Wagamama is launching a new 2021 Veganuary menu on January 5th with plant-based versions of some of its cult favourite dishes: Chilli Squid, Sticky Ribs, Firecracker Curry and Grilled Duck Donburi. Following a challenging year on the restaurant scene, Veganuary 2021 marks the beginning of Wagamama’s ‘Year of Change’ by its ‘Midori’ (meaning green in Japanese) team. Wagamama’s new menu champions plant-based alternatives like never before with the ambition to make half of its dishes meat-free by the end of 2021.
No stranger to vegan innovation, three years ago Wagamama introduced its vegan Katsu Curry – ‘Vegatsu’, followed a year later by a collaboration with vegan chef Gaz Oakley to create ‘Avant Gard’n’ which featured a vegan ‘egg’, and last year in January 2020 saw the launch of the ‘watermelon tuna’ dish.
Aiming to empower its teams and guests to make sustainable choices, Wagamama is kickstarting this month a new initiative called ‘Small Choices, Big Change’ in response to growing climate concerns. The vegan diet has been identified as the ‘single biggest measure’ that can be taken by people to reduce their carbon emissions by up to 73 per cent and this campaign will drive the restaurant chain through 2021 and beyond.
“We believe that vegan choices should be so delicious that everyone should want to include in their lives, whether a strict vegan or someone who has never thought of themselves as a vegan before. As Covid causes us all to press pause on so many things, let’s make sure we fast forward the small decisions which can better our planet”- Emma Woods, Wagamama CEO
Wagamama’s most popular side dish, Chilli Squid, sells more than 2.2 million a year and in the new plant-based version crispy squid is replaced with shichimi-coated lightly battered king oyster mushrooms with a tantalising dipping sauce of chilli and coriander.
The new No-Duck Donburi is made using shredded seitan and shiitake mushrooms coated in cherry hoisin sauce. Firecracker Curry has also received a vegan makeover with tofu instead of chicken.
Alongside the new ‘sustainable swaps’ for existing dishes, Wagamama is also launching some tasty new Vegan Sticky Ribs made from mushroom and soya protein.
The vegan chilli squid and no duck donburi will only be available for dine-in with the vegan sticky ribs, tofu firecracker and tofu raisukaree all available for dine-in, delivery and click + collect.
During the first lockdown, Wagamama created a free online cooking show called “wok from home” presented by its executive chef Steve Mangleshot. This series was followed during the second lockdown by “wok from home 2”.
With the ongoing coronavirus restrictions, you can still make your favourite Wagamama dishes in the comfort of your own home and hone your pan Asian cooking skills with Steve by tuning in on YouTube or Facebook.