If you’ve ever been to Japan and taken the Shinkansen or long-distance trains, you would know EKIBEN (ekiben; train station bento boxes) is one of the best parts of the trip!
I LOVE Ekiben!
I got this vegan Ekiben on the train to Lake Kawaguchi to see Mt Fuji!
Ekiben is bento-boxed meals sold on trains and shops at train stations in Japan.
I knew that Ekiben on the train would be of very limited quantity so I bought my Ekiben at Shinjyuku station shop where there were about 30 or even more types of Ekiben available (you can tell how popular Ekiben is to Japanese people, right?). Since there are too many types of Ekiben, it was so hard to decide, so I had to ask if they have vegan ekiben, and luckily there is one! So cute, isn’t it?
My lovely colorful vegan ekiben
It contained a lot of goodness:
- Fluffy steamed Japanese local white rice with marinated ginger soy protein (top left)
- Purple Japanese rice sprinkled with white sesame seeds (bottom left)
- Marinated purple cabbage topped with a goji berry (in a small round container, top right)
- Tofu “burger” patty with Japanese “an” sauce, topped with a cute carrot flower (top right),
- Japanese vegetables kimono (simmered with mirin – the sweet Japanese rice wine, sake, Dashi and soy sauce)
- Plus bamboo shoot, kabocha pumpkin, lotus root, soramame beans, and hijiki seaweed (bottom right),
- and no-chicken Karaage – deep-fried kurumafu (traditional Japanese “Fu“ made from wheat gluten) with zucchini, asparagus, white onion, and paprika (bottom right).
No-chicken Karaage – deep-fried kurumafu (traditional Japanese “Fu“ made from wheat gluten)
I was so happy with this yummy vegan ekiben that was loaded with traditional Japanese foods while looking at the lovely Mt Fuji view from the train!
Mt Fuji view from the train while enjoying yummy vegan ekiben on board!
If you have a chance to get on such kind of train, try getting yourself a vegan ekiben!
Each prefecture has their own ekiben packing in gourmet specialties using the local ingredients and going with the seasons. As far as I know, there is only one type of vegan ekiben available now (and this is very NEW, too).
Thanks to 2020 Olympics, which means more and more macrobiotic vegan options are popping up everywhere, hopefully one day we can enjoy several types of vegan ekiben at different areas as well!
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