Veggie okonomiyaki served on a plate

10 vegetarian Japanese-inspired recipes

Take some inspiration from Japanese cuisine and try our colourful vegetarian meal ideas. Make a warming ramen, a filling katsu curry or healthy okonomiyaki.

We’ve put our own veggie-friendly spin on these Japanese-inspired recipes to create satisfying meat-free midweek meals. Try a family-friendly bowlful brimming with noodles, comforting curries with time-saving shortcuts or a nourishing super salad. Stock up on some useful staple ingredients, like soy sauce, garlic, ginger and some fresh veg, then dive in.

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If we’ve whet your appetite, find more delicious Japanese recipes in our main collection, from homemade sushi to a stack of fluffy Japanese pancakes. Try making a batch of our freezable vegetable gyoza and serve as a side with your veggie main. The fillings can be adapted to your taste, enjoy these delicious dumplings with a savoury soy dipping sauce.

1. Veggie yaki udon

Our take on yaki udon is the ideal throw-together dinner for two when you’re craving veg that packs a punch. This simple, healthy dish with chunky udon noodles topped with fiery pickled ginger is even low in calories. The mild curry kick from the sauce is great for satisfying those midweek cravings.

2. Aubergine katsu curry

Pair crunchy golden-brown aubergine slices with a simple curry sauce and rice for a filling family feast. Our veggie take on the classic katsu curry takes just 15 minutes to prepare. We guarantee it’ll be a new Friday night favourite. Try serving with our chilli green salad for a bit of added colour and crunch.

3. Spice-crusted tofu with kumquat radish salad

Our Japanese-inspired tofu salad is anything but bland and boring. The shichimi togarashi spice mix coating the tofu adds some serious kick and the crunchy veg adds some bite and texture to this colourful plate. A subtly sweet citrus dressing pulls the whole dish together.

5. Veggie okonomiyaki

Our nutritious veggie version of a traditional okonomiyaki is packed with crunchy cabbage, pak choi and spring onions. Believe it or not, you can go from chopping and slicing to plating up in just 25 minutes, perfect for a speedy low-calorie lunch. Serve with a drizzle of zesty lime mayo and a little wasabi on the side for a fiery accompaniment.

6. Noodles with sesame dressing

Noodles with sesame dressing

This bowl of Japanese noodles with sesame dressing feels nourishing and comforting in equal measure. Soba noodles will keep you fuller for longer, making this an ideal nutrient-packed lunch for a busy day. Serve up a warming bowlful with our nutty tahini sauce for a quick veggie dish for two in a flash.

7. Saucy Japanese greens with sticky sesame rice

Serve up long-stemmed broccoli with a spicy miso ginger dressing and nutty sesame sushi rice. This simple supper is vegan too so perfect for satisfying everyone’s dietary needs. The stir-fried broccoli and pak choi brings plenty of crunch to this easy dish. The spoonful of brown sugar in the dressing adds just enough sweetness to balance out the zingy rice wine vinegar.

8. Vegan ramen

The combination of dried shiitake mushrooms and a spoonful of miso paste create the perfect savoury broth base for our vegan ramen. Pile on additional extras like spicy sriracha, crushed peanuts and crumbled sheets of nori for tasty final touches that are well worth the effort. Make this bowl brimming with noodles and veggies in just 25 minutes and slurp to your heart’s content.

9. Saucy miso mushrooms with udon noodles

Chunky portobello mushrooms make a great meaty substitute and a filling main course. Let rich, umami flavours take centre stage in this ultra-satisfying supper you can prep in just 10 minutes. If you’re not a fan of mushrooms, try swapping in aubergines, halved through the centre and cooked the same way.

10. Miso-glazed tofu steaks with beansprout salad & egg strands

Take inspiration from different cuisines and pair up a Japanese-style marinade with a zingy Korean-inspired salad. This simple recipe brings plenty of colour and crunch to the plate in just a few easy steps. The savoury miso and soy glaze transforms often-bland tofu into sticky triangles of tastiness. Read our guide on how to press tofu to ensure crispy tofu slices.

Use up the rest of the block with our best firm tofu recipes for more veggie-friendly dinners.

Enjoyed these recipes? Learn even more about Japan and Japanese cuisine…

How to make gyoza
How to cook Japanese food
Why is the Japanese diet so healthy?
How to make sushi

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What’s your favourite Japanese dish? Leave a comment below…