What Can Vegans eat from Chinese takeaway? (23+ options)

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 beefxiāng là sù niúròuTsshyang laa soo nyoh-roh香辣素牛肉
vegetarian sweet and sour spare ribsTù chǎo tángcù páigǔsoo chaoww tung-tsoo peye-goo素炒糖醋排骨
vegetarian hamsù huǒtuǐTsoo hwor-tway素火腿
vegetarian ants climb tree (vermicelli with spicy silk noodles)sù mǎyǐ shàng shùsoo maa-ee shung shool素蚂蚁上树
vegetarian drumstick with Western gravyxizhī sù jītuǐsshee-jrr soo jee tway西汁素鸡腿
crispy roast duckcuì pí shāoyātsway pee kaoww-yaa脆皮烧鸭
Luojiang fried bean duckluōjiāng dòu yālwor-jyang doh yaa罗江豆鸭
fried vegetarian crab meatchǎo sù xièfěnchaoww soo sshyeah-fnn炒素蟹粉
seven-color shitake mushroomsqícái xiānggūchee tseye sshyang-goo七彩香菇
fried pickled cabbage and bean sproutsxuěcài chǎo dòuyásshwair-tseye chaoww doh-yaa雪菜炒豆芽
cucumber and crushed garlicPāi huángguāpeye-hwung-gwaa拍黄瓜
crispy tofu skincuìpí dòufutsway-pee doh-foo脆皮豆腐
mixed salad with Chinese dressingdàbàncàiaaa-ban-tseye大拌菜
home-style tofujācháng dòufuJjaa-chaang doh-foo家常豆腐
spicy tofumálà dòufumaa-laa doh-foo麻辣豆腐
eggplant with peppers and potatodìsānxiāndee-san-sshyen地三鲜
hand-torn fried cabbage with chilishǒusī yuánbáicàishoh-srr ywen-beye-tseye手撕圆白菜
stir-fried celery and lily bulbsxīqín bǎihésshee-chin beye-her西芹百合
flash-fried broccolibáizhuó xīlánhuābeye-jwor sshee-lan-hwaa白灼西兰花
needle mushrooms with cucumberjīnzhēngū huángguājin-jnng-goo hwung-gwa金针菇黄瓜
spinach fried with garlicsuànní bōcàiswann-nee bor-tseye蒜泥菠菜
sauteed cabbage with mushroomsxiānggū yóucàisshyang-goo yoh-tseye香菇油菜
fried egg with tomatoxīhóngshì chǎodànsshyee-hong-shrr chaow-dan西红柿炒蛋

Other FAQs about Vegans which you may be interested in.

Can vegans eat yeast?

Can vegans eat tofu?

Can vegans drink tea?

Can omega 3 be vegan?

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. If you want to, you can keep Chinese takeaway in the fridge.

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!