No, I’m not talking about sushi or sashimi. I’m talking raw vegan food – unprocessed, uncooked raw foods derived from plants that haven’t been heated above 46 Celsius. That means nothing is actually baked, steamed, fried, or technically, cooked – no baked bread, no cooked rice, no processed pasta. The raw food diet consists mostly of vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and “sprouted” grains – grains that have been steeped in water long enough to soften them.

One would think that not having to cook food would make it easy to prepare but “cooking” raw food is often time-consuming and requires endless creativity to produce a satisfying meal.

The benefits? Raw foodists swear their lifestyle provides more energy, weight loss, better skin and overall better health.

While I won’t be joining the raw food lifestyle anytime soon (unless it includes raw fish and semi-raw red meat), curious Tokyoites can check out the fare at Manna, a recently opened raw vegan restaurant in Daikanyama.

– Deb