Japan Today

Does kangaroo meat work with Japanese seasonings?

By Casey Baseel, RocketNews24

There’s a new take-out place in Tokyo selling kangaroo bento boxed lunches, so we hopped on over to try them for ourselves.

You can find all sorts of boxed lunches in Japan, with ones that place salmon, hamburger steak, or even Chinese dumplings in a starring role. Recently, though, we found out about a kangaroo bento, and we don’t mean that the box is shaped like one of the Australian animals.

Not far from the Takeshitadori shopping street in Tokyo’s Harajuku neighborhood, the recently opened Roo Meat is a bento takeout joint in which all of the boxed lunches feature kangaroo meat.

Naturally, the meat is sourced from Australia, where kangaroo populations are regularly culled to prevent damage to the nation’s agricultural centers. You can find kangaroo in Australian supermarkets, where it’s positioned as an alternative to other, costlier types of red meat. Kangaroo also has a number of health benefits. Aside from being rich in conjugated linoleic acid and the amino acid L-carnitine, kangaroo is high in protein and low in fat, as you might have guessed from looking at the muscular build most kangaroos have.

But does kangaroo meat work with Japanese cooking styles and seasonings? To find out, we paid a visit to Roo Meat and ordered three different items from the menu, starting the 650-yen) Miso Roo Steak.

Next up was the 600-yen Roo Soboro, an Australianized take on the "soboro" (ground chicken) that’s commonly found in more traditional bento that’s seasoned with soy sauce. And finally, the 650-yen Ponzu Roo Steak, flavored with the citrusy vinegar sauce.

Kangaroo meat doesn’t have a particularly strange appearance, and while it’s firm, we found the meaty texture pleasing as well. There’s just a bit of gaminess, but not enough to be off-putting, and the seasonings did a great job smoothing out the flavors. If anything, we could have done with a little less miso on the Miso Roo Steak, in order to better appreciate the unique choice of meat we were dining on.

Of course, kangaroo isn’t currently a regular part of the Japanese diet, which is why this bento shop is open only for a limited time. But if you’re in the mood to try this mix of Japanese and Australian cuisine, Roo Meat will be open until Dec 29.

Restaurant information Roo Meat / ルーミート おいしく燃やすダイニング Address: Tokyo-to, Shibuya-ku, Jingumae 3-23-5 東京都渋谷区神宮前3丁目23-5 Open 11:30 a.m.-6 p.m.

Read more stories from RocketNews24. -- Just a typical day in Australia watching kangaroos fight in the middle of the street -- In the mood for a little meat? We try “manga meat” chicken from Family Mart -- We try black rice sushi rolls in Australia

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Japan should protest the Australian hunting of kangaroos.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

wipeoutDec. 20, 2015 - 09:38AM JST "Just reading this made me feel a bit queazy, not a good start to a Sunday morning." So don't read it. Why do you feel compelled to post negative comments whenever meat is mentioned? If I felt the way you >do, I wouldn't keep dogs, or any other carnivorous pet, which is, let's face it, purely a lifestyle choice.

You're addressing someone who refuses to feed her dog any meat. Personally, as a dog lover myself I consider that animal abuse.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Farmboy is right. Australians don't eat much of it because it doesn't taste good, and often has an unpleasant odour. The biggest use for roo meat is pet food.

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I often travel into outback Oz , I've eaten at roo shooters camps ..it's good .. One guy who has been shooting Roos for over 30 years told me , he has never seen a kangaroo with cancer ! Unlike when he worked in the meat industry in an abattoir, cattle can have cancerous growths on them ...think about that next time you eat a burger from lot fed cows ! In short , I don't eat it often , but it is delicious and sustainable .. And humainly produced. If you've not tried it ..don't knock it ...there are more kangaroos than people in australia ... They are not endangered.. Or in other people's countries ...and certainly not like whales. It kept Australian Aborigines fed and tooled for 40,000 years ..so please think again and give it a whirl !

1 ( +1 / -0 )

If a bento shop in Tokyo can source kangaroo meat, why can't I get locally sourced lamb or even venison in a Tokyo supermarket ?

Like kangaroos in Australia, in northern parts of Japan the local governments cull a certain number of deer every year. There must be a surplus of perfectly good deer meat.

The lamb I've seen here on a supermarket shelf seems to be imported from NZ or Australia.

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Just reading this made me feel a bit queazy, not a good start to a Sunday morning.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Roo meat is delicious, and the prices quoted are very reasonable. If you get the chance, give it a try!

0 ( +1 / -1 )


Japan should protest the Australian hunting of kangaroos.

Australia's population: 24m. Roo population: 60m+. Argument = invalid. Besides, roo meat is delicious if it's done right!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Does kangaroo meat work with Japanese seasonings?

Only if you add mayonnaise.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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