Vegan Sushi with BentoYa Cooking – Interview

Learn to make delicious vegan Japanese food with BentoYa Cooking

Vegan food can be hard to come by in Japan, so what better way to eat clean than to learn to make it yourself? BentoYa Cooking holds cooking classes in English, so you can make your own delicious vegan Japanese food!

Vegan Sushi Class

The class I dropped into was making vegan sushi. Sushi? What? Isn’t that fish…? Yeah, I know what you’re thinking. But there were only veggies on the table!

Prepping the sushi toppings

The class began with some basic introductions and overviews, getting everyone ready to make some tasty food. The instructor for this class was BentoYa’s founder, Akiko. There were a few other instructors helping out as well. Within a few minutes, everyone was cutting ingredients and prepping the toppings for the sushi.

The structure of the class was easy to understand — Akiko would explain what we’re trying to make, and asked students individually to help out with parts of the cooking process. One person was cutting ginger and another was cutting lotus roots. She would tell them the desired size and demonstrate as needed, so even if you’re not too familiar with cooking, it’s easy to follow.

Making the sushi

Now that there were some sushi toppings available, everyone got to work making the nigiri sushi. Akiko took the rice and shaped it in her hands, then put on the toppings to create her plate of vegan sushi. This looked like the hardest part, since the sticky rice is, well, pretty sticky.

Eat your creations

And of course, after your round of photos and fun, you get to eat what you made!

Top row: gari (ginger), “tuna,” avocado, “scallops”
Bottom row: “scallops.” lotus root, “mayo” with tomatoes, and “mayo” with corn
Side: miso soup with vegan dashi

This was some very good sushi. My favorite: the “scallop” sushi with sprouts. The flavor combination of the mushroom and the seasoning was delicious! If no one told me they were mushrooms, I’d probably believe they were real scallops!


What a fun class! It seems like they’re growing, with many students joining in. For the sushi class, two of the attendees were veterans; this was their third or fourth time. There were also short-term travelers to Japan, so I think it works as a nice tourist experience as well. Moreover, everyone’s so friendly. You’re sure to meet some fellow veggie fans here.

Basically, if you’re in Tokyo and love vegan/healthy food, this class is for you!

Join a BentoYa class

BentoYa Cooking typically runs classes in Tokyo and Yokohama. You can see if they have upcoming classes on their Facebook page. Otherwise, you can book a class with them on their website, in case your schedule doesn’t quite align with the predetermined class dates.

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