Monday, September 16, 2013

[vegan mofo day 16] lazy Sunday dinner - instant curry from Japan

I was too lazy to cook last night so I decided to try this instant curry my mother sent me from Japan. I know this doesn't really fit my theme "cooking vegan on a budget" (except that food gifts are always appreciated when on a budget as long as it's vegan), but thought it'd be fun to introduce some vegan goodies. 
It's keema curry with lentils and soy meat. No animal ingredients or sugar are used. Awesome! It says the spiciness level is medium-hot but I'd have loved it if it had been a bit more spicy. Nonetheless, it was pretty good. I'd love to have it again (yes, mom? hehe).

Since this was a lentil curry, baby had lentils on rice, steamed carrots and some soup. All stocked in the freezer.

Japan is, in my mind, not a country I'd think vegetarian friendly, let alone vegan. At least that was the case when I visited there last time. Japanese meals may be healthier and I do think they eat more varieties of food on average, but most of the traditional meals contain meat or fish. The animal-based broth is used in ramen noodles. The broth in miso soup usually contains fish. Even an innocent looking loaf of bread sometimes has gelatin in it to make it soft or whatever (ugh).

But, fortunately, as far as I can see from stories I read online, vegetarianism has been gaining popularity lately. Vegetarian restaurants are popping up in many cities across Japan. My mother has sent me all kinds of interesting vegan products, like mapo tofu sauce, cold noodles, ramen noodles etc. Even mentaiko (roe of fish) pasta that uses amaranth. They may not use the V word in the package (just saying "without animal ingredients"), but that's ok. I'm happy that I will be able to find restaurants that I can look forward to visiting or won't encounter as many confusing looks as before when I say I don't eat animals. Well, maybe not the latter because a lot of people still don't seem to get that I don't eat animals. never. Not just half the time, or 75% vegetarian. But that'll probably change in the future too, I hope.

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