Meat Substitutes

Alishan soy meat can be found in health food stores or ordered online from their website, Tengu Natural Foods. 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.

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Harkis makes a vegetable protein from broad beans. This article from Sitra.fi details the product in English. The Japanese product page is here. These products are available at Natural Lawson stores and also online at Rakuten and have been seen at some regular supermarkets such as Daiei and Life.

The Japanese product page recommends stir-frying the product or adding it to a salad. All three products are gluten-free.

There are also recipe ideas using this product on the Harkis Instagram page, although they are not all vegan.

• 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

Marukome currently makes thirteen types of soy minced meat, some dry, one refrigerated, and some that come ready-to-use in a retort pouch, seasoned and unseasoned, in various shapes from crumbles to blocks. They can be viewed here. The name of the product series is Soy Meat, 大豆のお肉/daizu no o-niku. The product page also shows other, unrelated non-vegan items. The taco rice/タコライス and gapao rice/ガパオライス are not vegan. One of the types is pictured below:

• Marukome Soybean Laboratories Soy Minced Meat/マルコメ 大豆ラボ 大豆のお肉大豆ミンチタイプ. Ingredients: Processed soy products, rice miso, yeast extract powder / glucono delta-lactone. (Product contains soybeans.)

Package says: low in fat, high in protein, cholesterol-free, no animal ingredients used.

marukome daizu no oniku mince

There are specialty gluten ‘meat’ products available in some stores and online.

• San Iku Gluten Meat. Ingredients: Wheat protein, soy sauce (contains soy), coarse salt, kombu extract, soy oil, sugar, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, yeast extract.

san iku gluten 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 here for information about their “Just Like Cheese” product and here for information about their tempeh “Mighty Patty.”

Terra Foods Just Like Beef Seasoning (Marude Beef Dashi)/Terra Foods まるでビーフだし. Ingredients: Maltodextrin, vegetable oil, salt, yeast powder, vegetable powder, beet sugar.

Gluten-free.

This product is not a meat substitute itself, but rather a seasoning powder that can be used to make things taste like beef. It can be ordered online at the above link.

From autotranslate: “Can be used as a stock for stir-fry, fried rice, soup, pasta, stew and curry! Soy meat becomes even more delicious!”

Certified vegan by Vege Project Japan.

Photos from website.

maru de beef front of package  maru de beef back of package

Maru de beef product photo

The “chick’n”  nuggets can also be ordered online. They need refrigeration and can be shipped frozen or unfrozen.

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.
From autotranslate:
“・ High protein!
・ Vegan
・ 100% plant base
・ Cholesterol “Zero”
・ No preservatives, artificial sweeteners, coloring agents added
・ Fried, baked, chilled and delicious
・ Easy to eat bite size
・ Ideal for snacks and side dishes!”

Certified vegan by Vege Project Japan.

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. This product requires cool shipping, which costs an extra fee.

Nissin SK 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.

Photos from website.

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

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.

Gluten-free.

From autotranslate: “The first Japanese vegan (non-animal) sausage with a crisp texture and a sausage-like taste. Zero cholesterol! Low calorie! About 1/5 calorie of ordinary sausage. Gluten-free! No white sugar, coloring or preservatives are used! Simply baking on an iron plate, cooking is easy and can be used for a variety of dishes!”

Certified vegan by Vege Project Japan.

Photos from website.

Maru de Sausage    maru de sausage back of package

Maru de sausage item photo

Here are a few meat substitute items 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

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 hamburg does use plant-based cheese instead of dairy, but still has powdered egg white/粉末卵白, funmatsu ranpaku. Photos from Zero Meat’s website.

• 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 jars at National Azabu (Tokyo) and Nissen supermarkets. 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

Natural House – This is a chain of small supermarkets that also has an online store. It sells quite a few vegan products like seitan and mock meat.

The Nature Shop Karuna – The store is located in Nagoya and has a large range of food products, including ice cream, pudding, soda, scones, rusk, many types of dried soy meat, vegan “chicken” chunks from the Vegetarian Butcher in small quantities, “vegan loaf” soy meat, instant noodles, and cup ramen (plus a few personal care and cleaning products). Vegan products are marked with a “V.”

San-iku Vegetus – They have various food products like soy/gluten meat, vegetarian curries, cookies, as well as a few personal care products.

Someat (English website) – 100% plant-based “grilled meat” and “fried chicken.” 

Tokyo Vegan/Vegetarian Friends Club Facebook group’s guide to ordering plant-based meat from abroad from veganessentials.com (US) or www.veggie-shop24.com (EU), including Gardein, Tofurky, Beyond Meat and many other brands.  (English) 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.

Value Vegan– frozen “chicken” tenders, nuggets, “meatballs,” “chicken” drumsticks

Vegetarian Butcher – Only their “chicken” chunks are vegan.