When you are invited out to Japanese food, as a vegetarian, you will not want to turn down the invitation. There are lots of foods that you can enjoy as a vegetarian at a Japanese restaurant.
Option #1: Mochi
Mochi is a type of dense rice cake. It can be prepared as either a grilled or fried dish. It is a warm dish that is often served with a little something extra, such as radish and leeks, making this a great vegetarian dish that is warm and tasty. You can add some sauce to the dish as well.
Option #2: Side Vegetables
There are numerous side vegetables that you can order, such as eggplant, yamaimo potatoes, and pumpkin. Eggplant is usually either grilled or baked. It is generally served with a warm miso sauce. Miso sauce is made from koji, sea salt, and soybeans. These vegetables are made to be tasty and enjoyable, and if you order a few of them, they can make a nice meal.
Option #3: Pickled Vegetables
You can order tsukemono, which are picked vegetables. They are usually served as a side dish or along with a larger dish. The pickled vegetables are soaked in a brine and can be very salty, although some varieties can be sweet, so be sure to ask how they prepare their pickled vegetables. You can get vegetables such as cucumbers, daikon radish, and plums.
Option #4: Daikon
Another vegetable that is popular in Japan is the daikon radish. It can be served in many different manners. You can eat it pickled, boiled, or shredded. You can often order a daikon salad off the menu as well. Like many Japanese dishes, it is often served with some sauce.
Option #5: Tofu Dishes
There are many different types of tofu dishes that you can order, although you need to be careful to ensure that the dish is actually vegetarian. Goma dofu is chilled sesame tofu, which has a soft and creamy texture that is usually served with a little wasabi. It is a refreshing dish.
Yuba is made out of the surface of boiled soy milk, creating a light and creamy dish. Koyadofu is a type of deep-fried tofu designed to absorb the taste of whatever flavors or sauces it is cooked in. Or you can order some yodofu, which is a hotpot that is cooked right at your table, with tofu and vegetables. Or you can enjoy some dengaku, where the tofu is coated in a sweet miso sauce, and then the tofu is caramelized and grilled until it becomes golden and a little charred.
If you were invited to go to a Japanese restaurant, there are lots of options that you can enjoy. You can try some mochi, enjoy some deliciously cooked side vegetables or pickled vegetables, or you can order some vegetarian tofu dishes. You can always ask your server for recommendations as well.