The Soy Man (top) and 7-Eleven’s regular niku man (bottom) Photo: 7-Eleven
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7-Eleven Japan now has plant-based vegetarian steamed 'meat buns'

By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

One very cool thing about Japanese convenience stores is that they’re not just a place to grab snacks like chips and cookies. They’re also stocked with all sorts of tasty food that you could eat as a meal. Craving a pork cutlet sandwich, beef bowl, or plate of meat sauce pasta? The convenience store has got you covered.

Vegetarian or vegan options are a little harder to come by, though, as even a lot of the salads sold at convenience stores have ham, tuna, or egg in them. But if you’re looking for a meatless offering, there’s a new convenience store hero on the way in the form of 7-Eleven Japan’s Soy Man.

While the name might sound like a superhero, the “Man” part is actually a shortened form of manju/”bun.” The Soy Man is a vegetarian version of the convenience store staple niku man, steamed meat buns. The Soy Man swaps out the niku man’s diced pork, though, and replaces it with a soybean plant-based meat substitute.

The rest of the fillings are the same as a standard 7-Eleven niku man, with bamboo shoot, shiitake mushroom, and onion on the inside, promising a texture and taste on par with the meat version. The Soy Man’s dough, though, gets a special bran infusion, giving the bun itself flecks of color.

The Soy Man is produced by Nakamuraya, the steamed bun provider that 7-Eleven has a long-running partnership with. The new meatless bun is 169 calories with 5.7 grams of protein and 3.6 grams of fat (compared to 223, 7, and 8.9 for a standard niku man). It’s priced at 129 yen and is on sale now at 7-Eleven branches in Tokyo, with expansion to other parts of Japan likely depending on how well it does in the capital.

Source: 7-Eleven

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

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-- We ate “pizza-buns” from four different Japanese convenience stores to find which reigns supreme

-- Japanese media finds out if it’s cold enough to “fry” an egg on the street in Hokkaido

© SoraNews24

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

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Nowhere does it say plant-based on their website:

In fact, beef, pork and chicken is listed in the list of food allergens

I really am not surprised - the expression plant-based is being used very very loosely in Japan,

unlike in countries which takes these things seriously and where plant-based basically means vegan.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Yep, the only way to know something is truly vegetarian in Japan is to read the ingredients. Google Translate will do a decent job via a smartphone camera if you cannot read Japanese.

Companies will use animal fats in products where that don't need them. Those round wholemeal crackers sold in the green box, for example.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

The world has gone insane about the diet. If u want to eat healthy food all your life, you have to become a farmer.

The place where I live, Pokhara, has 90% of the people farming their own food and have many stocks in their house that will last 4 to 5 years and every season keep farming.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

"There's not a lot of Spam in it!"

2 ( +2 / -0 )

They should be sued for calling this plant-based. It's not even vegetarian. Vegans should really get together and sue companies misusing the term plant-based in Japan (Burger King is another great example)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I'm an omnivore and I always will be. The philosopher Marvin Gaye once said, 'Ain't nothing like the real thing'.

Gimme the real meat bun deals.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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