Is Chinese Vegetarian Meals an option in your daily life? It is for some, but you, like many others, might be having a totally different experience.
Your experience might be as follows.
Its been a long day. Everybody drags themselves into the house, tired and hungry.
Hungry!!! There is no ready food. Who is going to cook?
Well we all know the answer to that. Nobody.
If you are like me, the last thing you want to do when you are starving (not literally) is to cook. All you want to do at that time is eat.
So what’s the solution? Like a well rehearsed chorus comes the reply….
Chinese Take Out
I don’t know what is it about Chinese food but it is such a popular and well loved food whether it is take out or sit down in a restaurant. There is just something about the taste that always has us asking for more and it seems no matter where in the world you are you can always find Chinese food.
That was then. Things have changed since those years of Chinese Take Out. You are now a vegetarian. Is that lovely Chinese flavor gone forever or is there hope that you will once again be able to enjoy vegetarian cuisine with that lovely Chinese taste.
Chinese Vegetarian Meals…….
Does that really exist?
I wouldn’t be surprised if you are skeptical. After all, almost all the Chinese food that we encounter has meat in it. We really don’t see many vegetarian options. If your experience is anything like mine, this is what you would encounter:
So off you go to a Chinese restaurant with your friends. They have no problem finding what they want to eat but you are combing the menu trying to find something for yourself. After all, you certainly don’t want to sit and watch your friends eat while you sip water.
So there you are, peering at the menu trying hard to find a vegetarian option.
Beef Chop Suey
Chicken Fried Rice
Sweet & Sour Chicken Balls
Chicken Chop Suey
Sweet & Sour Spareribs
Pineapple Sliced Chicken
Chicken with Mixed Vegetables
Honey Garlic Spareribs
Beef with Green Peppers
Fried Tofu with Vegetables….
Yes! Finally. You are saved. You can put the water glass away and join in on the eating.
On another occasion, maybe on one of your tired and lazy evenings you try to order take out.
The person on the other end of the phone is quite pleasant and is trying their best to assist you.
Well today we have;
General Tao’s Chicken
Kung Pao Chicken with Peanuts
Sweet & Sour Hong Kong Chicken with Pineapple
Deep Fried Chicken Wings
Beef with Black Bean Sauce
Diced Chicken & Vegetables with Almonds
Beef with Curry Sauce
Sliced Chicken with Broccoli
Mushroom Fried Rice*
Spicy Fried Tofu*
Oh joy! Two vegetarian options……….. in the midst of numerous meat options.
It is starting to become quite a challenge ordering Chinese food. You are not so excited about Chinese Take Out anymore. Not because you no longer like the food. You actually miss the taste. Its just that it is so hard to find enough options to choose from.
I remember I used to visit a favorite Take Out quite often but after buying stir fry vegetables and steamed tofu for the hundredth time I gave up and stopped going there…………..Well it wasn’t actually a hundred times but it felt like it.
Sometimes even when the meal looks like it might be a vegetarian option there are bits of meat tossed in. So where does that leave us? Here is the answer……..
Cook your Chinese vegetarian meals at home.
Yes. You can do it.
Just stock up on some basic ingredients needed for chinese cooking.
- Soy sauce
- Rice vinegar
- Chili sauce
- Ground white pepper
- Whole and crushed dried red chili
- Coconut milk
- Sesame oil
- Bamboo shoots
- Water chestnut
With your pantry stocked with these basic ingredients, you can whip up delightful tasting chinese cuisine in no time. Just add your various vegetables and meat alternatives and utilize some of the common methods used in chinese cooking.
- Stir frying – quick and easy.
- Steaming – considered the healthiest way to cook as nutrients are retained.
- Boiling – preserves color, shape and texture of food. Used a lot for soup making.
- Roasting – produces lovely, caramelized roasted vegetables.
- Deep frying -when you want a crispy texture.
It’s not as difficult as you think. With just these basic ingredients and utilizing these cooking techniques you are well on your way to creating lots and lots of chinese vegetarian meal options for you and your family. No longer do you need to be scrolling down long menus, trying to find even one vegetarian option. You will now have several options to choose from.
Do you need a Wok?
You might get seriously hooked on cooking chinese food so might consider getting yourself a wok. While it is not a necessity (and you can certainly cook chinese food without it), it is one very versatile piece of equipment which will make your cooking easier. You can do just about everything in a wok; stewing, steaming, boiling, deep-frying, stir-frying, soups……you name it.
It distributes heat more evenly, requires less oil, and ensures that food tossed during stir-frying lands back in the pan and doesn’t go flying all over the stove.
So are you up to this culinary adventure? You can do it. Grab your wok, cook up a storm and enjoy lovely Chinese Vegetarian Cuisine.
Do you want to expand your options even further?
Then try these Chinese vegetarian recipes and cook up dishes that will make your taste buds dance with excitement.
You are probably going to need put a plan in place to deal with your friends and neighbors who somehow will all start visiting you just about dinner time.