Vegan Sushi in Vancouver: What’s on the Menu at Cofu

Vancouver is considered one of the best cities in the world for sushi (we’re obsessed) thanks in large part to our geography. We also like to eat plant-based a lot here, so it makes sense that the two genres merge – and beautifully at that – thanks to a restaurant called Cofu which specializes in vegan pressed sushi.

And to go even further, Cofu also offers a completely alcohol-free bar menu.

Cofu didn’t start out as a plant-based sushi mecca, mind you. The restaurant had been operating as a take-out sushi place – complete with seafood – since its launch in the fall of 2021, but at the start of the new year, Cofu changed direction and relaunched with an all-vegan cuisine. and a “sober bar”. ” menu.

The reason for the change was to meet what Cofu CEO Akiko Otsuka says is a demand for health-focused catering dishes. Capitalizing on the popularity of sushi in Vancouver, Otsuka has created a menu that marries the deep-rooted traditions of pressed sushi with modern components, like all-plant-based ingredients that combine the texture and taste of seafood with a range of creative and colorful sauces. not usually found in sushi bars.

What’s on the Cofu menu?

The Cofu menu centers around the pressed sushi experience, with a set combo list being the most popular draw. Customers can also order pressed sushi in individual orders, and a plant-based appetizer menu rounds out the food options — things like faux fried fish or chicken made with soy protein, served with vegan sauce.

The sushi is machine-pressed to ensure an even result, and the combos are nicely laid out on large black slates with dipping sauces. Eggplant is chewy and smoky, reminiscent of unagi (eel), while Cofu has created plant-based iterations of tofu and salmon for its sushi, using plant-based ingredients like jackfruit, carrot and konjac. Pressed “salmon” sushi evokes the soft, velvety texture of salmon, although the overall flavor is milder and milder than its aquatic counterpart.

Otsuka says that food is supposed to not only be beautiful to look at, but also nutritious. For one, Cofu uses black rice — and slightly less rice per serving than at an average sushi bar — chosen for its quality, high fiber content, and antioxidants. The menu was designed with nutritional concerns and benefits in mind, Otsuka says, so dishes will be lower in calories and sodium than the same types of items at a regular sushi restaurant. An ingredient like carrots is good for eyesight, Otsuka attests, while karaageThe style appetizers are just dipped quickly in frying oil before being sent to the air fryer for extra crispiness.

Meanwhile, guests can order mocktails from the “sober bar,” offering spirits or non-alcoholic beers. Akutagawa, made with Lyre’s Malt (a zero-proof bourbon-style spirit), is like a non-alcoholic scotch and soda that gets its shine from the addition of dried chili. The beers come from familiar makers like Sober Carpenter and Partake, among others.

The small restaurant, located a short walk from the entrance to Granville Island, offers seated dining (while popular animated films are projected on the wall) as well as takeout.

Although Otsuka herself does not follow a plant-based diet, she is keen to show the plant-based potential of Vancouver sushi, while demonstrating that a vegan version of the hugely popular Japanese food category is more than just cucumber or avocado rolls.

@vancouverisawesome Non-seafood sushi and mocktails?! I was skeptical… #forkingawesome #vancouverbc #sushi #mocktails #veganfood ♬ Sushi – Atwood

Cofu is located at 1833 Anderson St, #103, in Vancouver. Follow them on Instagram @cofu_20.

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