Which sushi-go-round chain can vegans enjoy the most?
In this article I compare popular sushi-go-round chains from a vegan point of view.
You may have heard about a unique type of sushi restaurants in Japan: sushi-go-round or conveyor belt sushi. Ordinary sushi restaurants are often very expensive but I would say sushi-go-round restaurants are almost fast food and reasonable. The quality of dishes are not the best obviously but they are of good value for money.
Sushi is typically made with fish as you know, but actually there are lots of dishes made with vegan/vegetarian friendly items. I myself often eat in sushi-go-round because it’s easy.
There are 4 big sushi-go-round chains: Sushiro, Kura Zushi, Hama Zushi and Kappa Zushi. The number of their outlets is more than 1,700 in total and you can easily find at least one of them in most cities. They certainly offer some vegan dishes and I believe it is much safer to eat in them than in other Japanese restaurants.
Each chain offer different items but, when it comes to vegetable sushi, there are not much differences. However, some offers more vegan options than the others. Let’s see which is the best for us vegans.
(Note: these sushi-go-round restaurants offers dishes which you don’t find ordinary sushi restaurants like chips or salad, but I don’t take them into account as my aim is to compare them as sushi restaurants.)
What vegan sushi items you can find in each sushi-go-round chain?
|Item||Sushiro||Kura Zushi||Hama Zushi||Kappa Zushi|
|Natto (fermented soybeans, 納豆)||Vegan||Vegan||Vegan||Vegan|
|Cucumber (かっぱ or きゅうり)||Vegan||Vegan||Vegan||Vegan|
|Dried gourd (かんぴょう)||Vegan||Not vegan (contains squid)||Vegan||Vegan|
|Inari (fried bean curd, いなり)||Vegan||Not vegan (contains mackerel)||Vegan||Vegan|
|Eggplant with wasabi (わさびなす)||Vegan||Not offered||Vegan||Vegan|
|Nozawana (green vegetable, 野沢菜)||Vegan||Not offered||Not offered||Not offered|
|Inari of the season (季節のいなり)||Depends||Not offered||Not offered||Not offered|
As you see above, Sushiro offers more options than others. Depending on seasons, “inari of the season” can also be vegan; please ask the waiter. Even though the inari of the season is not vegan, you still have more options than in other chains as it is only Sushiro that offers nozawana.
The only weak point of Sushiro is that they offer natto only as gunkan (battle-ship roll, whose sides are surrounded by nori seaweed) and not as maki (roll). This is important for those who love natto like because some want to try both forms to enjoy it most (though many foreign people, and also some Japanese people, dislike natto…). If you are a natto lover, Hama Zushi or Kappa Zushi would be better options. Have you not had natto? Please try and see if you will like this very Japanese food.
Kura Zushi, on the other hand, cannot be recommended to vegans. Their dried gourd and inari contain animal products and they have only two vegan sushi items (natto and cucumber).