our ingredients

We are a crusading, full-steam ahead, fast-restaurant & grocery company, creating quality East Asian goodness. The itsu menu is health[ier], it’s exciting, modern and only occasionally indulgent.

We have a dedicated sourcing team that travel across the world to find the most nutritious, vibrant and sustainable ingredients possible.

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our kitchen [& yours]

We’ve been doing our best to avoid & eradicate food additives. Fortunately, we’ve made good headway because every itsu has its own kitchen. Wherever possible we use the same ingredients you have at home.

Ultra-processed ingredients [UPIs], and many strange sounding chemicals found in food nowadays are thought to be bad for our health, at the very least they mess with our digestive system, and some studies suggest our brains too.  Chemicals are used to enhance the look, taste and texture of food, extend shelf life and often reduce costs.

There are, in truth, hundreds of additives available which manufacturers add to food, some are worse than others; long-life ready meals commonly deploy up to 30 examples.

our commitments

This year, 2024, we defined what ingredients are acceptable and unacceptable when creating itsu recipes, and why.

Our food teams, technologists and nutritionists worked together to grade processed ingredients which go into itsu dishes [both restaurant and grocery] into 4 categories: acceptable, banned, remove by June 2025, and work to eradicate.

Our restaurants sell some non-itsu branded drinks and snacks e.g. sriracha sauce, aloe water and coke - we don’t have control over their recipes, so we haven’t included them below.



Every morning your local fishpro takes delivery of fresh sashimi-grade salmon fillets [on ice]. They then slice exactly 9 grams of salmon for nigiri, 15 grams for sashimi and the size of a 5p piece for salmon maki rolls. itsu salmon comes from Scotland and the crystal-clear waters of the Norwegian Fjords. We work with one of the world’s leading seafood companies - ranked #1 on sustainability [Coller FAIRR].



After years of searching for the perfect prawns, we’ve finally landed on 5XL ebi jumbo sushi prawns. They are the biggest on the market, and are sustainably farmed, with visibility from farm to fish'pro. For itsu [grocery], we will only use sustainable and responsibly sourced prawns in our products. 


UK's no.1 gyoza

Our signature gourmet chicken gyoza, affectionately known as 'chicken gyoza no.74' [the 73 recipes that came before it were delicious, but it took 74 versions to crack it] as well as delicious noodles, fresh greens & our brilliant'broth.



All our chargrilled chicken used across our restaurants in salads, rice & noodle dishes is sourced from independently assured British farms and for us, Red Tractor Assurance is a minimum standard.

All the chicken used across our itsu [grocery] products, including the gyoza & bao sold in our restaurant, is reared in line with EU legislation.

We, at itsu, approve all of our chicken suppliers and processing kitchens, whether in the UK, Europe or Asia. We take this responsibility seriously. Rebecca, our animal welfare specialist, takes the high standards itsu demands for our customers and carries out multiple checks and measures. 

The steamed chicken in our gyoza and crispy chicken comes from EU farms that are either certified to an itsu recognised farm assurance scheme or have received a welfare audit by us. 

Chicken in our bao buns is reared on farms local to where the bao buns are created, filled and frozen meaning they don’t have to travel very far. We have visited this farm multiple times and we will continue to do so. Freezing lamb in New Zealand, or beef in Argentina and shipping it frozen to the UK has long been good practice. The same applies to chicken in our bao kitchen in China.

With animal welfare, we believe that every animal deserves to have a “life worth living” by making sure they have positive experiences across their nutrition, environment, health, behaviour and mental state. 

We're also committed to working towards even higher welfare standards by signing up to the Better Chicken Commitment for all itsu restaurants as well as across our supermarket products. Please see below to learn more about our Better Chicken Commitment journey.

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chicken big'bao

itsu chicken big'bao won an esteemed Great Taste Award in 2022. As part of itsu's quality control process, our technical department have worked closely with our partners in Shandong, making sure that they operate to the highest possible standards of quality. Their purpose built, state of the art bao production facility [which we like to call our “bao kitchen”] recently received an A+ grade in its latest BRCGS audit, which means that they always operate to exceptionally high standards.

For more on itsu's chicken welfare commitments, see here.



Our brown wholegrain [hot] rice is grown and milled in Spain. It is carefully selected and scrutinised for its delicious nutty texture and high fibre content. Our premium sushi rice is checked, washed and cooked to perfection under the watchful eyes of our highly skilled team members. 


14 different vegetables

A blend of 14 different greens, herbs and aromatics all packed full of nutrition. Always British and adjusted seasonally for maximum quality throughout the year.


petit pois

Our Belgian suppliers collect rainwater that falls on their factory roof then treat it and use it  to clean the factories & fill condensers. It's then purified and pumped into an irrigation network allowing local growers to water their vegetable crops. The majority remains in the wetlands providing habitat for over 200 species of birds.



Sourced direct from South East Asia adding a subtle, unmistakably Asian flavour, nori is used in many of our most-popular dishes. Incredibly nutrient-rich and a source of vitamin B12, protein and iodine.


green beans & avo

Our green beans are steamed [never fried] every day in each of our shops to lock in flavour and nutrients. For avocados, we use the highest quality Haas variety and only accept perfectly ripe fruits for our delicious salads and maki.


soy sauce

Brewed for us in Japan by Toshio and his family, he follows the ancient proverb of ‘onko-chishin’, which means ‘to move ahead by learning from the past’ his recipe has changed very little in over 2000 years.

At itsu we are aware of the accelerating concerns surrounding the production of soy and the impacts on the environment, particularly the conversion of natural habitats resulting in deforestation. In response to this we have ensured that all of our soy based primary ingredients from high-risk areas are certified as being produced in deforestation and conversion free zones. This includes soy from Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and other South American countries. 


miso broth

Our miso broths are made using authentic paste, never powder. Japan’s food entrepreneur Yoshihiro Hayashi cooks the miso with herbs and spices in the stunning Nagano valley.



We use mirin rice wine in our incredibly popular teriyaki dressing for sweetness and depth and, unlike many other teriyaki sauces, we add fresh ginger for warmth and complexity of finish.

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palm oil

We will not actively avoid or remove palm oil from our products as we recognise the yield benefits and efficiency of palm oil production in comparison to other oils. We commit to only use palm oil that is certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil [RSPO] in our products going forward. 

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We recognise the environmental and social impact that cocoa production has. 100% of cocoa and cocoa derived ingredients in itsu [grocery] products are sustainably sourced and certified by Rainforest Alliance.