Vegan Japanese Curry

Vegan Japanese Curry

japanese curryA few weeks ago, we had the unfortunate experience of going out for dinner and inadvertently having a non-vegan meal.  If you're vegan, it's probably happened to you too.   Here's what happened in shorthand.  We were Old Town Pasadena on a Saturday night and went to Curry House for dinner.  We'd read reviews that their vegetarian curry was actually vegan, and I'd been craving some comfort food.  There were two or three options for us on the menu and I was very optimistic.  Jane was chatting with the waitress after we were done eating, and discovered that the curry sauce is made with chicken stock!  She explained to the waitress that chicken stock is not vegetarian, and we were offered a free drink, but still.  I was really bummed.  I'd really been enjoying my meal and was looking forward to going there again.  Obviously that's not going to happen!

Curry Mix
Curry Mix

So, last night, Jane surprized me with homemade vegan Japanese curry.  She used the S&B - Golden Curry Sauce Mix (Medium Hot) and it was quite tasty, even better since it was made cruelty free.

Jane said the curry mix was easy to work with but a little bizarre.  It pops out of it's plastic tray and looks a bit like a green chocolate bar.  She promised me I'll get to see it next time she makes this dish.  Our curry consisted of tofu, onions, orange peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, and snap peas.

26 Comments on Vegan Japanese Curry

  1. I had heard the S&B curry bars were really good, but when we read the ingredients we saw MSG, so decided not to buy it. However, they do make an “Oriental” curry powder that we’ve tried and like. Probably not the same flavor as the curry bars, though.

    Bummer about the restaurant not being up front about the non-vegan curry. How many times have I taken a bite of a “veggie” burrito and found chicken inside? Ugh.

  2. When you decide to dine at a non-vegan restaurant you are dining amongst the results of the immense cruelty perpetuated on non humans. Giving them money only perpetuates the problem and seems cognitive dissonant. Would you still go to this restaurant if there were dog,cat or human flesh on the menu? How about if people got to pick which live animal would be slaughtered for their cuisine. Vegans seem to be the only people that give money to an institute they are trying to abolish. When you ask for a “vegan option,” that is all you are going to get. Restaurants routinely exploit non humans,since they want your money, they’ll tell you whatever it is you want to hear.

  3. Hi Lisa,
    Sometimes were just so focused on looking to make sure the ingredients are vegan we forget to focus on other issues. We don’t have a box of the S&B in the house now or I’d check to see if our package contained MSG too.

    Yeah, we weren’t too happy about the chix stock, but your veggie burrito issues sound even more appalling!

    Hi Tristan,
    Actually I don’t see it that way. Since vegans comprise far less than 10% of the population, I applaud any restaurant that caters to us. Not to mention the fact that most of my family friends are NOT vegan and I enjoy the social aspect of eating out, so if we can find a restaurant that has a few vegan items on the menu, it’s always a good idea.
    As for vegans not giving money to an institute they are trying to abolish… if you pay taxes, you’re supporting war. I would want war abolished across the board, as would most people I know.
    And there are some non-vegan restaurants we go to that bend over backwards to alert us to non-vegan ingredients. It all depends on the restaurant.

    Hi voracious,
    No, they don’t… but some go out of their way to be incredibly helpful.

  4. Sorry to hear about it not being vegan 🙁 Did they seem like they might change the recipe after discussing it with you? Sometimes home cooking is the better option, but there are a lot of choices to eat out too.

  5. Hi Vegan Eating Out,
    We were there during the dinner rush and only spoke to our waitress, so I don’t know if the chef has any interest in making a change to his/her recipe.
    Usually home cooking is a better option, and not just for vegans; but it’s always nice to go out and not have to deal with meal prep or clean up.

  6. Hi Will,
    Sorry, we don’t know about the sugar. As we’ve mentioned in past blogging, we don’t worry that much about byproducts since the animals aren’t slaughtered for that purpose and the byproducts are otherwise essentially waste product and rather inexpensive to use. Once animals are no longer processed for food or other raw materials, these byproducts will become more expensive and alternatives will be used.

  7. Hi Will,
    You could contact the manufacturer. They’ll certainly be able to tell you where they get their sugar.
    As for the response, we usually try to respond to all comments within a week. Sometimes, we get a little behind.

  8. I dont trust that company.. their ready made curry with veggies claims “*FREE FROM ANIMAL-DERIVED AND GM INGREDIENTS.”
    But one of the ingrediants listed is Bonito powder.. thats fish powder.

    Are fish not animals?

  9. Hello, found your site while trying to Google whether or not Golden Curry is vegetarian. I know that the ones made in the US are as I’ve used them many times before but I’m currently living in China and the version here (same packaging, brand, and type) contains some meat flavorings. I felt crazy because I knew I had used it so many times before but when I checked this time around, it was there. In the one sold in China, the ingredients are only listed in Chinese and list “beef essence” as an ingredient — ???, as well as beef fat — ?? and pork “oil” ??? (egh). This happens with lots of products sold in different markets (gelatin and non gelatin Skittles, corn syrup/cane sugar sodas as examples) so I just wanted to post this as a warning for anyone buying this in Asian food stores. Make sure you buy a package that isn’t an import.

  10. By the way, we eat at curry house a lot and the mild curry is vegan. All the other sauces are not. Hope that helps!

  11. I have an imported pack of curry sauce and it’s made with flavour enhancer additives made from fish… So not vegan at all =[[

  12. S&B is not vegetarian even. Cos it contains flavour enhancers E627 and E631 which are potentially of animal origin. However, it depends how much one wants to adhere to the veggie diet. Cheers.

  13. There is nothing dangerous about MSG, it’s just as safe as salt. MSG is just a flavor enhancer.

    Also, this curry mix is vegetarian. It clearly states, “Contains no meat or meat-related ingredients.” on their website.

  14. Hi guys, I’m a vegan from Australia. I know this thread is quite dated but thought that the response from the company would come in helpful for future others. After suffering the deprivation haha of my favorite Japanese curry brand, I finally contacted the company recently and got a response within less than a day. Their response sounded very sincere. Good observations too to those who picked up on the contradictions within the ingredient list!

    Basically the company apologized firstoff and very profusely about the bonito ingredient being labelled as vegetarian and vowed to close down that website soon for amendments. They then went on to say the e627 and e631 are derived from tapioca and sugar cane. I buy what they say because in their labeling in my neighborhood shop, their form of e631 is the disodium inosinate which any google search will show is not necessarily animal derived. Hope that helps! 🙂

  15. Hi M. Herrin

    Hmmmm….. That’s disturbing. I haven’t used this product in several years. If something in their ingredient list has changed, it’s not reflected on their website yet.
    If you search for the word “gelatin” on that page, you will see that it doesn’t exist. Further, they specifically indicate that several of their producs “contains no meat or meat related ingredients”

    Thanks for the warning. I’ll contact the manufacturer and see if there has been a change to their products.


  16. Hi M. Herrin,

    I contacted the manufacturer and it appears that their USA-based products have no gelatin and no meat products. However, new products that they are making for the Japanese market do have both. Here’s what they wrote:

    We have not changed the formula and ingredients for the products for the U.S. market (English packaging).

    However S & B Foods of Japan introduced Golden Curry Sauce with Vegetable recently for domestic Japan market. And this product line for Japan has not only gelatin but beef ingredients. I assume your reader was confused with this new product.

    Please confirm the products for the United States do not contain any gelatin or meat derived ingredients as our website shows.

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