Traditional Buddhist cuisine is called shojin ryori in Japan. The disciplined vegan meals often consist of soybean dishes and seasonal vegetables, but has experienced a rise in popularity in recent years, being offered at temples, high end restaurants, and vegan eateries. Now those seeking out a shojin ryori experience have a new instant and affordable option with shojin ryori cup ramen.
The newly released vegan-friendly instant ramen meal is called "Zendo" (Way of Zen) and contains no animal products or gokun (strong smelling plants such as garlic or onion believed to upset the harmony of the meal and senses), opting for soy meat instead. Zendo uses a soy sauce and kelp broth, as well as vegetables not normally found in ramen such as chingensai, carrots, and pumpkin for a rich umami flavor. The ingredients and three-year development process was supervised by monks at the Soji Head Monastery, a Soto sect Zen temple in Yokohama.
Zendo can be ordered directly from Zen-Foods (it has a suggested retail price of 300 yen), and clocks in at low 284 calories.
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