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The fresh, mainstream look of vegetarian cooking


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It's very easy to eat vegetarian, though Japan is not the best place for it. Go to the UK (for example), and veg'an options on a menu, in cities at least, are a matter of course in most restaurants. Going vegan, in Japan, is a major hassle. Ethical eating too.

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A lot of Japanese food use "dashi" soup made from fish. ("dashi" can also be made from seaweed) For example, even in Miso soup dashi is used. Vegans will have hard time in Japan.

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@gas07lisa: Indeed. I am, for some time, not eating meat or fish, for various reasons. It means avoiding restaurant and street food for the most part - dashi is in pretty much everything, and a lot of people in Japan do not identify fish as an animal product...

You think I'm joking? Try having a conversation about vegetarianism, and see how soon you have to repeat yourself!

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California is also a safe haven for Vegan culinary, always on the cutting edge. San Francisco and Los Angeles have a wide variety of freshly organic grown vegetables. Freshly served. California is becoming more and more famous with the fusion and diversity of cultures that Chefs are coming up with new ideas to make Vegan lifestyle more attractive and palatable for the skeptic.

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haha yeah, I heard some stories from exchange students who were vegetarian. They told their Japanese host family that they are vegan. Their host family welcomed them anyway and tried to avoid dishes with meat, eggs, milk, etc. but they never really got "dashi" or those little fish and little shrimps were bad.

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Love beans but all I ever see are red beans and soy beans here. Where are all the pinto beans, etc.?

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yeah, but comparing with western countries (I mean America and Canada, because Im only familiar with these two) it is even way harder in Japan.

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Vegetarianism in Japan is getting a lot easier. At a wedding I attended recently the veggie feast I and several other guests were served was every bit as good as, if not better than, the 'proper' menu; in small restaurants during GW the staff seemed to take great pride and pleasure in upgrading standard menu items to delicious, nutritious veggie versions. One very posh hotel was unable to produce anything but rice, fish and misoshiru for breakfast, though. Won't be going there again, though otherwise it was a very nice hotel indeed.

Jack Stern - Often you can find different kinds of beans being sold at little roadside stalls in the mountains. Keep your eyes open next time you go for a drive. My local supermarket offers butter beans, haricot beans, chickpeas and some other huge black-and-pink beans (they turn browny-purple when cooked) that I don't know that name of. Try shopping around!

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