Sushi restaurants tend to have fairly standard menu (at least where I live in Canada). Aside from fish which is clearly not vegan, which other items on the menu are probably not vegan?

I already learned from this related question that fish sauce and shrimp paste are common in Japanese cuisine, but I don't know which foods (if any) at a sushi restaurant are likely to contain those ingredients.

1 Answer 1


Obviously menu items which name animal species or animal products are not going to be vegan. Usually animals will be named with their Japanese name (eg. ebi, toro, unagi) so it's best to learn these names by looking them up.

But here's a helpful guide for some items that don't name animals.

Salads, Soups, & Sides

  • Miso soup is normally made with dashi broth which includes katsuobushi - preserved, fermented skipjack tuna. Miso itself (fermented soybean paste) is vegan, and miso soup can be made vegan, but it usually isn't unless specifically identified as such.
  • Udon soup base often includes bonito (dried fish flakes).


  • Agedashi tofu (deep fried tofu) is also made with dashi broth, which as mentioned above is usually not vegetarian. Bonito flakes (fish flakes) are often sprinkled on top.
  • Tempura batter is commonly made with eggs. Some sources say that tempura batter is traditionally made with eggs, while others disagree. It's best to ask.


  • Yakisoba noodles are traditionally just buckwheat or wheat flour, but sometimes they are made with egg whites.

Maki Sushi Rolls

  • Make sure to ask for no mayonnaise. Mayo is a common ingredient in sushi maki that usually goes unlisted. The spicy sauce in particular is often just spicy mayonnaise.
  • Cream cheese is also sometimes used in rolls, but usually this is identified on the menu.

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