Meat Substitutes

Granulated soymeat is not too difficult to find in stores in Japan, but be sure to check labels to make sure meat extracts are not added in for flavoring. For animal-ingredient-free meat substitute products other than granulated to larger pieces of soymeat, it may be necessary to order online.

Sadly, just because something is a meat substitute does not mean it is vegan. There is a rapidly growing number of meat substitute/alternative meat products developed for the local market that are egg-based. In some cases, even though soybean meat may be used as a beef substitute for the bulk of the product, flavoring may be added back in using things like beef powder, making those products not true meat substitutes at all. Unfortunately, these types of products include some of the most easily found in supermarkets. Here’s an example of two displays of faux meat from early 2021- the one on the left is from Tobu supermarket and the one on the right is from Maruetsu Supermarket. None of the products in either of the sections is vegan.

Let’s start with some examples of meat substitutes without listed animal ingredients. We’ll also look at some non-vegan products to avoid and talk about seitan and tempeh, which can be found in Japan but may take a bit of a search, and finally end with online shops where you can buy a bigger variety of meat substitutes.

For those who do not live in Japan, products sold on Rakuten Ichiba can be shipped to other countries via Rakuten Global Express (English), Rakuten’s official overseas delivery service (Visit Rakuten Global Express (Japanese Top Page)""click here for Rakuten Global Express in Japanese). They will combine your Rakuten Ichiba (Japanese) order with orders from other shopping websites, including those that do not ship overseas, and send everything to you. They do not send refrigerated or frozen items- if you order them, they will be sent to you unrefrigerated. Sign-up is free. Learn how to use the service here (English). Those in Japan can purchase any product that is carried on Rakuten Ichiba directly, of course without using Rakuten Global Express, which is only for overseas shoppers.

Alishan soymeat can be found in health food stores. This photo was taken at Bio C’ Bon grocery store in Yokohama.

• Alishan Organic Textured Soy Protein granules/アリサン 有機ジャックの豆ミート. Ingredients: Organic soybeans.

Made in Switzerland.

Online purchase links: Bio c’ Bon, Rakuten Ichiba, Tengu Natural Foods (Alishan) (English)

20190216_150551 - Copy

Amy’s California Veggie Burgers can be found at Bio C’ Bon supermarkets. Marked “soy free” and “dairy free” on the package. The English-language Amy’s website states that they are vegan.

•  Amy’s California Veggie Burgers. Ingredients: Organic mushrooms, organic bulgur wheat, organic onions, organic celery, organic carrots, organic oats, organic walnuts, organic wheat gluten, organic potatoes, sea salt, organic high oleic safflower and/or sunflower oil, organic garlic.

Contains wheat and tree nuts (walnuts).

Online purchase link: Tengu Natural Foods (Alishan) (English)

20191130_163717 (2)

Unlike Asahico’s VegeProject Japan vegan certified Toffu Protein Tofu rice with Black Rice and Toffu Protein Tofu Rice with Pearl Barley, detailed in our Tofu & Soy Products section, the two products shown below from the same line don’t show anything that can definitely be said to be of animal origin on the ingredient lists, but lack vegan certification. There’s a possibility the foods do contain animal products off-label. Another possibility is that the items may use use bone-char processed sugar, which would make them ineligible for VegeProject vegan certification. Check the details of said certification (English language link) on VegeProject’s website.

The first ingredient of the following flavor is “Japanese-style seasoning liquid,” so it seems there’s a possibility it might have fish, although the individual listed ingredients in said Japanese-style seasoning liquid look innocuous.

• Asahico Toffu Protein Niku Soboro (Ground “Meat”)/Asahico Toffu Protein 肉そぼろ. Ingredients: Japanese-style seasoning liquid (domestically produced), (soy sauce, mirin, refined sake, sugar, grated ginger, yeast extract), whole soybeans (not genetically modified), vegetable oil, salt, coagulant (magnesium chloride (nigari)), thickener (processed starch, xanthan gum), processed starch, flavoring, foaming agent (glycerin fatty acid ester).

Product contains wheat and soybeans.

Asahico Toffu Protein Niku Soboro (Ground Meat)    Asahico Toffu Protein Niku Soboro (Ground Meat) back of package

The following product contains brewed vinegar/醸造酢/jyōzōsu, which can sometimes contain honey according to the Japan Vinegar Institute Headquarters.

• Asahico Toffu Protein Yakiniku (Grilled “Meat”)/Asahico Toffu Protein 焼肉. Ingredients: Sauce (domestically produced) (soy sauce, high-fructose corn syrup, grated garlic, starch syrup, vegetable oil, sugar, roasted sesame seeds, brewed vinegar, concentrated apple juice, doubanjiang, black pepper, red bell pepper, processed starch), processed soybean product (soybean protein, rice flour, wheat gluten, cocoa powder), vegetable oil/caramel coloring, thickener (processed starch, xanthan gum), seasoning (amino acids, etc.), spice extract, monascus color, flavoring.

Product contains wheat, sesame, soybeans, and apple.

Asahico Toffu Protein Yakiniku (Grilled Meat)    Asahico Toffu Protein Yakiniku (Grilled Meat) back of package

This pasta sauce contains soymeat. Made by the same company in charge of the Chaya Macrobiotics restaurants. Although the restaurants serve fish, according to their website’s Q&A, all of their manufactured products are 100% plant-derived and don’t use white sugar. The product page for this Chaya Macrobiotics Soy Meat Sauce is specifically marked vegan-friendly in Japanese, ビーガン対応/vīgan taiou.

• Chaya Macrobiotics Soy Meat Sauce/チャヤマクロビ ソイミートソース. Ingredients: Vegetables (carrots, shiitake mushrooms), granular soybean protein, roasted onions, tomato paste, pumpkin paste, starch syrup, red wine, carrot paste, olive oil, garlic paste, salt, rice vinegar, napa cabbage extract, potato starch, miso, yeast extract, ginger paste, spices, kelp powder.

Artificial flavorings, preservatives, artificial colorings and white sugar are not used.

Items containing egg, milk, wheat, buckwheat, peanut, shrimp, crab, squid, orange, beef, walnut, mackerel, soybean, chicken, pork, banana, peach, yamaimo, apple, gelatin, sesame, and cashew nut are manufactured using common equipment.

Online purchase links: Chaya Macrobiotics online shop, Rakuten Ichiba

Chaya Macrobi Soy Meat Sauce

Daiz, the Kyushu-based soymeat startup, released some products at Life supermarkets in the chilled and frozen meat areas. On page 2 of Life’s press release of 4/5/2021, it says the menchi katsu is 動物由来の原料を一切使用せず、植物由来原料のみで仕上げたメンチカツ meaning “no animal-derived ingredients; minced meat cutlet with only plant-derived ingredients.” It also says “ヴィーガン対応商品ではございません” “the product(s) are not vegan compatible” so for whatever reason, it seems they don’t want to call the product vegan.

• Daiz Menchi Katsu/Daiz メンチカツ. Ingredients: Panko (domestically produced), processed soy product (whole soybean flour, powdered soy protein, soybeans), onion, starch, vegetable oil, powdered soy protein, salt, sugar, soy sauce, spices, meat-like seasoning, clove powder/processed starch, seasoning (organic acids, etc.), flavoring.

Product contains wheat and soybeans.

Daiz Menchi Katsu

The rest of the Daiz products sold in Life supermarkets (croquettes, gyoza, harumaki, and shuumai) are not vegan.

Daiz Croquettes/Daiz コロッケ list “beef extract seasoning,” bīfu ekisu choumiryou/ビーフエキス調味料, in the ingredient list.

Daiz Croquettes large package

Daiz Gyoza/Daiz 餃子, soymeat-based gyoza, are not vegan as they contain oyster sauce/オイスターソース/oisutā sōsu, pork extract seasoning/ポークエキス調味料/pōku ekisu choumiryou (the label also says contains pork/豚肉を含む/butaniku wo fukumu), and the allergen section of the label also says they have gelatin/ゼラチン/zerachin.

Daiz Gyoza    Daiz Gyoza large package

Daiz Harumaki/Daiz 春巻き, soymeat-based spring rolls, are not vegan as they have oyster sauce/オイスターソース/oisutā sōsu.

Daiz Harumaki    Daiz Harumaki large package

Daiz Shuumai/Daiz 焼売, soymeat-based dumplings, are not vegan as they have pork extract seasoning/ポークエキス調味料/pōku ekisu choumiryou (the label also says contains pork/豚肉を含む/butaniku wo fukumu), scallop extract seasoning/ホタテエキス調味料/hotate ekisu choumiryou, oyster sauce/オイスターソース/oisutā sōsu, and the allergen section of the label also says they have gelatin/ゼラチン/zerachin.

Daiz shuumai

Harkis makes a vegetable protein from broad beans. This article, Finnish Vegetable Proteins, details the product in English. These products have been seen at Natural Lawson stores (reconfirmed as of March 2021), however, they may be making their way off the market.

The product can be stir-fried or adding it to a salad. All three products are gluten-free.

• Harkis Finland Plain/ハーキス 野菜のそぼろ プレーン. Ingredients: Broad bean (Finland), pea protein, broad bean flake, rapeseed oil, salt, molasses, dietary fiber, pepper/stabilizer (processed starch, cellulose, methyl cellulose), spice extract, caramel pigment.

harkis plain

• Harkis Finland Ethnic Curry/ハーキス 野菜のそぼろ エスニックカレー. Broad bean (Finland), pea protein, broad bean flake, rapeseed oil, salt, sugar, molasses, dietary fiber, red pepper, pepper, cumin, curry powder, ginger powder, onion powder, garlic powder, parsley powder/stabilizer (processed starch, cellulose, methyl cellulose), spice extract, caramel pigment.

harkis ethnic curry

• Harkis Finland Mexican/ハーキス 野菜のそぼろ メキシカン. Ingredients: Broad bean (Finland), pea protein, broad bean flake, rapeseed oil, sugar, salt, molasses, dietary fiber, red pepper, cumin, oregano, tomato powder, pepper/stabilizer (processed starch, cellulose, methyl cellulose), spice extract.

Harkis mexican

Although the following furikake meant as a rice topping is meat flavored, the website says it doesn’t use meat as a main ingredient and uses soy protein to reproduce the texture and taste of meat/主原料に肉は使用せず、大豆蛋白を使った、まるでお肉のような食感・味を再現したふりかけです. There aren’t any ingredients listed that can be identified as being of animal origin.

Although it might be less common to do so, furikake can also be used as a topping for cooked vegetables.

You may be able to find Hamaotome Roasted Ground Soybean Meat Furikake at Maruetsu grocery stores.

•  Hamaotome Roasted Ground Soybean Meat Furikake, Keema Curry Flavored/浜乙女 大豆のそぼろふりかけ キーマカレー風味. Ingredients: Soybean protein (domestically produced), roasted sesame seeds, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, vegetable oil, salt, edible seasoning oil, tomato powder, curry powder, powdered ginger, powdered garlic, black pepper/seasoning (amino acids, etc.), antioxidant (vitamin E), caramel sauce, spice, flavoring.

Product contains sesame, soybeans, and apple.

Photo from website.

Hamaotome Roasted Ground Soybean Meat Furikake, Keema Curry Flavored

•  Hamaotome Roasted Ground Soybean Meat Furikake, Miso “Meat” Flavored/浜乙女 大豆のそぼろふりかけ肉みそ風味. Ingredients: Sugar (domestically produced), soybean protein, vegetable oil, roasted sesame seeds, miso, soy sauce, salt, powdered ginger, spice, seasoning (amino acids, etc.), antioxidant (vitamin E).

Product contains wheat, sesame and soybeans.

Items containing egg, dairy and peanuts are manufactured on the same factory line.

Photo from website.

daizu-soboro_nikumiso furikake

Look for the Ikea Huvudroll Plant Balls and Vegetable Balls and Korvmoj Vegetable Hot Dog in the frozen food section of Ikea stores.

The listing for the Ikea Huvudroll Plant Balls notes “Includes no animal ingredients, meaning a good choice for vegetarians and vegans” in English on the Australian Ikea website. They are made with pea protein. According to Ikea, this product has only 4% the climate footprint of the (non-vegan) meatballs.

Ikea Huvudroll Plant Balls/HUVUDROLL フヴドロル プラントボール. Ingredients: Pea protein (30%), water, rapeseed oil, potatoes, binder mix (7%) (crumbs [rice flour, dextrose, salt, emulsifier (471)], pea starch, pea protein [20%], emulsifier [461]), onion, oat bran, emulsifier binder mix [2%], (emulsifier [461], pea protein [25%], pea starch), natural flavourings, mushroom concentrate, dried apple, salt, tomato powder, black pepper, allspice.

Ikea Huvudroll Plant Balls    Ikea Huvudroll Plant balls ingredient list

The Ikea Huvudroll Vegetable Balls probably aren’t meant to really imitate meat, but it should be possible to use them in place of meatballs. From autotranslate from the Japanese-language product page: “A veggie ball made only with vegetables that gives you a solid taste of vegetables. The colors of chickpeas, carrots, peppers, corn, and kale are vivid. Since it does not use animal-derived materials, vegetarians and vegans can enjoy it with confidence.”

Ikea Huvudroll Vegetable Balls/HUVUDROLL フヴドロル ベジボール

Photo from website.

IKEA Huvudroll Vegetable Balls

From autotranslate from the Japanese-language product page, the Korvmoj Vegetable Hot Dog: “Contains no animal ingredients. Safe for vegetarians and vegans.”

Ikea Korvmoj Vegetable Hot Dog.

Ikea Korvmoj Vegetable Hot Dog

Although a previous version of these Imuraya Steamed Soymeat Buns had eggs, as of September 2021, the package now reads 動物性原料不使用, animal ingredients not used. It also says “plant based” in English. 

Imuraya Steamed Soymeat Buns/井村屋 大豆ミートまん. Ingredients: Wheat flour (domestically produced), onion, sugar, bamboo shoot, vegetable oil, soy protein food, refined sake, fermented seasoning, dietary fiber, soy sauce, sweet bean sauce, ginger paste, yeast, bread crumbs, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, konnyaku potato paste, vegetable extract powder, salt, shiitake mushroom, spices, dextrin, sugar cane extract/seasoning (amino acids, etc.), thickener (processed starch, methylcellulose, thickening polysaccharides), leavening agent, acidulant, caramel color, emulsifier.

Product contains wheat, sesame, and soybeans.  

The product production line produces products containing eggs, milk components, shrimp, and peanuts.

Imuraya Steamed Soymeat Buns    Imuraya Steamed Soymeat Buns back of package

Kewpie Salad Club Soymeat Mix, Four Kinds of Beans, Barley and Quinoa/キユーピー サラダクラブ 大豆ミートミックス(4種豆と麦とキヌア入り). Ingredients: Granulated soy protein (domestically produced), barley, adzuki beans, peas, garbanzo beans, quinoa, lentils, salt.

Product contains soybeans.

Online purchase link: Rakuten Ichiba

Kewpie Salad Club Soymeat Mix    Kewpie Salad Club Soymeat Mix back of package

Kurakon sells a line of products called “Good for Vegans.” The entire Good for Vegans line is available for purchase in their online shop.

This Kurakon mix in the “Good for Vegans” line of products, spotted at a branch of Aeon, is for making vegan “chicken” meatballs (tsukune). You’ll also need momen tofu, olive oil and onion to prepare the product. The ingredient list and allergen information are taken from the English-language product page

• Kurakon Good for Vegans Fluffy Fu and Tofu Meatball/くらこん Good for Vegans  ふわふわつくね. Ingredients: Sauce: Soy sauce (contains soy and wheat; made in Japan), brown sugar, refined sake, starch, salt.
Ingredients: bread crumbs (contains wheat), wheat gluten (contains wheat), kombu seaweed, brewed vinegar

Contains
Wheat, Soy

Does not contain
Egg, Milk, Shrimp, Crab, Buckwheat, Peanut, Almond, Abalone, Squid, Salmon roe, Orange, Cashew nut, Kiwi, Beef, Walnut, Sesame, Salmon, Mackerel, Chicken, Banana, Pork, Matsutake mushroom, Peach, Japanese Mountain Yam, Apple, Gelatin

Online purchase links: Kurakon online shop, Rakuten Ichiba

Photo courtesy of @jari.eats, June 2021.

Kurakon Good for Vegans Fluffy Fu and Tofu Meatball

This Kurakon mix in the “Good for Vegans” line of products, spotted at a branch of Aeon, is for making mapo tofu. You’ll also need momen tofu and water to prepare the product. The ingredient list and allergen information are taken from the English-language product page

• Kurakon Good for Vegans Meatless Japanese-style Mapo Tofu/くらこん Good for Vegans 和風麻婆豆腐. Mapo Tofu Sauce: Brown sugar (made in China), soy sauce (contains soy and wheat), mirin (sweet rice seasoning), doubanjiang chili bean sauce (contains soy), miso (contains soy), sesame oil, salt, kombu seaweed extract, brewed vinegar, yeast extract.
Ingredients: Soy protein, starch, glucose syrup, kombu seaweed (grown in Hokkaido), quinoa puffs, green onion, soy sauce (contains soy and wheat), salt, yeast extract.

Contains
Wheat, Sesame, Soy

Does not contain
Egg, Milk, Shrimp, Crab, Buckwheat, Peanut, Almond, Abalone, Squid, Salmon roe, Orange, Cashew nut, Kiwi, Beef, Walnut, Salmon, Mackerel, Chicken, Banana, Pork, Matsutake mushroom, Peach, Japanese Mountain Yam, Apple, Gelatin

Online purchase link: Kurakon online shop

Photo courtesy of @jari.eats, June 2021.

Kurakon Good for Vegans Meatless Japanese-style Mapo Tofu

Their tofu hamburger steak mix is part of the same “Good for Vegans” line of products. You’ll also need momen tofu and olive oil to prepare it. The package and product page are marked gluten-free. Although the product name is “Vegetarian Hamburg Mix,” the product page on the website says it’s vegan. The ingredient list and allergen information are taken from the English-language product page

• Kurakon Good for Vegans Vegetarian Hamburg Mix/くらこん Good for Vegans  豆腐ハンバーグ. Ingredients: Soy protein (made in Japan), non-glutinous rice flour, hijiki seaweed, quinoa puffs.
Powdered seasonings: Tofu lees powder (contains soy), salt, kombu seaweed powder, vegetable extract powder, processed brown sugar, yeast extract, onion powder, garlic powder, white pepper, bay leaf, cardamom.

Contains
Soy

Does not contain
Egg, Milk, Wheat, Shrimp, Crab, Buckwheat, Peanut, Almond, Abalone, Squid, Salmon roe, Orange, Cashew nut, Kiwi, Beef, Walnut, Sesame, Salmon, Mackerel, Chicken, Banana, Pork, Matsutake mushroom, Peach, Japanese Mountain Yam, Apple, Gelatin

Online purchase links: Kurakon online shop, Rakuten Ichiba

Photo courtesy of @jari.eats, June 2021.

Kurakon Good for Vegans Vegetarian Hamburg Mix

Marukome currently makes various “Daizu Labo/Soybean Laboratories” soymeats, some dry, one frozen, and some that come ready-to-use in a retort pouch, in various shapes from crumbles to blocks. As of May 17, 2020, 10 retail types of this product that can be found in supermarkets (as well as 4 for wholesale) obtained the VegeProject Japan vegan mark. Find details on the VegeProject website (English). The next ten items shown below have obtained the VegeProject Japan vegan mark. As of March 2021 it isn’t clear if all the products still have the mark. There are some recipes which seem easily veganizable on the Marukome website using these products.

However, some items in the “Daizu Labo/Soybean Laboratories” series, including products that use the soymeat as an ingredient, use non-vegan ingredients. A few examples of those non-vegan products are shown with “x” marks on the photos. 

The packages of the first six types shown here say: “No animal ingredients used/doubutsusei genryou fushiyou/動物性原料不使用” in Japanese.

• Marukome Daizu Labo (Soybean Laboratories) Soymeat, Minced/マルコメ ダイズラボ 大豆のお肉ミンチ. Ingredients: Processed defatted soybean (domestic production (defatted soybean, soy sauce)), rice miso, yeast extract powder/glucono delta-lactone.

Product includes wheat and soybeans.

Online purchase links: Rakuten Ichiba, via the Marukome product page

Photo from website.

Marukome Soybean Laboratories Soymeat, Minced

• Marukome Daizu Labo (Soybean Laboratories) Soymeat, Minced, Retort Pouch Type/マルコメ ダイズラボ 大豆のお肉ミンチレトルトタイプ. Ingredients: Processed defatted soybean (domestic production (defatted soybean, soy sauce)), rice miso, yeast extract powder/glucono delta-lactone.

Product includes wheat and soybeans.

Online purchase links: Rakuten Ichiba, via the Marukome product page

Photo from website.

Marukome Soybean Laboratories Soymeat, Minced, Retort Pouch Type 2

Marukome Daizu Labo (Soybean Laboratories) Soymeat Fillet/ダイズラボ 大豆のお肉 フィレ. Ingredients: Processed defatted soybeans (domestic production (defatted soybean, soy sauce)), rice miso, yeast extract powder/glucono delta-lactone.

Product includes wheat and soybeans.

Online purchase links: Rakuten Ichiba, via the Marukome product page

Photo from website.

Marukome Soybean Laborotories Soymeat Filet

• Marukome Daizu Labo (Soybean Laboratories) Soymeat Fillet, Retort Pouch Type/ダイズラボ 大豆のお肉フィレ レトルトタイプ. Ingredients: Processed defatted soybeans (domestic production (defatted soybean, soy sauce)), rice miso, yeast extract powder/glucono delta-lactone.

Product includes wheat and soybeans.

Online purchase links: Rakuten Ichiba, via the Marukome product page

Photo from website.

Marukome Soybean Laboratories Soymeat Filet, Retort Pouch Type

Marukome Daizu Labo (Soybean Laboratories) Soymeat Blocks/ダイズラボ 大豆のお肉 ブロック. Ingredients: Processed defatted soybean (domestic production (defatted soybean, soy sauce)), rice miso, yeast extract powder/glucono delta-lactone.

Product includes wheat and soybeans.

Online purchase links: Rakuten Ichiba, via the Marukome product page

Photo from website.

Marukome Soybean Laboratories Soybean Meat Block

Marukome Daizu Labo (Soybean Laboratories) Soymeat Blocks, Retort Pouch Type/ダイズラボ 大豆のお肉ブロック レトルトタイプ. Ingredients: Processed defatted soybean (domestic production (defatted soybean, soy sauce)), rice miso, yeast extract powder/glucono delta-lactone.

Product includes wheat and soybeans.

Online purchase links: Rakuten Ichiba, via the Marukome product page

Photo from website.

Marukome Soybean Laboratories Soymeat Blocks, Retort Pouch Type

Next, let’s look at some dried soymeat from the same line.

The photo of the following product was taken in a branch of Ito Yokado supermarket in May 2021. 

Marukome Daizu Labo (Soybean Laboratories) Soymeat Mince, Dry Type/マルコメ ダイズラボ 大豆のお肉ミンチ 乾燥タイプ. Ingredients: Defatted soybeans (not genetically modified), soy sauce.

Product includes wheat and soybeans.

Online purchase links: Rakuten Ichiba, via the Marukome product page

Marukome Daizu Labo (Soybean Laboratories) Soymeat Mince, Dry Type

 

Marukome Daizu Labo (Soybean Laboratories) Soymeat Fillet, Dry Type/ダイズラボ 大豆のお肉フィレ 乾燥タイプ. Ingredients: Defatted soybeans (not genetically modified), soy sauce.

Product includes wheat and soybeans.

Online purchase links: Rakuten Ichiba, via the Marukome product page

Photo from website.

Marukome Soybean Laboratories Soymeat Fillet, Dry Type

Marukome Daizu Labo (Soybean Laboratories) Soybean Meat Blocks, Dry Type/ダイズラボ 大豆のお肉ブロック 乾燥タイプ. Ingredients: Defatted soybeans (not genetically modified), soy sauce.

Product includes wheat and soybeans.

Online purchase links: Rakuten Ichiba, via the Marukome product page

Photo from website.

Marukome Soybean Laboratories Soybean Meat Blocks, Dry Type

The sole frozen type is shown below.

Marukome Daizu Labo (Soybean Laboratories) Frozen Soybean Meat, Mince Type/ダイズラボ 冷凍 大豆のお肉 ミンチタイプ. Ingredients: Processed defatted soybeans (defatted soybeans, soy sauce).

Product includes wheat and soybeans.

Online purchase link: via the Marukome product page

Photo from website.

Marukome Soybean Laboratories Frozen Soybean Meat, Mince Type

There are a few more products in the line that don’t have the VegeProject vegan certification but don’t show any animal ingredients on the ingredient list.

On March 17, 2021, Nippon News Network reported that Ito Yokado is selling Soybean Laboratories (Daizu Labo) Soymeat in the refrigerated meat section of the store.

Daizu Labo (Soybean Laboratories) Soy Meat/ダイズラボ大豆のお肉. Ingredients: Defatted soybeans (not genetically modified), soy sauce.

Product includes wheat and soybeans.

Photo from Nippon News Network.

Daizu Labo Soybean Meat

The packaging of this item appears to have been changed- the photos below are from June 2021. This item is also sold at Ito Yokado. 

Daizu Labo (Soybean Laboratories) Soy Meat/ダイズラボ大豆のお肉. Ingredients: Defatted soybeans (not genetically modified), soy sauce.

Product includes wheat and soybeans.

The defatted soybeans in the product are made from soybeans that have been transported and been through the same production process as wheat. 

Daizu Labo (Soybean Laboratories) Soymeat June 2021    Daizu Labo (Soybean Laboratories) Soymeat back of package June 2021

According to Wikipedia, Japchae is a Korean dish prepared with stir-fried noodles and vegetables (and lately meat). This product includes soybean meat, noodles, and sauce, so only the vegetables need to be added in. The product page reads “chemical seasonings not used” in Japanese, 化学調味料不使用/kagaku choumiryou fushiyou. As of April 2021 the product page states it is a new product. Photos taken in April 2021. The product was found at a branch of Ito Yokado. 

Marukome Daizu Labo Soybean Laboratories Japchae/ダイズラボ 大豆のお肉で作るチャプチェ. Ingredients: Soybean meat [processed defatted soybeans (domestically produced (defatted soybeans, soy sauce)), rice miso, yeast extract powder/gluconodeltalactone (Includes wheat and soybeans)] Japchae sauce [Soy sauce, cane sugar (raw sugar, kokuto), sesame oil, reduced starch syrup, rice miso, salt, grated garlic, high-fructose corn syrup, soybean miso, protein hydrolyzate, black pepper, red pepper, salt koji/alcohol, thickening polysaccharide, cellulose, emulsifier, processed starch (Includes wheat, sesame and soybeans)] Glass noodles [mung bean starch, potato starch].

Product contains wheat, sesame, and soybeans.

Online purchase link: Marukome online shop

Daizu Labo Japchae

Daizu Labo Japchae ingredient list

Now let’s look at some Marukome products that are not vegan. The company Primaham x Marukome Daizu Labo have a product line as of March 1, 2021 that says “Try veggie” in English and then ”お肉を使わない、新しい選択,” Oniku o tsukawanai, atarashī sentaku in Japanese, meaning ”Don’t use meat, the new choice” or “A new choice without meat.” Despite this the products in the line all contain meat for flavoring. “Made of Soymeat Mini Fried Chicken,” “Made of Soymeat Mini Menchi,” “Made of Soymeat Amazake Meatballs,” and “Made of Soymeat Japanese Hamburger Steak” use egg, dairy, gelatin, beef, chicken, and pork depending on the product, meaning none of them are even vegetarian.

トライベジミニフライドチキン入稿    トライベジミニメンチ入稿

Primaham x Marukome Daizu Labo Amazake Meatballs    ミートボールハンバーグ展開5

Here are a few more of the non-vegan items in Marukome’s “Daizu Labo/Soybean Laboratories” series.

The “Daizu Labo Burger Patty Soy Meat/大豆ラボ 大豆のお肉のバーガーパティ” is not vegan as it has whole eggs, zen tamago/全卵. (Product not pictured.)

The following “flavor added” soymeat has chicken extract/チキンエキス/chikin ekisu in it. “Flavor added/味付き/ajitsuki” often means meat and fish extracts have been added to products.

Marukome Soybean Laboratories Flavor Added Roasted Ground Soybean Meat/マルコメ ダイズラボ 大豆のお肉の味付きぞぼろ

Photo from website.

Daizu Labo Flavor Added Roasted Ground Soybean Meat

This soymeat gapao rice has oyster sauce/オイスターソース/oisutā sōsu, fish sauce/魚醤(魚介類)/gyoshō (gyokairui), chicken extract/チキンエキス/chikin ekisu and shellfish extract/貝エキス/kai ekisu.

•  Marukome Soybean Laboratories Gapao Rice/マルコメ ダイズラボ ガパオライス

Marukome Soybean Laboratories Gapao Rice

The taco rice contains oyster sauce/オイスターソース/oisutā sōsu.

•  Marukome Soybean Laboratories Taco Rice/マルコメ ダイズラボ タコライス

Marukome Soybean Laboratories Taco Rice

Around the end of 2020, Mujirushi Ryohin (known as Muji) released a series of soymeats. The Minced Soy Meat and the Soy Meat Slices don’t show animal ingredients on the ingredient lists, but the Soy Meat Balls and Soy Meat Hamburger Steak are not vegan as they contain egg and dairy.

• Muji Minced Soy Meat/無印良品大豆ミートひき肉タイプ. Ingredients: Granulated soy protein (domestically produced), soy sauce, vegetable oil, refined sake, yeast extract.

Product contains wheat and soybeans.

Items containing shrimp, crab, soba, egg, dairy, and peanuts are manufactured on shared equipment.

Online purchase link: Muji online shop

Photo from website.

Muji Minced Soy Meat

• Muji Soy Meat Slices/無印良品大豆ミート薄切りタイプ. Ingredients: Soybean protein (domestically manufactured), soy sauce, yeast extract.

Product contains wheat and soybeans.

Items containing shrimp, crab, soba, egg, dairy, and peanuts are manufactured on shared equipment.

Online purchase link: Muji online shop

Photo from website.

Muji Soy Meat Slices

Here are images of the nonvegan products:

Muji Soy Meatballs

Muji Soy Meat Hamburger Steak

As of June 2021, animal-ingredient-free Next Meats Harami and Kalbi (the ones that are currently at Yakiniku Like restaurants) are sold at Ito Yokado stores nationwide (according to this article from Gourmet (Gurume) Watch), although not at every branch. 

• Next Harami (Skirt “steak”) 1.1/NEXT ハラミ 1.1.

• Next Kalbi (Korean BBQ short “ribs”) 1.1/NEXT カルビ 1.1.

From autotranslate from the Next Meats website (Harami and Kalbi): “No animal ingredients are used. We do not use palm oil or white sugar made from beef bone charcoal, and we do not handle animal raw materials on the factory production line. This product is also suitable for vegans.”

<< Ingredients of Harami 1.1 >>
Ingredients: Processed soybeans (soybeans (domestic), not genetically modified), seasonings (soy sauce, sugar, fermented rice seasoning, yeast extract, apples, brewed vinegar, garlic, salt, sesame oil, doubanjiang, pepper), edible rapeseed oil.

Product includes wheat, soybeans, apples and sesame.

<< Ingredients of Kalbi 1.1 >>

Ingredients: Processed soybeans (domestically produced, not genetically modified), seasonings (soy sauce, sugar, fermented rice seasoning, yeast extract, apples, brewed vinegar, garlic, salt, sesame oil, doubanjiang, pepper), edible rapeseed oil.

Product includes wheat, soybeans, apples and sesame.

Online purchase link: Next Meats online shop (Harami and Kalbi) 

Photo from nextmeatsjapan on Instagram.

Next Meats Harami and Kalbi

In the same display, Ito Yokado may have the Moranbong Jang Fermented Gochujang Yakiniku Sauce and Moranbong Jang Yakiniku Sauce, which don’t show any obvious animal ingredients on the ingredient list. Both flavors read 無添加/mutenka, meaning additive-free.

The Moranbong Jang Fermented Gochujang Yakiniku Sauce is dry (as opposed to sweet).

Moranbong Jang Fermented Gochujang Yakiniku Sauce/ジャン 焼肉の生だれ 熟成コチュジャン辛口. Ingredients: Soy sauce (domestically produced), sugar, gochujang, mirin, refined sake, sesame oil, apple, green onion, garlic, sesame, chili pepper, pepper, ginger, lemon juice.

Product contains soybeans, wheat, sesame, and apple.

Online purchase link: Moranbong online shop

Photo from website.

Jang Fermented Gochujang Yakiniku Sauce

Moranbong Jang Yakiniku Sauce/ジャン 焼肉の生だれ. Ingredients: Soy sauce (domestically produced), sugar, mirin, sesame oil, refined sake, sesame, garlic, green onion, pear, apple, chili pepper, pepper, ginger.

Product contains soybeans, wheat, sesame, and apple.

Online purchase links: Moranbong online shop (400g bottles), Moranbong online shop (240g bottles), Moranbong online shop (80g packets)

The first two photos are from the Moranbong website.

Moranbong Jang Yakiniku Sauce 400g    Moranbong Jang Yakiniku Sauce 240g    Moranbong Jang Yakiniku Sauce 80g

This meat substitute says “for vegan” in English on the packages. It’s made for Ohsawa Japan, a macrobiotic foods company, by San-Iku Foods, which also makes the gluten “meat” shown further below on the page. It was found in a branch of Peacock Supermarket, which is affiliated with Aeon.

Ohsawa Japan Veggie Meat, “Field Meat made from Grains,” Ground Type/オーサワ 穀物で作った畑の肉(ひき肉タイプ) and Ohsawa Japan Veggie Meat, “Field Meat made from Grains,” Block Type/オーサワ 穀物で作った畑の肉(ブロックタイプ). 

Ground Type: Ingredients: Wheat protein (domestically produced), soybean protein, edible vegetable oil (rapeseed oil), wheat starch, soy sauce (includes wheat and soybean), salt, powdered kelp.

Block Type: Ingredients: Wheat protein (domestically produced), soy sauce (includes wheat and soybean), salt, edible vegetable oil (rapeseed oil).

Online purchase link (Ground Type): Rakuten Ichiba

Online purchase link (Block Type): Rakuten Ichiba

Ohsawa Japan Veggie Meat    Ohsawa Japan Veggie Meat, backs of packages

Omnipork (English) is the vegan “pork” certified by Vegan Action. It is carried by the Vegan Store (vegan convenience store) in Asakusa, Tokyo and National Azabu grocery store in Tokyo is reported to carry it as well. It’s billed as the first meat alternative developed specifically for Asia. Find out more details about it at The Spoon (English).

Online purchase link: Tengu Natural Foods (Alishan) (English)

Omnipork

The following product is hand-kneaded, so production may be limited and this may impact distribution, according to the Sagamiya website. The package says it’s 100% plant-derived, 植物性100%. It’s meant to be similar to ganmodoki, a traditional Japanese food with a name meaning “pseudo-goose” that is a type of fried tofu fritter. The Innocent Meat can be eaten as a burger, a curry topping, etc.- some ideas are pictured elsewhere on the Sagamiya website.

Sagamiya The Innocent Meat/相模屋 INNOCENT MEAT 焼いておいしい肉肉しいがんも. Ingredients: Tofu (includes soybeans: separate production and distribution) (domestically produced), vegetable oil, yeast extract seasoning, roasted onion paste seasoning, hydrolyzed protein seasoning, hydrolyzed protein/processed starch, seasoning (amino acids, etc.), coloring (caramel), coagulant, thickener (xanthan gum), acidulant, emulsifier.

Photos from September 2021. 

Sagamiya The Innocent Meat    Sagamiya The Innocent Meat back of package

There are specialty gluten ‘meat’ products available in some stores and online. San-Iku is a brand that sells both vegetarian and vegan foods. The website states that items with animal ingredients (excepting eggs and dairy) are not sold, however, from a review of the website in March 2021, honey is also sold, so check items carefully when buying.The San-Iku website has a vegan recipe section with suggested recipes such as gluten meat karaage, simmered fish-style gluten meat and miso gluten meat stir-fry.

• San-Iku Gluten Meat/三育 グルテンミート. Ingredients: Wheat protein, soy sauce (contains soy), coarse salt, kombu extract, soy oil, sugar, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, yeast extract.

Online purchase links: Rakuten Ichiba, Vegetus online store (San-Iku’s online shop)

san iku gluten meat

Some AEON and AEON-affiliated stores carry a line of products called Sea and Earth Deli, produced by Mayumi Nishimura, a well-known macrobiotic chef. Per her blog, these products are “100%植物性食品,” which means 100% made of plant ingredients. 

Mabo dofu is a popular spicy tofu dish that originated in Sichuan Province, China.

• Sea and Earth Deli Mabo Dofu with Soybean Meat/監修 西邨マユミ 海と大地のデリ 八丁味噌とごま油がアクセントの大豆ミートの麻婆豆腐. Ingredients: Tofu, vegetables (green onion, ginger, garlic), mirin, soy sauce, granulated vegetable protein, sesame oil, starch, rapeseed oil, miso, kombu seaweed, dried shiitake mushrooms, spices, coagulant for tofu.

Product contains wheat, sesame, and soybeans.

Front of package photo courtesy of @jari.eats, June 2021. Second photo from website.

Sea and Earth Deli Mabo Dofu with Soybean Meat    Sea and Earth Deli Mabo Dofu with Soybean Meat back of package

As of June 2020, 7-11 began to stock a few products, Penne with Bolognese Sauce & Soy Meat and Soy Taco Meat, that are free of animal products per customer service, although they did not know if the sugar used was bone-char processed or not. The products are not available at all stores. As of a review of the 7-11 website as of September 2021, the Penne with Bolognese Sauce & Soy Meat is no longer shown and may have been discontinued. 

•  7-11 Premium Penne with Bolognese Sauce & Soy Meat/大豆ミートの ボロネーゼペンネ.

Photo from website.

7-11 Penne with Bolognese Sauce &amp; Soy Meat

7-11 Premium Soy Taco Meat/野菜と大豆ミートの タコスミート

Photo from website.

7-11 soy taco meat

Terra Foods is a vegan company that makes a variety of products that can be ordered online. They also operate a very popular vegan hamburger and hot dog food truck in Tokyo. Check our Vegan Cheese section for information about their “Just Like Cheese” product and our Tofu & Soy Products section for information about their tempeh “Mighty Patty.”

The “chick’n” nuggets need refrigeration and can be shipped frozen or unfrozen. From the Terra Foods website:

“- High in protein
-VEGAN / 100% Plant-based
– Zero Cholesterol
– No preservatives, no artificial flavors and colors
– Easy to prepare: deep-fry, pan-fry, bake or microwave”

Certified vegan by Vege Project Japan.

Terra Foods Just Like Chick’n Nuggets (Marude Chick’n Nuggets/Terra Foods まるでチキンナゲット. Ingredients: Soy protein, wheat starch, vegetable fiber, rapeseed oil, wheat protein, salt, sugar, yeast extract, white pepper, bread crumbs, spices/modified starch, seasoning (glycine).

Product includes soybeans and wheat.
 

Online purchase link: Terra Foods online shop (some English provided)

Photos from website.

marude chick'n nuggets    marude chick'n nuggets (back of package)

A product with the same ingredients is sold by Green’s Vegetarian on Rakuten Ichiba. This product requires cool shipping for an extra charge. Green’s Vegetarian also sells vegetarian products (sometimes labeled “plant-based”) so be sure to check your order carefully to make sure everything is vegan.

Vegefarm Tender Vegan Chicken Nuggets/日清商会 ヴィーガンやわらかナゲット (Vegan Chicken Nuggets) ナゲット. Ingredients: Soy protein, wheat starch, vegetable fiber, rapeseed oil, wheat protein, salt, sugar, yeast extract, white pepper, bread crumbs, spices, modified starch, seasoning (glycine).

Product contains soybeans and wheat.

Online purchase link: Rakuten Ichiba (Green’s Vegetarian)

Photos from website.

green's vegetarian vegefarm vegan chicken nuggets 2    green's vegetarian vegefarm vegan chicken nuggets

From the Terra Foods website about their Just Like Sausage product:
“- Japan’s first plant-based vegan sausage with soy protein
– One-fifth the calories of animal-based sausage
– Cholesterol-free
– Gluten-free
– No white sugar, no preservatives and no artificial coloring!

 

How to Cook: Just heat on a fry pan with oil until lightly browned.”

 
Certified vegan by VegeProject Japan.
 

Terra Foods Just Like Sausage/Terra Foods まるでソーセージ. Ingredients: Defatted soybean, okara, koji powder, salt, beet sugar, yeast extract, spices, vegetable powder (onion, celery), maltodextrin/calcium hydroxide, trehalose.

Online purchase link: Terra Foods online shop (some English provided)

Photos from website.

Maru de Sausage    maru de sausage back of package

Maru de sausage item photo

 
Aeon’s house brand TopValu has both animal-ingredient-free and non-animal-ingredient-free products out under their “Vegetive” line. “もっと植物由来,” motto shokubutsu yurai, meaning “more plant-derived,” is written on the packages, so they seem to be aiming for a reduction in the amount of animal products used, however, some products in the line contain animal products like eggs, dairy, and meat.
 
The TopValu Vegetive Minced Soybean was released on 3/16/2021 at 49 stores (Aeon, Aeon Style and Aeon affiliates: MyBasket, MaxValu and Peacock).
All the stores are located in Tokyo and Saitama, Kanagawa and Chiba Prefectures. The list of the shops stocking these products is here.
 
Unlike all the other TopValu Vegetive meat substitutes like the hamburger steak, it doesn’t contain any egg or other ingredients like meat or dairy per the ingredient list. We contacted the company close to the time of the release to double check if it was animal-ingredient-free but did not receive a response. 
 
TopValu Vegetive Minced Soybean/トップバリュ 大豆からつくったミンチ. Ingredients: Processed germinated soybean product (whole soybean flour, powdered soybean protein, germinated soybean) (domestically produced), edible palm oil, vegetable protein/pH adjusting agent, thickener (methylcellulose).
 
Product contains wheat and soybeans.
 
Products containing beef and pork are handled in the same production process.
 
Photo from website.
 
TopValu Vegetive Minced Soybean
 

The TopValu Vegetive line does contain a few pasta sauces without animal ingredients shown in the ingredient list. They contain soymeat.

TopValu Vegetive Bolognese Sauce Made with Soybeans/トップバリュ 大豆からつくったボロネーゼ. Ingredients: Onions, tomato paste, sugar, vegetable oil (includes soybeans), vegetable protein hydrolyzate (includes soybeans), soybean protein, garlic, salt, yeast extract, soybean miso (includes soybeans), wheat flour, rice vinegar, laurel, black pepper, oregano, basil, thyme, chili.

Product contains wheat and soybeans.

Photo from website.

TopValu Vegetive Bolognese Sauce Made with Soybeans

The product page for the Pasta Cream Sauce made with Soy Milk states that the second ingredient in the product, the emulsified oil, is rapeseed oil, but it isn’t 100% clear that nothing else is included.

TopValu Vegetive Pasta Cream Sauce made with Soy Milk/トップバリュ 豆乳からつくったクリームソース. Ingredients: Soymilk (includes soybeans), emulsified oil, vegetable oil (includes soybeans), sugar, corn powder, salt, wheat flour, soybean protein, tapioca starch, vegetable protein hydrolyzate (including soybeans), yeast extract, onion paste (includes soybeans), rice miso (includes soybeans), black pepper, laurel, cinnamon.

Product contains wheat and soybeans.

Photo from website.

TopValu Vegetive Pasta Cream Sauce Made with Soymilk

These products from the “Vegetive” line are not vegan.

TopValu Vegetive Soybean Burger (Tomato Sauce)/トップバリュ 大豆からつくった ハンバーグ バジル香るコク旨なトマトのソース.

Contains egg protein/卵たん白. Also contains dairy in the panko breadcrumbs/パン粉 (乳成分を含む)/panko (chichiseibun o fukumu).

TopValu Hamburger Steak Made From Soybeans with Basil-Flavored Rich Tomato Sauce

TopValu Vegetive Soybean Burger (Grated Yuzu-flavored Radish Sauce)/トップバリュ 大豆からつくった ハンバーグ 柚子おろしソース

Contains egg protein/卵たん白. Also contains dairy in the panko breadcrumbs/パン粉 (乳成分を含む)/panko (chichiseibun o fukumu).

TopValu Hamburger Steak Made From Soybeans With Grated Yuzu Sauce

TopValu Vegetive Soybean Burger (Onion Sauce)/トップバリュ 大豆からつくった ハンバーグ 焦がし醤油香る玉ねぎソース

Contains egg protein/卵たん白, dairy in the panko breadcrumbs/パン粉 (乳成分を含む)/panko (chichiseibun o fukumu), beef extract/ビーフエキス/bīfu ekisu, and chicken extract (that also includes beef and gelatin)/チキンエキス(牛肉・ゼラチンを含む)/chikin ekisu (gyūniku/zerachin wo fukumu).

TopValu Hamburger Steak Made From Soybeans With Oniony Scorched Soy Sauce

These microwave frozen meals were spotted at a branch of Belc supermarket in April 2021. The Mabo Nasu version doesn’t show anything that could definitively be said to be of animal origin from the ingredient list, but the Mabo Dofu version (marked with an X) does show oyster sauce in the ingredient list, so is not vegan.

• Yonekyu Airmeat Soybean Meat Mabo Nasu (fried eggplant with Chinese chili sauce)/Yonekyu Airmeat 大豆のお肉で作った 麻婆茄子. Ingredients: Fried eggplant (produced in Indonesia), soy sauce, digestion resistant dextrin, red bell pepper, vegetable oil, granular soy protein, tomato ketchup, sugar, miso, salted chili pepper, ginger, yeast extract powder, spices, fermented seasoning, mixed jam, brewed vinegar, broad bean, refined sake, Chinese fermented black beans, salt/thickener (processed starch), seasoning (amino acids, etc.), coloring agent (cocoa, caramel), acidulant.

Product includes wheat, orange, sesame, soybean, and apple.

* This product is manufactured using shared equipment with meat.
* This product does not use meat. It is mabo nasu (fried eggplant with Chinese chili sauce) using soybean protein instead of meat.

Photo from website.

Yonekyu Airmeat Soybean Meat Mabo Nasu (fried eggplant with Chinese chili sauce)

Here is an image of the non-vegan Mabo Dofu containing oyster sauce/オイスターソース/oisutā sōsu.

Yonekyu Airmeat Soybean Meat Mabo Dofu (tofu with Chinese chili sauce)

Now let’s look at some more examples of products that are not vegan.

• Co-op Just Like Meat Hamburg (Tomato Sauce)/2 pc (250 g)/お肉のような大豆ミートのハンバーグ(トマトソース) 2個入(250g)

Even though these have soy cream in the middle, they are not vegan. Dried egg whites are used as a binder. These may be a knockoff of the Otsuka Zero Meat product, which also uses egg whites.

coop soy meat hamburger

Hikari Miso’s oat meat soups, despite using oat meat, contain various animal products, so are not vegan.

The Curry flavor contains pork extract powder/ポークエキスパウダー/pōku ekisu paudā. It’s also listed as pork/豚肉/butaniku. The package also states the product contains dairy components/乳成分/chichiseibun, chicken/鶏肉/toriniku, and gelatin/ゼラチン/zerachin.

Hikari Miso 3 (2)    Hikari Miso 4 (2)

The Tomato flavor contains chicken extract powder/チキンエキスパダー/chikin ekisu paudā, also marked as chicken/鶏肉/toriniku, as well as cheese powder/チーズパウダー/chīzu paudā, also marked as dairy components/乳成分/chichiseibun. The package also states the product contains pork/豚肉/butaniku.

Hikari Miso 5 (2)    Hikari Miso 6 (2)

The Onion Consomme flavor contains chicken extract powder/チキンエキスパウダー/chikin ekisu paudā, also marked as chicken/鶏肉/toriniku. The package also states the product contains dairy components/乳成分/chichiseibun and gelatin/ゼラチン/zerachin.

Hikari Miso (2)    Hikari Miso 2 (2)

• Ito Ham Just Like Meat Ham Katsu/まるでお肉!大豆ミートのハムカツ

This product uses powdered egg white/粉末卵白/funmatsu ranpaku, milk protein/乳たん白, and sodium caseinate/カゼインNa, a dairy derivative.

Ito Ham Just Like Meat Soymeat Ham Katsu (2)

• Ito Ham Just Like Meat Soymeat Nuggets/伊藤ハム まるでお肉!大豆ミートのナゲット

Contains egg whites/卵白/ranpaku and whey powder/ホエイパウダー/hoei paudā.

iff_大豆ミート_ナゲット_film_1225

• Ito Ham Just Like Meat Soymeat Hamburger Steak/伊藤ハム まるでお肉!大豆ミートのハンバーグ デミグラスソース

Contains egg whites/卵白/ranpaku and lactose/乳糖/nyūtō.

Print

• Ito Ham Just Like Meat Karaage (Japanese Fried Chicken)/伊藤ハム まるでお肉!大豆ミートのからあげ.

Contains egg whites/卵白/ranpaku. The Ito Ham website states it contains dairy/一部に乳成分を含む/ichibu ni chichiseibun o fukumu, although it isn’t apparent when reading the ingredient list what the dairy might be contained in.

【商品画像】大豆ミート-からあげ

• Ito Ham Just Like Meat Soymeat Dango, Sweet and Sour Sauce/伊藤ハム まるでお肉!大豆ミートの肉だんご甘酢あん.

Contains egg white/卵白/ranpaku. The Ito Ham website states it contains dairy/一部に乳成分を含む/ichibu ni chichiseibun o fukumu, although it isn’t apparent when reading the ingredient list what the dairy might be contained in.

Ito Ham Soymeat Dango

Ito Ham Just Like Meat Soymeat Sausages/伊藤ハム まるでお肉!大豆ミートのソーセージ

This product uses powdered egg white/粉末卵白/funmatsu ranpaku and milk protein/乳たん白.

Ito Ham Soymeat Sausages

Ito Ham Just Like Meat Soymeat Soft Katsu/伊藤ハム まるでお肉!大豆ミートのやわらかカツ

This product uses powdered egg white/粉末卵白/funmatsu ranpaku, milk protein/乳たん白, and sodium caseinate/カゼインNa, a dairy derivative.

Nippon Ham Soymeat Soft Katsu

Ito Ham Just Like Meat Yakiniku (Grilled Meat) Stir-fry/伊藤ハム まるでお肉!大豆ミートの焼肉炒め

This contains powdered skim milk/脱脂粉乳/dasshifun’nyū, which is shown in the ingredient list and noted in the allergen section as dairy components/乳成分/chichiseibun, and it also says it has egg/卵/tamago.

Ito Ham Just Like Meat Yakiniku (Grilled Meat) Stir-fry    Ito Ham Just Like Meat Yakiniku (Grilled Meat) Stir-fry back of package

• Kabaya Soy Jerky, Black Pepper Flavored/ソイジャーキー.

The flavoring contains egg and milk/香料(卵・乳由来)/kōryō (tamago/chichi yurai).
.

Kabaya Soy Jerky, Black Pepper Flavored

• Nichirei’s Soymeat Hamburger Steak, Demiglace Sauce/ニチレイ大豆ミートのハンバーグ デミグラスソース.

Contains powdered egg white/粉末卵白/funmatsu ranpaku and lac/ラック/rakku, a pigment from insects, as well as various other ingredients which could possibly be of animal origin. 

Nichirei Soymeat Hamburger Steak, Demiglace    Nichirei Soymeat Hamburger Steak, Demiglace, back of package

Otsuka’s Zero Meat products (ham, hamburger steak, hamburger steak with plant-based cheese, and sausage) do not have actual meat, but are not vegan as they contain egg. The cheese version of the hamburger steak does use plant-based cheese instead of dairy, but still has powdered egg white/粉末卵白/funmatsu ranpaku. 

• Otsuka Zero Meat Demiglace Ham/ゼロミート ・ハムタイプ

zero meat ham 2 (2)

• Otsuka Zero Meat Demiglace Hamburger Steak/ゼロミート デミグラスタイプ・ハンバーグ

zeromeat__package--demi_
• Otsuka Zero Meat Demiglace Cheese Hamburger Steak/ゼロミート チーズイン・デミグラスタイプ・ハンバーグ

zero meat with plant based cheese

Otsuka Zero Meat Sausages also contain egg white.

zero meat sausages

SEITAN

Premade seitan is not well known and can be difficult to find in Japan.  It’s been reported to be sold in small jars at National Azabu (Tokyo) and Nissen supermarkets. Natural markets and health food stores may carry them as well. However, you can usually find bags of gluten in the cake baking section of the supermarket. This product is the same as vital wheat gluten flour, so it’s possible to make seitan yourself at home using it. Check our Wheat Gluten section to see some of the brands available.

TEMPEH

Tempeh can be found at some stores like the supermarket chain Kodawariya.

ONLINE SHOPPING

There are many places to buy fake meat online. Note that some websites offer non-vegan options, for example containing egg white, so check the ingredients and listing carefully for the product you want to buy.

Green’s Vegetarian  –  This is probably the largest vegan and vegetarian online shop in Japan. It stocks many vegan items that aren’t easy to get elsewhere. They also offer a selection of items at their Rakuten Ichiba shop. They carry fake meats like vegan shrimp and vegan chicken nuggets. Check carefully when buying as the company which runs Green’s Vegetarian, Green Culture, think “plant-based” means items can contain milk and egg as ingredients.

Karaage 2.0 – Vegan karaage “fried chicken” in black pepper, yuzu, and soy sauce & garlic flavors.

Luna Burger – Vegan Luna Burger kits are available here. The Luna Burger food truck regularly sells out at vegan events in the Kanto area.

Photo from website.

Luna Burger

The Nature Shop Karuna – The store is based in Nagoya and has a large range of food products. Vegan products are marked with a “V.” They carry a lot of soymeat, including Vegefarm. 

Next Meats – Vegan harami skirt “steak,” kalbi- Korean BBQ short “ribs,” gyuudon “beef bowl,” “chicken,” and Next Burger are all sold here. The product pages specify that the products are vegan, that palm oil and bone-char-processed white sugar are not used and that animal products are not processed on the same line. 

Someat (English) – 100% plant-based meat substitute products including mince, “grilled meat” and kara-age “fried chicken.” The “What’s Someat?” section of the website states that it is suitable for vegans. 

Tengu Natural Foods (Alishan) (bilingual) – This vegetarian store delivers everywhere in Japan. They can even deliver to hotels, but you need to check with the hotel first to make sure it’s okay with them, and pay by credit card. They mostly sell food, but they also have some cookbooks and personal care products. They carry items that are hard or impossible to find elsewhere like Naturli “chickfree” vegan chicken and yakitori skewered “meat.” The owners also have an excellent vegan and vegetarian restaurant called Alishan Cafe by the beautiful Koma river in Saitama with a small natural grocery store attached.

Tokyo Vegan & Vegetarian Hub  This English-language blog post from a popular Facebook group is a guide to ordering plant-based meat from abroad from Vegan Essentials (US) or Vantastic Foods (www.veggie-shop24.com) (EU), including Gardein, Tofurky, Beyond Meat and many other brands.  According to VeganEssentials.com’s customer service, they recommend DHL priority shipping for cold items, which should generally arrive in 3-4 days. They try to ship only on Monday or Tuesday so the items can arrive in the same week and not sit over weekends. They can provide shipping estimates when emailed a shipping address and list of desired purchase items. They do also ship to Japan via priority mail, but it can take up to 7-14 days, which might not be good for cold food items if they are warm in transit.

The Vegetarian Butcher  – The Magic MinceWhat the Cluck “chicken chunks,” and Chickened Out Burger are vegan per the product section of the English-language Vegetarian Butcher website. Note that items labeled plant-based may contain egg and dairy.

Vegetus Online Store – The San-Iku foods online shop. They have various food products as well as a few cleaning and personal care products. The website states that items with animal ingredients (excepting eggs and dairy) are not sold, however, from a review of the website in March 2021, honey is also sold, so check items carefully when buying. This is a good place to buy fake meat as there is a section called “Vegetable Protein Food.”

This post contains some affiliate links, and if you follow one of those links and then purchase a product you help support this blog without any additional cost to you. Thank you so much for your kind support!