You don't always get the final say in where you go out to eat when meeting friends or family for a meal. A sushi restaurant isn't likely to be one of your top choices of lunch or dinner venues when you live a vegan lifestyle, but there are a number of sushi train dishes and items on the hot food menu that are suitable for vegan diets.
Traditional Japanese cuisine uses lots of fresh vegetables, tofu can easily be substituted for meat in most dishes and the wasabi and soy sauce that are served as accompaniments contain no animal products. So, if you find yourself visiting a sushi restaurant, look out for these delicious, vegan-friendly dishes:
Vegetable Maki Rolls
Yes, it's possible to be vegan and enjoy bite-sized sushi rolls straight off the sushi train. Maki rolls are wrapped in nutritious nori seaweed, and that sticky, satisfying rice that makes sushi so moreish is seasoned with nothing other than a little sugar and rice wine vinegar. Vegetable maki roll fillings include avocado, sweet pepper, cucumber, okra and pickled radish. If you want to add a side dish to your sushi to make your meal a little more substantial, an edamame bean salad from the sushi belt is a vegan-friendly option that's also high in protein.
Gyoza are small dumplings that are filled with vegetables. The dough for dumplings often contains animal products, such as eggs or milk, but gyoza dough is made with flour, water and a little salt. Popular vegetable fillings include cabbage, carrot and a variety of mushrooms. The dumplings are fried in oil or boiled and served hot with a sesame oil and soy dipping sauce. Gyoza are ideal as a starter or light lunch.
Udon noodles are made with a simple, vegan-friendly dough that's similar to gyoza dough. These thick, chewy noodles are served in a fragrant broth with fresh vegetables. The broth contains sliced spring onions, ginger, garlic, broccoli, seaweed, mangetout and mushrooms. Tofu is sometimes added to this dish, and while the tofu will boost the protein content of the dish, vegetable udon is a hearty dish even without the addition of tofu. This is the perfect dish to order on a chilly evening when you're craving something a little stodgy.
There are lots more vegan-friendly dishes on offer in sushi restaurants. Just ask your server to confirm the ingredients in the dishes you're interested in before you order.