In this blog post, we will answer the following question: What Can Vegans eat from Chinese takeaway? We will give you over 23 options of vegan Chinese dishes that you can either order to takeaway or cook them at home!
What Can Vegans eat from Chinese takeaway?
There are many tasty Chinese dishes that vegans can enjoy too. Among the most common are:
- Sauteed lettuce
- Lima beans with lily bulbs
- Lily bulbs with Pakchoi
- Bean sprouts
- Stewed aubergines in brown sauce
- Sauteed lettuce
- Sauteed mushrooms
- Oyster Sauce with Bok Choy and Mushrooms
- Lotus root with green pepper
- Fried Tofu with Peanuts and Red Pepper
- Dry tofu
Vegetarian and vegan food is widely available in China
Vegan food is common in China, although vegetarianism is only practiced by a relatively small fraction of the population. Especially in the countryside, the emphasis on fresh vegetables makes Chinese cuisine perfect for vegetarians. The mainstays of Chinese cuisine, noodles, rice, tofu, and vegetables are fine for vegetarians.
Below you will find 23 Chinese vegan dishes and their pronunciation in Chinese:
|fried spicy vegetarian beef||xiāng là sù niúròu||Tsshyang laa soo nyoh-roh||香辣素牛肉|
|vegetarian sweet and sour spare ribs||Tù chǎo tángcù páigǔ||soo chaoww tung-tsoo peye-goo||素炒糖醋排骨|
|vegetarian ham||sù huǒtuǐ||Tsoo hwor-tway||素火腿|
|vegetarian ants climb tree (vermicelli with spicy silk noodles)||sù mǎyǐ shàng shù||soo maa-ee shung shool||素蚂蚁上树|
|vegetarian drumstick with Western gravy||xizhī sù jītuǐ||sshee-jrr soo jee tway||西汁素鸡腿|
|crispy roast duck||cuì pí shāoyā||tsway pee kaoww-yaa||脆皮烧鸭|
|Luojiang fried bean duck||luōjiāng dòu yā||lwor-jyang doh yaa||罗江豆鸭|
|fried vegetarian crab meat||chǎo sù xièfěn||chaoww soo sshyeah-fnn||炒素蟹粉|
|seven-color shitake mushrooms||qícái xiānggū||chee tseye sshyang-goo||七彩香菇|
|fried pickled cabbage and bean sprouts||xuěcài chǎo dòuyá||sshwair-tseye chaoww doh-yaa||雪菜炒豆芽|
|cucumber and crushed garlic||Pāi huángguā||peye-hwung-gwaa||拍黄瓜|
|crispy tofu skin||cuìpí dòufu||tsway-pee doh-foo||脆皮豆腐|
|mixed salad with Chinese dressing||dàbàncài||aaa-ban-tseye||大拌菜|
|home-style tofu||jācháng dòufu||Jjaa-chaang doh-foo||家常豆腐|
|spicy tofu||málà dòufu||maa-laa doh-foo||麻辣豆腐|
|eggplant with peppers and potato||dìsānxiān||dee-san-sshyen||地三鲜|
|hand-torn fried cabbage with chili||shǒusī yuánbáicài||shoh-srr ywen-beye-tseye||手撕圆白菜|
|stir-fried celery and lily bulbs||xīqín bǎihé||sshee-chin beye-her||西芹百合|
|flash-fried broccoli||báizhuó xīlánhuā||beye-jwor sshee-lan-hwaa||白灼西兰花|
|needle mushrooms with cucumber||jīnzhēngū huángguā||jin-jnng-goo hwung-gwa||金针菇黄瓜|
|spinach fried with garlic||suànní bōcài||swann-nee bor-tseye||蒜泥菠菜|
|sauteed cabbage with mushrooms||xiānggū yóucài||sshyang-goo yoh-tseye||香菇油菜|
|fried egg with tomato||xīhóngshì chǎodàn||sshyee-hong-shrr chaow-dan||西红柿炒蛋|
Chinese vegetarian food
In addition to a wide variety of vegetables, Chinese vegetarian food often uses tofu (soft or dry bean curd), nuts, mushrooms, and aquatic plants as ingredients.
Interestingly, you will often find dishes that look like meat or seafood (as in the photo, which shows a completely vegetarian dish, believe it or not). For example, in fried fried oysters, the pieces of tofu puree are shaped like an oyster.
In addition to good taste, Chinese vegetarian food emphasizes appearance, displaying a harmonious balance of colors and textures, as well as flavors. This is especially true for vegetarian restaurants that are associated with Buddhist temples or institutions and may surprise a Western vegetarian.
How to order vegetarian food in a Chinese restaurant
Although it is not difficult to find vegetarian food in China on a menu if you speak the Chinese language, the language barrier can cause some confusion.
Many dishes that have meat can also be prepared without meat. All you have to say to the waiter is what exactly you don’t eat. The best restaurants, especially, will have no problem leaving meat off their plate to suit your preferences.
You need to be clear and specific when telling the waiter what you don’t eat, as their understanding of vegetarian dishes may not be the same as yours. For example, they may think that you just don’t eat meat, but things like eggs or honey are fine.
Vegans and vegetarians can find difficulties in new and unfamiliar countries. China may seem like a challenge in this regard. However, it can be a lot easier than most people think.
Given food shortages, China in the past saw meat as a rarity and ate it at every opportunity. Given the scarcity, restaurants in those days tended to have a wide variety of vegetables rather than meat dishes. That changed with the development of China, but recently there has been a reversal as living standards have risen and people seek healthier lifestyles.
As a consequence, whole meat dishes are no longer considered acceptable. In fact, when people once complained about the absence of meat, now complaints are more likely to arise if a meal is short of vegetables.
If you have any questions or comments on the content, please let us know!