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Chinese Vegetarian Meals – Wok Your World

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.

But wait….

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

Lemon chicken

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
  • Curry
  • Ginger
  • Scallion
  • Garlic
  • Ground white pepper
  • Whole and crushed dried red chili
  • Cornstarch
  • Coconut milk
  • Sesame oil
  • Rice
  • Noodles
  • Mushroom
  • 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.

Your move

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.

Anne

10 Comments

  1. I totally resonated with your post because this is often ME! Although I do still eat a bit of chicken and fish, I often look for vegetarian options in Chinese restaurants. Except the tofu is usually fried and not always fresh tasting, I usually try to avoid it too. But I like the suggestion of eggs. Lots of vegetables and noodles with a cracked egg is often delicious. I’m going to check out the book offer more since i love Chinese food. Thank you

    • Thanks for your comment Jackie. I am glad that there are good, healthy options available for lovers of Chinese food. Who would have thought that we could prepare these lovely meals at home and not have to depend on Take outs?

  2. I just love the sound of it. Being vegetarian and all. Oftentimes, there might be chaos inside a person’s mind of where to eat next especially when one doesn’t have the appetite for meat. It is great to know that delicious Chinese vegetarian meals can be done at home. Now the struggle of where to eat for the next meal might be entirely
    gone with these food suggestions.

    Thank you so much. This has been a great help especially for those who love to try out new things for a different taste!

    • Thanks Chanan. Glad I could help. I hope you will be able to control the crowds that will be passing through your kitchen when you try out all these new things.

  3. I have been in exactly the situation you describe:-) I used to love going out for Chinese food, but then became a vegetarian. Suddenly there were not so many options on the menu anymore.

    So this is great with some inspiration. Have been a vegetarian for several years by nw, and have had very little Chinese food in that period. Will have a look at the cooking book you recommend and maybe that can get me started again:-)

    Thanks
    Mikael

    • Several years! That’s a long time. Your Chinese food taste buds are crying out in desperation 🙂 . Now that you know that you do not have to depend on “Take Outs” to satisfy this need hop over into the kitchen and give it a try. Give your taste buds a long awaited Chinese treat.

  4. I ate vegan for almost two years and I loved getting Chinese food!

    All the ethnic foods were easy to eat vegan or vegetarian but I really like chinese food.

    My favorite was actually General Tso’s tofu. I never like tofu until I tried that. I think frying it gave it more of a bite to the texture.

    • Hi Jeremy. Thanks for your comment. You have just confirmed the fact that vegetarians and vegans have a wide variety of foods to choose from and ethnic dishes really offer you a lot of choices.

      I see, like me, there was a time when you didn’t like tofu. I still marvel at the fact that something I once detested has become an all time favourite of mine. Have you ever had popcorn tofu? I haven’t made it myself but it is delicious.

  5. Ever since dad became a vegetarian a few years ago, I too have been experimenting with healthier meals. Many people get the impression that they are not delicious, but I am in the opinion that if you know how to cook them, you can actually taste all the natural sweetness from vegetables, mushrooms and even plain white rice.

    I would love to have a look at this recipe book that you recommend. How many dishes are included in it? Thanks.

    • Hi Cathy. Sorry for the late response.  I have been off the grid for a while but I am back now. The Quick and Easy Chinese Vegetarian Cooking Book has everything you need to prepare delicious, mouthwatering Chinese vegetarian foods. It is 275 pages packed not only with numerous recipes but also with instructions into the secrets and techniques of Chinese cooking. I hope you get a chance to check it out and enjoy the delicious fare that you will be able to prepare in your kitchen.

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