Are vegetarian chinese dishes vegan?

Vegans may have problems ordering Chinese vegan dishes because the terms vegetarian and vegan are used imprecisely and sometimes interchangeably in the Chinese language. A common assumption is that Chinese vegetarian dishes are also vegan because the foods do not contain animal products. These are steamed rice rolls, with many options for filling, although they can also be eaten without filling. Top vegan options include Ja Leung (), which is a fried dough bar wrapped in the classic Cheung Fun roll.

The dough stick, essentially a savory donut, is crispy and chewy, which contrasts well with the silky Cheung Fun. The rolls are then drizzled with slightly sweet soy sauce and topped with fresh chopped scallions. Now that you know what to look for and how to order, let's move on to food. Chinese restaurants have a lot of dishes focusing on vegetables on the menu.

More and more establishments offer vegetarian and vegan options that are clearly marked on the menu, while some places have completely separate menus for vegan dishes. Many places are willing to allow you to replace the meat in any dish with tofu or seitan, but once again, you should check the ingredients in the rest of the dish, including the sauce. Here are some veggie-friendly options you can order. Remember that the following suggestions may be cooked differently from restaurant to restaurant, so you should ask for the ingredients to determine if they meet your vegetarian or vegan requirements.

Like most Sichuan dishes, the flavors revolve around chili peppers, Chinese black vinegar, sesame and garlic. After making the decision to become vegan, Hannah Che nearly cried when she visited vegetarian restaurants in China. These products are primarily for non-vegetarians who are only trying to reduce their intake of animal products. In Chinese culture, dishes can be very symbolic: chicken or fish can represent prosperity or good luck.

The sauce is simple, based on Chinese black vinegar for the most part, and is improved with soy sauce and garlic. Many restaurants use chicken stock or fish stock in most of their sauces and soups, including tofu and vegetable dishes and vegetable soups. The author of the cookbook explains to us what she asks for in Chinese restaurants, in addition to the only kitchen tool you need to make the plants shine. Originally from the province of Shandong, this dish includes potatoes, peppers and eggplants, so its name translates as “three treasures of the earth”.

China is one of the largest countries in the world and offers a wide range of cuisines and diverse dishes. A far cry from Western salads, this dish includes black mushrooms mixed with a spicy sauce that tickles your mouth. From Sichuan food to Shanghai food, there are plenty of inherently plant-based dishes in these regional cuisines. Once you do, you can go out to eat Chinese food with all your friends and focus on having a good time and enjoying a delicious meal.

In fact, using the general term Chinese cuisine is a bit misleading, as each province brings its own unique flavors and unique foods.

Tristan Gagliardo
Tristan Gagliardo

Proud social media ninja. Bacon expert. Unapologetic gamer. Proud zombie nerd. Freelance pop culture scholar.

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