||Healthy vegan snack, vegan peach cobbler, stray
cats, and so on.
||Vegan pizza and brownie as well as experiences
at several vegan restaurants.
||New soymilk product and vegan ramen noodle, and
||Stories about the meeting with Japan Vegetarian
Society chairpersons, vegan wedding meal, and experiences in
Kyoto and Vietnam.
||Attended Japan Vegetarian Society's meeting,
delicious vegetarian food in YOKOHAMA China town, wasting time
and money on staling foods, and trip to Penang.
||Experimenting some vegan breakfast recipes, receiving
an e-mal from the reader, pondering bug's life, and so on
|| Tried a macrobiotic restaurant in Tokyo,
and the trip to Laos.
||Struggling to get a vegan flihgt meals at Malaysian
|| Having vegan wedding plates again, business
trip to Cambodia and Vietnam, and busy days.
|| Nayonnaise discovery and some food disasters.
||Life is going on.
|| Attended a meeting on refugee issues in Japan
held by Amnesty International Japan
||Fresh soy milk and fasionable fake leather sneakers,
||A conversation with my husband over a TV show
and "Meatarians vs. vegetarians."
||A trip to the U.S. for research. Had an opportunity
to attend a fantastic vegan wedding of my friend's.
||A thought on eating whale meat.
A cousin of my husband will have a wedding party in April.
I worried that I should get meat meals there; I hate to waste
foods by leaving meat on the plate. However, the restaurant
he'll use is the one that served fantastic vegan meals to
me at my friends' wedding party in November. Thank God!
| I met a Dutch woman who is married with an American
guy. Her husband has two daughters and they are vegetarians.
He himself never understands their eating habits since he works
for a meat product company. Such a conflict there exists!
| I dined at a macrobiotic restaurant with my friends
who are not vegetarians. But they were the people who chose
that one instead of a sushi restaurant I offered as an option.
We ate "fresh spring roll with vegetables and tempeh served
with peanut sauce,""warm vegetable salad with walnut dressing,""seitan
and vegetable stew with brown rice,""croquettes staffed with
millet and okara," and "brown rice risotto with tomato and chickpea."
After those meals, my friends had grain coffee and I ordered
UME extract in the hot twig tea. I explained them that the idea
of macrobiotic shun eggs and dairy besides meat so they got
curious how the cakes there tasted like. We tried blueberry
and apple cake but my friends didn't like it at all, saying
that it was like bread rather cake. The problem must came from
the lack of fluffy texture and sweetness (macrobiotics don't
use refined sugar neither). Speaking of other dishes, they enjoyed
experiencing new tastes. Overall, however, the verdict was like
this: With the first bite, it doesn't taste great but we gonna
be accustomed to think macrobiotics delicious, maybe someday.
Well, I should admit I agree with them.
The interesting thing for me about that restaurant was not the
meal. I found the staff working there were all male, rarely
be seen in other natural restaurants. They looked normal, being
different from skinny, pushy macrobiotic people I have ever
seen. I'm curious where they came from.
|02/23/2001 - 03/04/2001
| A business trip to Laos to make travel pages
for a Japanese magazine.
In my research on the Net beforehand, I found that there were
a lot of vegetarian restaurants in that country but another
online source denied the information. So I had no idea if I
could keep vegetarian there. Since Lao people are, though they
are under the communist government, very religious Buddhist,
I thought I had a chance anyway. This time, we were three-people-team:
the photographer, the coordinator, and I, and as always, I was
the only vegetarian. To enter Laos, we should transited the
flight at Bangkok and stayed there one night. The flight meal
I requested was great, something tofu-like dishes and rice with
a lot of veggie and fresh fruits; in Bangkok, there were always
vegetarian options in the menu. So what about Laos?
I just shouldn't have worry. I had my first meal in Laos at
a Lao cuisine restaurant in Vientiane, the capital of the country.
And they had a vegetarian section! I was able to enjoy vegetarian
noodle soup and steamed sticky rice.
After doing photo shooting for several hours in Vientiane, we
left for Luang Prabang, the World Heritage of UNESCO. Again
there, I got to be busy to take a note of restaurants and cafes
that served vegetarian meals. I should say that vegetarians
could find places to eat much easier in Luang Prabang than in
Tokyo! Opposite to my expectation, the reason why Laos is so
vegetarian-friendly must be European tourists. Actually, on
the main streets, I saw more foreign tourists than local people.
Listening their languages (mainly French), sometimes I felt
like I was in somewhere in Europe, not in Asia.
Lao cuisine itself is very simple. People would say it is less
defined compared to Thai or Vietnamese. The taste is not spicy
or hot. Their staple food is steamed sticky rice and usually
a couple of dishes like plain stir-fried vegetables with just
a little bit meat/fish/chicken are served. It looked like that
it was difficult to find any vegetarian ideas in original Lao
local foods. They use some meat (whatever) in their dishes though
the main ingredients are definitely vegetables.
Still, Luang Prabang has quite a unique cuisine. People there
often eat steamed red rice instead of white one. There are some
special products such as dried riverweed (very similar taste
to NORI seaweed) and the paste made of miso, local herbs, and
meat. Chewy rice noodle was also a delight. There was even a
soup with wood!
I don't know if everyone likes their foods but one certain thing
is vegetable in Luang Prabang is just GREAT. They are grown
in the banks of Mekong River that flows along the town, and
thanks to the floods giving a lot of nutrition to the soil,
farmers never need to use chemical fertilizer to produce their
products. Therefore, even the simplest green salad tastes marvelous
and made me happy to be a vegetarian.
At the market, you'll find those fabulous vegetables as well
as fruits. Though you possibly see many disgusting selling of
a variety of meat including mice, lizards, and insects. But
judging from the companionship of people and dogs there, I'm
sure they don't eat dogs, at least.