Vegan Green Mapo Tofu
Restaurant name
Vegan veggie JOGA
Chinese cuisine
A dish of goodness
Vegan Green Mapo Tofu
episode 01

Refreshing tingling sensation and spiciness! Green Mapo Tofu

Vegan Veggie JOGA was opened in June 2022 in Aoyama Kotto St. A Chinese restaurant where you can try Vegan and Vegetarian foods.

Among their various menu offerings, the most popular choice is the 'Vegan Green Mapo Tofu' featuring a generous serving of green thickened sauce. It's a unique twist on traditional Mapo Tofu, and many diners are curious about its flavour, leading to numerous orders and repeat customers!

When you savour the tofu immersed in the thickened sauce, it doesn't feel heavy, instead it has a refreshing quality with a gentle sweetness in the perfect balance of spiciness and tingling sensation. The Japanese pepper deliver a delightful, refreshing kick which makes Japanese pepper enthusiasts addicted to it more and more.

What ingredients are used for the sauce?

It is made only with green vegetables, said Chef Lee Guanqun.

"A sauce made with full of seasonal green vegetables including spinach. I made a puree by adding broad beans to reduce sweetness from spinach. Broad beans creates smooth texture." - Lee san.

The point is to use generous amount of vegetables to create brilliant green colour.

Instead of meat, we use a crumbled soybean meat and we incorporate around 15 varieties of fresh and dried mushrooms along with various vegetables for the umami taste. The Japanese pepper sprinkled on top are sourced from Japan during seasonal period and alternatively Chinese one are sourced when the Japanese season ends.

"Vegan Green Mapo Tofu" was sparked by the owner's idea of "Why not create a unique Green Mapo Tofu that you can't find in other restaurants?"

Keeping in mind the goal of creating not only something unique but also truly delicious Mapo Tofu, Lee san, the owner and another chef embarked on a culinary journey, exploring various dishes.
Lee san with 30 years of culinary experience and training in vegetarian cuisine at the renowned Shanghai restaurant "功徳林 Kung Tak Lam" coming up with new menu items was the most challenging aspect of his work even with his experienced background.

"Vegan Green Mapo Tofu" is a well-balanced dish, manages to maintain the signature punch of spiciness, tingling sensation, richness, and umami with rich green sauce made with vegetables, making it a dish that you can only find here. No wonder it's our most popular item.


Lunch menu "Green Mapo Tofu lunch set" is served with rice, salad, mushroom soup and daily desert - 2,300 yen

"JOGA MOON Course" is served with 7 plates - 10,000 yen and a la carte - 1,800 yen.

Would you like to try them?

episode 02

One bite and you'll be fascinated. The richness combined with medicinal herbs (yakuzen).

The opening of "Vegan Veggie JOGA" was inspired by the owner, Miyuki Yoshida, who had been running the authentic Chinese restaurant "Sairaien" at Ueno Nakadori in Tokyo for over 20 years.

"After my father passed away, I ate shojin ryori (buddhist foods) for 49 days. I felt the weights off from my body, and I noticed an improvement in the condition of my skin."

Yoshida san chose to become vegetarian from this experience. She has realized the struggle of vegetarians from the limited choices on restaurants. However, it made her challenge herself. "I want to share more of styles on healthy foods and drinks". She has decided to commit opening "Vegan veggie JOGA" as second branch.

"I hope 'Vegan Veggie JOGA' will reach out to not only vegans and vegetarians but also people who are not vegetarians and vegans. I would like everyone to find our foods delicious with each bite, developing our menu by incorporating elements of traditional Chinese medicinal cuisine to enhance the flavour. These efforts not only benefit to the healthier body but also contribute to a richer taste with fragrances, tanginess, and spiciness."     - Yoshida san.

In fact, more than half of their visitors are not vegans or vegetarians.

Another feature of the restaurant is the incorporation of traditional Chinese medicinal elements, not only into their dishes but also into drinks and desserts. They offer refreshing herbal tea scented with mint, Chenpi (citrus peel) and Luo Han Guo (monk fruit) which is a natural sweetener.

You can enjoy the "Chilled Gluten-Free acid brown rice noodle" for 1,800 yen during summer. The gluten-free brown rice noodles used in this dish is gathering everyone's attention. Fried colourful summer vegetables are generously decorated on top of the noodles. The broth is prepared using 15 kinds of mushrooms, asparagus, and other vegetables to enhance the umami flavour, creating it a satisfying dish. This menu is available from May to around October.

"'Food is medicine, medicine is food' is the philosophy of traditional Chinese medicinal cuisine, considering all plants such as seasonal vegetables are the materials for medicinal cuisine. For example, sesame is known as an ingredient that brings good effects for hair, walnuts are beneficial for the brain, and wolfberries are great for skin. Summer vegetables like eggplant help cool down the body. Every ingredient brings benefits to the body. We aim to continue offering menus that collaborate to this medicinal cuisine philosophy, providing delicious dishes that promote good health,"  - Yoshida san.

We will surely be fascinated by its deep and intriciate flavour and ancient wisdom of Chinese cuisine.

Written by Mizuho Ajihara
Photo by Satoshi Araya


Miyuki Yoshida(よしだ・みゆき)

Born in Shanghai, China. Moved to Japan in 1991 to study. Yoshida san is the CEO of Goldway Co., Ltd., driven by a passion to bring authentic Shanghai cuisine to Japan, she opened an authentic Chinese restaurant "Sairaien" at Ueno Nakadori in Tokyo in 1999. In 2020, after her father's passed away, she began studying Buddhism and started a vegetarian lifestyle. Experiencing the challenges of being a vegetarian while dining out herself, she opened "Vegan Veggie JOGA" the second branch in Minami-Aoyama in Tokyo in June 2022, with the aspire of promoting an environmentally friendly dining style. Her favourite vegetables are broccoli and cauliflower, favourite fruit is mango.

Vegan veggie JOGA