info for vegetarians
| April, 2001 |
Tokyo Vegetarian-friendly
Restaurant Guide
Diary - Living in Tokyo
as a Semi-Vegan
Recommended Readings
Written in Japanese
Articles about Vegetarianism
written by Hiroko Kato
Online Vegetarian/Vegan Handouts
Shopping Guide
Good News & Good News
Links for Vegetarians
August: Healthy vegan snack, vegan peach cobbler, stray cats, and so on.
September: Vegan pizza and brownie as well as experiences at several vegan restaurants.
October: New soymilk product and vegan ramen noodle, and so on.
November: Stories about the meeting with Japan Vegetarian Society chairpersons, vegan wedding meal, and experiences in Kyoto and Vietnam.
December: Attended Japan Vegetarian Society's meeting, delicious vegetarian food in YOKOHAMA China town, wasting time and money on staling foods, and trip to Penang.
January: Experimenting some vegan breakfast recipes, receiving an e-mal from the reader, pondering bug's life, and so on
February: Tried a macrobiotic restaurant in Tokyo, and the trip to Laos.
March: Struggling to get a vegan flihgt meals at Malaysian Airline.
April: Having vegan wedding plates again, business trip to Cambodia and Vietnam, and busy days.
May: Nayonnaise discovery and some food disasters.
June: Life is going on.
February: Attended a meeting on refugee issues in Japan held by Amnesty International Japan
March: Fresh soy milk and fasionable fake leather sneakers, etc.
April A conversation with my husband over a TV show and "Meatarians vs. vegetarians."
May A trip to the U.S. for research. Had an opportunity to attend a fantastic vegan wedding of my friend's.
July A thought on eating whale meat.


Attended the wedding of my husband's cousin. Coincidentally, the party was held at the restaurant I experienced vegan plates in November. That was great because I couldn't have requested my special meal if the couple selected other places. So I was happy all the day. The wedding was also filled with happiness (certainly!) and the couple kindly gave me a hand-made vegetarian menu. It said, "white asparagus salad with truffe sauce," "green peace soup," "sauteed variety of French mushrooms," "lime sherbet," "vegetable resott." The cousin called me in advance the chef was worrying if I could satisfy with those light meals but no problem! How wonderful that I don't need to compromise on non-vegetarian things.

04/09/2001 - 04/19/2001
A business trip to Cambodia and Vietnam. There was no information about vegetarian in Cambodia, but I was somehow optimistic after the experience Laos.

It was a business trip to cover colonial hotels for a magazine and I visited Siem Reap, the town of Angkor Heritage, and Phnom Penh, with a photographer. In conclusion, I could survive there. Since we should try the food in the hotels, I rarely had a chance to try real local eating places but people generally don't eat out in Cambodia anyway. And you know, hotel's buffet always has vegan items such as cereals, raw vegetables, and rice. In Phnom Penh, I also found soy milk at the breakfast buffet. The bad thing was there were too many restaurants in the hotels we should try and too little local places we could go. I finally got fed up with sticking to boring vegan items. Then what about Cambodian cuisine? Yes, I had some of them (at the hotels). It's less spicy than Thai foods, using a lot of herbs. The horrible era the country went through in past 20 years almost ruined the tradition of exquisite Khmer cuisine but the renaissance has started here and there. But the chefs seemed not to have time to think about vegetarian arrangements yet. Most dishes contain some meat or fish (sometimes fish sauce) and it is just the natural way of eating not only in Cambodia but in many other countries all over the world.

As a vegetarian, you can ask rice noodles with boiled vetables and a dip of soy sauce instead of chiken broth. Garlic, shallots, and other herbs are essencial condiments in Cambodian cuisine so you can add these things to your plate as well. Variety of salad can be ordered without meat/seafoods including fishsauce. Banana blossom salad was one of my favorites for its fresh, flavorful taste. The delights were Khmer dessert. They are made of rice, coconut milk, sugar, and some a word, are vegan. I enjoyed them along with fresh southern fruits.

I had nothing to worry in Vietnam. I stayed in Hanoi this time and had to try hotel's restaurants there too. But being different from Cambodia, Vietnamese people have a custom of eating out and there were a plenty of places I could go. In addition to that, I've even found a vegetarian cafe. The owner was a French woman who once stayed in Tokyo as well. Now she's selling smoothies, fruits juice, and vegetarian food (including vegan pho!) using organic ingredients as much as possible. The name is Tamarind Cafe. You should go there!

The biggest shame during my travel was that I forgot to request my vegan meal for the flight from Hanoi to Bangkok. The airline was AirFrance! Leaving most of the regular flight meal, I couldn't stop wondering why they didn't hesitate to use prochute while the food and mouth disease was threating around Europe.

Prepared for the busy days. I've got assignments of two magazines and the deadline is in the end of this month. By May 10, I also should work on proofreading an English textbook, write my monthly regular column for a magazine, do some interviews, and plan my business trip to the U.S.

First thing I did was cooking beans. I may need enough protein since Japanese tofu is all fresh and hard to keep long time. Now I can have whole-wheat cracker with hummus or green soybean paste anytime.

Then I went shopping to buy some frozen green veggies as well as Vietnamese rice papers, organic carrots, and bananas. It's a shame the store didn't have tortilla chips anymore. After seven months of living in U.S., I became chips/caffeine addicted. Bad for health, but just I can't stop leaning on those kind of things.

You should be careful to order something "vegetable" menu. I was supposed to know that but made a mistake again. For late lunch, I went to a curry restaurant since I knew that they had vegetarian curry. On the menu, I found "vegetable curry" besides the item I used to be familiar with, so I decided to try new thing. The plate served to me contained shrimp with vegetables. Then I noticed that there were shredded beef in it. I hardly escape from them and finally gave up eating. Too bad to waste foods. Only good thing was I was full thanks to two boiled potatoes served with the curry.

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Copyright (C) 2002 Hiroko Kato, Tomoko Kinukawa(designer).All rights reserved.