Mr. Shingo Miyamoto, Minister of Japan Embassy in India shared his intriguing experience in the session. He recounts that when he visited India he found that a lot of people are pure vegetarian and they cannot even taste Japanese food because most of the Japanese food contains non-veg. 


Substituting Meat/Fish with Veg Ingredients 

Mr. Shingo further shares an interesting episode in which he tells that he made an effort to cook and recreate the popular Japanese food by substituting meat and fish with veg ingredients so that Indian vegetarians can also enjoy the Japanese food.

Here are few recreations made by him-

  1. Veg Tantanmen – Prepared by substituting ground pork with crumbled paneer in miso, broth made from kombu/konbu (kelp) along with butter or ghee for richness.
  2. Veg Gyoza – Instead of meat he used crumbled paneer soaked in miso to make veg Gyoza.


Due to the pandemic, meat shops were closed because of which Mr. Shingo shifted to an Indian veg diet. With the help of his assistant he cooked indian vegetarian foods namely bhindi dish (okra), kundru, sarso ka saag, daal, chana chat, etc.

Few months staying on a vegetarian diet, Mr. Shingo realised that in India veg food is an original dish whereas in Japan veg food is a substitute for meat/fish, so the better way is to find original vegetarian Japanese dishes which Indian vegetarians can enjoy too.


Similarity between Indian and Japanese Vegetarian Foods

It was surprising to find that Indian and Japanese vegetarian food carries few similarities also. 


  1. Simple rice porridge and Simple daal – 

Simple rice porridge is cooked in Japan, Simple daal (lentils, salt, turmeric) is cooked in India and both dishes are liquified and are served when suffering from an upset stomach.

        2. Radish (Daikon) and it’s leaves 

A dish made by using Radish and its leaves. This dish is more interesting because it is completely the same in both countries and the only difference is the seasoning used.


All this inspired Mr. Shingo to look for Japanese food which is originally meant to be made from vegetables. He cooked a few of the dishes and asked his assistant who is an Indian for her opinion about it. 

Following are the Japanese vegetarian dishes –

1. Natto rice – Natto is fermented soy beans with a sticky and slimy texture served with rice. She did not like it because of the slimy texture of natto served with only plain rice.

2. Natto fried rice – It is prepared by stir frying natto as an ingredient including onion, garlic, cumin seeds, achar and soy sauce. It was very much tempting for her because natto was fried with rice and soy sauce and the taste of cooked soy sauce was amazing.

3. Chinese style rice porridge with fried tofu – A porridge made by using kelp broth, spring onion, coriander leaves, red chilli and sesame oil. It was somewhat okay for her as Indians are not habitual of having sesame oil in their meal. 

4. Different types of Onigiri – Grilled onigiri with soy sauce was loved by her and she craves to have it again. Onigiri with pickles is a usual taste for Indian people and is easy to have. Normal onigiri wrapped with nori is something which was not liked by her at first due to its unfamiliar sea smell but eventually it was delicious for her. Shiitake mushroom onigiri also lacks familiarity because Indian mushroom’s taste is totally different from shiitake mushroom which in result may not be enjoyable in the beginning.

5. Ohagi – Prepared with sticky rice covered in sweetened red bean paste. She enjoyed this dish as generally Indian people like sweet dishes. Even on every occasion it’s a culture of having sweets in India. 


Mr. Shingo gave a message in the event to discover the Japanese dishes which Indian Vegetarians can enjoy too! 

Idea behind this is to make Japanese food available not just for Japanese people living here but for everyone in India be it Vegetarian or non-vegetarian.


Ms. Nobu Anand, India-Japan Cookery Expert

Nobu, a Cookery Expert from Japan is currently living in Uttrakhand, India and married into an Indian family. From her experience she says that Indian people like Japanese pickles (Nukazuke) a lot. She also enlightened the session by telling one very common similarity between both countries’ meals which is called in Japanese “Ichiju-Issai”, one main staple, one soup and one vegetable. This style is followed in India too.


More detail about Nobu


Ms. Fujii Komaki, Owner of Komaki Shokudo (a famous vegetarian restaurant in Japan)

Indian customers have an impression that Japanese food is healthy. Customers who visit our restaurants also come not only because they can eat vegetarian food, but also with the motive of being able to eat healthy vegetarian food.

More detail about Komaki Shokudo


Click here to watch the event video


You can also check delicious Japanese Vegetarian recipes.