Salads are available in most convenience stores in Japan, but what about salad dressing? It’s difficult to find vegan dressing in convenience store salads/sachets and restaurants in Japan, but supermarkets do have a good selection of possibly vegan choices. It can be a good idea to carry your own salad dressing with you. Choose something that does not need refrigeration, such as balsamic vinegar. Below are some dressings that may be vegan, but if you want to be sure, an easy option is to use balsamic vinegar.
Family Mart’s Japanese-style dressing/和風ドレッシング and Japanese-style low-salt dressing/減塩和風ドレッシング appear to possibly be vegan. They are available in single-size serving packets near the salads. The other single-serving dressing packets at Family Mart are not vegan.
• Family Mart Japanese-Style Dressing/ファミリーマート 和風ドレッシング. Ingredients: Sugar, vegetable fats and oils, soy sauce, brewed vinegar, onion, amino acids etc., salt, roasted onion paste, dried red pepper/seasoning (amino acids etc.), polysaccharide thickener, spice extract, flavourings. (Product contains wheat and soy.)
• Family Mart Japanese-Style Low-Salt Dressing/ファミリーマート 減塩和風ドレッシング. Ingredients: Vegetable fats and oils (contains soy), sugars (sugar, high-fructose corn syrup), brewed vinegar, soy sauce (contains wheat), processed soy sauce product (pure brew soy sauce), dried onion chips, rice fermented seasoning, processed olive product, salt, roasted onion, red bell pepper/seasoning, inorganic salt etc., thickener (xanthan), polyglutamic acid, iron gluconate. Product contains wheat and soy.
7-11 and Natural Lawson convenience stores currently don’t have any vegan dressings in single-sized packets.
Although this single-serving size dressing is meant for chicken salad, and there is a picture of chicken on the package, it may be vegan according to the ingredient list.
• Sauce for Salad Chicken/サラダチキン(よだれ鶏用ソース). Ingredients: Vegetable oils and fats (domestically processed), soy sauce, brewed vinegar, high-fructose corn syrup, sesame, rice fermented seasoning, sugar, ginger, peanuts, salt, garlic paste, spices, yeast extract powder/seasoning (amino acids, etc.), thickener (xanthan gum), spice extract. (Product contains wheat, peanuts, sesame, and soybeans.)
Here is another brand of dressing available in a single-serving size that you may see in stores.
• Pietro dressing/ピエトロドレッシング. Ingredients: Edible vegetable fats and oils, onion, brewed vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, salt, seasoning (amino acids, etc.), olives, red pimientos, spices, sweetener (sucralose). (Product contains wheat and soybeans.)
• Daisho Chigiri Lettuce Dressing/ダイショー ちぎりレタスドレッシング. Ingredients: Soy sauce, sugar, edible vegetable oil (sesame oil, rapeseed oil, soybean oil), brewed vinegar, onion, salt, fermented seasoning liquid, sake spirits, seasoning (amino acid etc.), sesame, ginger extract, garlic, red pepper, thickener (xanthan). (Product contains soybeans.)
The product page has an allergy warning for soybeans, dairy, and sesame, but it isn’t clear if the dairy is part of the ingredients list or just may be present in small amounts due to cross-contamination.
A dressing that matches well with lettuce, which is richly flavored with spiced roasted sesame and sesame oil and finished with grated onions.
• Daisho Tataki Kyuuri no Tare/ダイショー たたききゅうりのたれ. Ingredients: Salt, sesame oil, reduced starch syrup, amino acid solution, brewed vinegar, sugar, garlic, chili bean sauce, red pepper, seasoning (amino acids etc.), sake spirits, caramel color, thickener (xanthan). (Product contains wheat and soybeans.)
Meant to be used on cucumbers.
Almost all Kewpie salad dressings aren’t vegan. First, below are some of the ones that contain animal products.
Standard dressing range (ドレッシング):
- Japanese soy sesame dressing (milk and chicken) – 和風醤油ごま入
- French dressing (white) (egg) – フレンチ(白)
- Italian dressing (chicken) – イタリアン
- Thousand Island dressing (egg) – １０００アイランド
- Coleslaw dressing (egg) – コールスロー
- Deep-roasted sesame dressing (egg) – 深煎りごま
- Five vegetable dressing (egg and dairy) – ５種の野菜
- Chinese dressing (chicken, milk and scallop) – 中華
- Grated onion dressing (milk, chicken and pork) – すりおろしオニオン
- Caesar salad dressing (cheese, egg and fish) – シーザーサラダ
- Buttermilk ranch dressing (milk and egg) – バターミルクランチ
- Seasoned cod roe dressing (fish, egg and cochineal) – 明太子
- Cobb salad (egg and milk) – コブサラダ
Tasty dressing range (テイスティドレッシング):
- Italian dressing (pork and egg) – イタリアン
- Sesame peanut dressing (egg) – 胡麻 こく味（ピーナッツ入り）
- Basil and cheese (egg and milk) – バジル＆チーズ
The following Kewpie dressings are potentially vegan, although again they contain amino acid and other flavourings that may be animal derived.
• Kewpie Standard Dressing, French (Separate)／キユーピー フレンチドレッシング（セパレート). Ingredients: Edible vegetable oils and fats (domestically produced), brewed vinegar, high-fructose corn syrup, salt/seasoning (amino acids, etc.), thickener (xanthan gum), spice extracts, flavouring. (Product contains soy.)
Photo from website.
• Kewpie Tasty Dressing, Black Vinegar and Onion/ キユーピー テイスティドレッシング 黒酢たまねぎ. Ingredients: Vinegar (brewed vinegar, barley black vinegar), onion, edible vegetable oils and fats, soy sauce, sugar, fermented rice seasoning, salt, onion extract, seasoning (amino acids, etc.), thickener (modified starch, xanthan gum), mustard, onion extract powder, sweetener (stevia), spice extract, acidulant. (Product contains wheat and apple.)
• Kewpie Tasty Dressing, Japanese-Style with Onions/キユーピー テイスティドレッシング 和風 香味玉葱. Ingredients: Edible vegetable oil, brewed vinegar, onion, sugar, soy sauce, salt, olives, green pepper, seasoning (amino acids, etc.), flavoured edible oil, onion extract powder, spice extracts, thickener (xanthan gum, modified starch), spices, sweetener (stevia), iron gluconate (Product contains wheat and apple).
Has the taste of sweet onion, fried onion, and tamari soy sauce.
Photo from website.
• Kewpie Refreshing Taste Dressing, Lemon /キユーピー 味わいすっきり レモンドレッシング. Ingredients: Brewed vinegar (brewed vinegar, lemon vinegar), salt, grapefruit juice, lemon juice, edible vegetable oil, flavouring, seasoning (amino acids, etc.), spices, acidulant, thickener (xanthan gum), sweetener (sucralose) (contains apple and soy).
There is also a newer version of the lemon dressing available, although the previous version is still available at least online.
• Kewpie Lemon Dressing/キユーピー レモンドレッシング. Ingredients: Brewed vinegar (domestically produced) (brewed vinegar, lemon vinegar), edible vegetable oil, sugar, salt, lemon peel, concentrated grapefruit juice, concentrated lemon juice, spices/seasoning (amino acids etc), flavour, acidulant, thickener (xanthan gum). (Product includes soybeans and apples.)
Photo from website.
• Kewpie Choregi Salad Dressing/キユーピー チョレギサラダドレッシング. Ingredients: Domestically produced edible vegetable oil, sugars (glucose fructose liquid sugar, sugar), brewed vinegar, salt, Welsh onion, garlic paste, sesame, soy sauce, miso, kombu seaweed stock, spices, laver, edible flavored oil, seasoning (amino acids, etc.), thickener (xanthan gum, spice extracts). Contains wheat, sesame, and soy.
A rich taste with plenty of umami and sesame oil, onion, and garlic.
• Kewpie Mango Dressing/キユーピー マンゴドレッシング. Ingredients: Sugars (high-fructose corn syrup, sugar), mango (India), brewed vinegar (brewed vinegar, apple vinegar), edible vegetable oil, salt, concentrated passion fruit juice, spices /seasoning (organic acids etc.), thickener (xanthan gum), acidulant, sweetener (stevia), carotenoid pigment, flavouring. (Product includes soybeans and apples.)
Passion fruit juice and apple vinegar are combined with mango puree to make a fresh dressing.
Brown Sugar 1st. dressing is very tasty. It’s sold in some branches of Natural Lawson convenience stores (not regular Lawson), as well as on the Brown Sugar 1st. website.
• Brown Sugar 1st. Organic Herb Dressing. Ingredients: Organic brewed vinegar (organic spirit vinegar, organic white grape vinegar), organic edible vegetable oil (organic canola oil, organic coconut oil), organic onion, organic coconut sugar, salt, organic spices (organic mustard, organic basil, organic black pepper, organic paprika, organic oregano, organic laurel).
Does not taste of coconut oil, so even those who aren’t coconut fans can enjoy this product. Does not freeze even if stored in the refrigerator. Uses extra-virgin coconut oil. Rich in onions and aromatic herbs.
• Brown Sugar 1st. Organic Spice Dressing. Ingredients: Organic edible vegetable oil (organic canola oil, organic coconut oil), organic coconut sugar, organic brewed vinegar (organic spirit vinegar, organic white grape vinegar), organic onion, table salt, organic tomato, organic garlic, curry powder (coriander, turmeric, garam masala, cumin powder), organic spices (organic black pepper, organic cloves, organic nutmeg, organic laurel).
Uses organic, extra-virgin coconut oil. Does not use chemical seasoning, emulsifier, or white sugar. Does not taste of coconut oil, so even those who aren’t coconut fans can enjoy this product. Meant to have a curry-like taste and stimulate the appetite, thus helping to increase vegetable intake. Does not freeze even if stored in the refrigerator.
Kurashiki Kousen products are locally made in Kurashiki City, Okayama and can be bought at supermarkets in the area or ordered online.
Photo from the Kurashiki Kousen website.