’s vegan, gluten-free, light, healthy, quick to make, and low calorie. You’ll want to pour this salad dressing on all kinds of salads. Feel free to add tofu or tempeh for extra protein.
Lemony Sugar Snap Peas with Soba
Soba noodles are Japanese buckwheat noodles, and they’re absolutely delish. They’re also vegan and gluten-free. This lemony sugar snap pea dish by Trial and Eater uses Japanese seasonings and flavors over buckwheat noodles with added brightness and acidity with the lemon. You can add soy sauce or even peanut sauce to jazz it up even more.
Seaweed salad is a Japanese restaurant favorite of mine, and it’s so easy to make at home. Enjoy this seaweed salad recipe by Tasting Page. There are only a handful of ingredients required, and it’s full of vitamins and minerals. Pair this side dish with any of the vegan Japanese recipes listed here.
Japanese Cabbage Salad
This is a Japanese take on German coleslaw. While it might not be an original traditional Japanese dish, it’s sometimes served at Japanese restaurants in the west. Instead of a creamy dressing, this quick Japanese cabbage salad by Masala Herb requires rice vinegar and soy sauce, paired with green onions and sesame seeds.
Vegan Japanese Main Courses
Vegan Japanese food isn’t all about sushi and ramen. There are several main courses that you can eat all on their own or alongside any soups and salads in this recipe roundup. Here are some new rice and noodle dishes to add to your recipe arsenal.
Japanese Mushroom Rice
Kinoko gohan, or Japanese mushroom rice, is an earthy and hearty side dish (or served as part of a main course!) by Caroline’s Cooking. You can cook it all in one pot or even prepare it in a rice cooker. Use this rice in place of any plain rice to make the dish more tasty and interesting.
Tofu Katsu Curry
Japanese curries are tasty creations, and this one adds breaded sticks of tofu to elevate the dish even more. This vegan tofu katsu curry by Rhian’s Recipes is easy to make and even healthier than the traditional version. While you’ll need panko breadcrumbs for the crusted tofu, there are gluten-free alternatives provided, too.
Homemade Teriyaki Sauce
I put this one under the main courses heading because you can use this homemade teriyaki sauce to whip up any noodle or rice dish. Just stir fry some veggies, make some rice in your rice cooker, and top it off with homemade teriyaki sauce by Masala Herb.
Save Room For Dessert
If there’s one thing that I miss eating at the Japanese restaurant, it’s a dessert flavored with green tea. Thankfully, I’ve got a vegan matcha dessert to try in this recipe roundup.
Vegan Gluten-Free Matcha Strawberry Cake
Matcha, or green tea powder, provides a burst of color and flavor to desserts. This is a fluffy matcha strawberry cake by Rhian’s Recipes that also happens to be vegan and gluten-free. The slight bitterness of the sponge cake is offset perfectly by this sweet, two ingredient strawberry frosting. It’s the perfect finish to any combination of the vegan Japanese dishes listed above.
Learn How to Cook Vegan Japanese Recipes
Are you learning how to cook? New to veganism and don’t know where to start? It might be a good idea to start with some cooking classes. These ones can be done right from the comfort of your own home…with Veecoco!
Veecoco offers all vegan cooking classes by trained chefs in various cuisines from all over the world. There’s an online Japanese cooking class with Japanese chef Akiko at Bentoya Cooking. You’ll learn how to make the best sushi and ramen from an expert chef.
Looking for More Vegan Recipes?
First, be sure to check out my 60 favorite vegan books across all genres, including cookbooks. I’m also rounding up plant-based recipes for cuisines all over the world. With so many worldly flavors to discover, you’ll never get bored in the kitchen. You’ll want to take a look at these:
- Vegan Italian Recipes
- Vegan Mexican Recipes
- Thai Vegan Recipes
- Vegan Greek Recipes
- German Vegan Recipes
- Vegan Indian Recipes
- Vegan British Afternoon Tea Recipes