Gyoza no Umechan in Nikko

Gyoza no Umechan in Nikko

Date of visit: end October 2019

Gyoza no Umechan came up on a list I’d prepared for vegan options in Nikko. And indeed, there was a menu listing the veg options and I confirmed with the staff as to what was vegan.

When there’s vegan gyoza it’s a given that I’ll order it. We were given a bowl and told (with instructions on paper too) how to mix up a sauce: sesame chilli oil, soy sauce and vinegar. Gyoza done well!

There was also a tofu in broth option (I don’t recall the exact name). This was basically blocks of tofu in a plain broth (not very flavoured) with some mushrooms. It was on the plain side but I love tofu and it was also accompanied by sliced onion in a soy sauce which added the flavour. The pot was bubbling on our table:


But really, I was mostly interested in one thing: yuba! Yuba is a speciality of Nikko and is the tofu ‘skin’ you get when boiling soy milk. Unfortunately some of the other restaurants around didn’t offer a vegan version of things like braised yuba rolls.

The yuba dish from Gyoza no Umechan was simply the yuba in a small bowl of soy milk. The texture was certainly interesting (it’s like a thick tofu skin) but the soy milk was super thick and creamy. I probably wouldn’t rush out to try it again as it just a strong soy milk taste, but it was cool and refreshing and definitely worth trying. I’d certainly try a braised version, other pictures I’d seen had the yuba looking quite golden brown, in a broth or sauce.

I had a little wasabi with mine. Actually the wasabi I had in Japan was quite unlike wasabi I’ve had in Australia. The wasabi in Japan was very hot compared to the wasabi I’ve had at home. I love wasabi but in Japan it knocked my sinuses around heaps.

Gyoza no Umechan is near the train stations, so it’s not too far to walk after a long train trip.


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