When you’re feeling consumed by carnivorous cravings, there’s nothing quite like a nice plate of katsu curry. Curry, rice, and a cutlet on top are practically the holy triumvirate of fortifying comfort food in Japan, and katsu curry has also become one of the country’s most popular culinary exports as it gains fans around the world.
So it’s not too surprising that Ikea has added katsu curry to the dining options at its in-store restaurants in Japan. But while the Ikea menu now has katsu curry, said katsu curry has no meat whatsoever.
The Born from the Fields Plant Katsu Curry (499 yen) is entirely plant-based. While that’s sort of a given for the rice, the roux and even the cutlet contain no animal products, with the katsu being a mixture of soybean and other plant-based ingredients. In addition, Ikea’s non-katsu curry is also going plant-based, and since it’s replacing the company’s previous curry recipe, plant-based curry is now the only kind Ikea is serving.
The switch, which occurred on Sept 3, comes as part of the chain’s new initiatives to promote sustainability and address climate change. Several other plant-based items were simultaneously added to the menu, including plant-based cabbage rolls, chocolate mousse, and kebab flat bread at the chain’s branch in Tokyo’s Harajuku neighborhood (the only location that doesn’t offer curry).
While the phrase “katsu curry” is most commonly taken to mean “curry rice with a pork cutlet,” technically katsu can be made with other things too, since it just means “cutlet.” Ikea promises that its soy-based katsu curry cutlet will satisfy meat lovers, and urges dinners to “please try it once” before making up their minds about it.
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