Japan’s 100% Vegan Barbecue Short-Ribs Are Now Even More Realistic

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Japanese startup Next Meats has just upgraded the recipe for its vegan short-ribs product to make it even more realistic in taste and texture. The new barbecue or yakiniku-style short-ribs “resembles a sliced beef cut even more” and boasts a higher protein content than the first edition. 

Next Meats, the startup behind the world’s first vegan yakiniku barbecue meat, says it is now releasing the Short-Rib 2.0, the upgraded version of its original alternative to barbecue-style short-ribs. The product has rolled out across Japan on its direct-to-consumer website, before launching in retailers and restaurants nationwide and overseas. 

Short-Rib 2.0

According to Next Meats, the updated product bears a firmer texture than the original edition that first hit shelves last year. Each cut of “beef” is flatter and thinner, with the surface area larger than before and taste upgraded to provide a “closer experience to the flavours of a real Japanese barbecue.”

It is a part of the company’s Next Yakiniku series, a range of products that are designed to be incorporated into Japanese barbecue grilled cuisines and dishes. Next Meats’ products are all made from soy protein and contain no additives. 

The company says the 2.0 version of its vegan short-ribs also boasts a higher protein content, around 5% more than the previous edition. 

Commenting on the launch, co-founder and CEO Ryo Shirai said in a press conference that he is “excited to finally reveal the efforts of a years’ worth or R&D” and hopes that the update will “inspire more people to try Next Meats and eat more plant-based foods”.

Next Meats expansion

After rolling out in Japan, Next Meats will bring its upgraded plant-based short-ribs to its international markets, which include Singapore, Hong Kong, and the US. Its current global footprint spans 9 countries, with the tally set to grow as the company looks to enter even more markets in the months ahead. 

To bolster its production capacity and meet consumer demand, Next Meats recently announced that it is opening a new facility in Niigata, Japan. The renewable solar-powered “one-stop hub” will house its R&D lab as well as manufacturing lines and is slated to be operational by 2022. 

Aside from launching yakiniku-style vegan meats, the company’s range currently includes plant-based chicken, a vegan gyudon beef bowl alternative, as well as Next Egg, its first egg substitute.

All images courtesy of Next Meats.


  • Sally Ho

    Sally Ho is Green Queen's former resident writer and lead reporter. Passionate about the environment, social issues and health, she is always looking into the latest climate stories in Hong Kong and beyond. A long-time vegan, she also hopes to promote healthy and plant-based lifestyle choices in Asia. Sally has a background in Politics and International Relations from her studies at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

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