Vegetarian-Friendly Food You Can Get in Chinese Restaurants

Explore a variety of meat-free dishes perfect for vegetarians. From tofu delights to veggie stir-fries, find your next tasty meal without compromising your dietary preferences.

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Sonia Dadhich is Content Writer at All Eat Online Takeaway platform with more than 2 years of professional writing experience. She has helped us achieve our goals and connect with our audience. As a passionate foodie, Sonia Dadhich loves to share food-related content, and enjoys sharing her knowledge and insights with others through platforms such as Instagram, Quora and Medium.

Chinese cuisine holds a special place as one of the most beloved takeaway options worldwide. However, there exists a common misconception that it exclusively caters to the tastes of non-vegetarians. Well, you’ll be delighted to know that Chinese food is as popular among vegetarians as meat lovers. What adds to the charm is the remarkable versatility of Chinese culinary traditions, allowing for seamless customization of dishes to suit vegetarian preferences.

It is worth mentioning that Chinese food has an extensive array of mouthwatering vegetarian options to please every palate. Chinese dishes beautifully balances textures, flavours, and ingredients to create dishes that appeal to all tastes. Whether you’re a dedicated vegetarian or just looking to explore meatless options, Chinese restaurants have got you covered. 

Here’s a sneak peek at some of the vegetarian dishes you can order from a Chinese takeaway-

  • Sticky Rice Wrapped in Lotus Leaves – A fragrant dim sum made by steaming glutinous rice with veggies, tofu and mushrooms inside lotus leaves.
  • Kung Pao “Chicken” (Vegan Version)- A vegan twist on the Sichuan classic, featuring tofu or seitan stir-fried with peanuts, chilli peppers, and a spicy, savoury sauce.
  • Moo Shu Vegetables- A Northern Chinese stir-fry dish with mushrooms, cabbage, and bamboo shoots, served with thin pancakes and hoisin sauce.
  • Sweet and Sour Tofu- Crispy tofu cubes coated in a tangy, sweet sauce made from vinegar, sugar, ketchup, and soy sauce.
  • Vegetarian Hot and Sour Soup- A comforting, spicy soup filled with tofu and a medley of vegetables, seasoned with vinegar and spices for that tantalising flavour.
  • Vegetable Spring Rolls – A famous Chinese appetiser, spring rolls are crispy flour rolls stuffed with a delightful mix of vegetables, perfect for dipping in sweet and savoury sauces.
  • Steamed Vegetable Dumplings – Delicate parcels filled with finely chopped vegetables, served with a dipping sauce that adds a burst of flavours in your mouth.
  • Mapo Tofu: Mapo Tofu is a spicy Sichuan dish made with soft tofu cubes, minced or ground meat (in this case, vegetarian meat substitutes like soy or mushrooms), and a fiery chilli bean sauce. It’s known for its numbing heat and savoury flavours.
  • Vegan Chicken – Szechuan-style vegan chicken is a flavorful dish featuring tender eggplant slices stir-fried in a spicy, aromatic sauce made from Sichuan peppercorns, garlic, ginger, and soy sauce. It’s a delightful combination of sweet and spicy.
  • Buddha’s Delight (Lo Han Jai) – Also known as Lo Han Jai, this vegetarian dish is a medley of various vegetables, tofu, mushrooms, and sometimes noodles, all cooked in a savoury sauce. It’s traditionally enjoyed during Chinese festivals.
  • Stir-fried Sheng Jian Bao –  Sheng Jian Bao are pan-fried dumplings with a crispy bottom and a tender, steamed top. The filling can be a mixture of vegetables, tofu, and sometimes mushrooms, creating a delightful contrast of textures.
  • Braised Tofu with Vegetables – This dish typically consists of tofu and an assortment of vegetables, all simmered in a savoury sauce. It’s a comforting and wholesome option for vegetarians.
  • Spicy eggplant – Eggplant slices stir-fried in a spicy and garlicky sauce, often with a touch of sweetness. It’s a popular choice for those who enjoy the bold & spicy flavours of Chinese cuisine.

In the world of Chinese cuisine, being a vegetarian doesn’t mean missing out on the culinary delights. The Chinese menu is full of vegetarian-friendly dishes that showcase the diversity and richness of this ancient cuisine. So, next time you’re dining out or ordering a takeaway near you, make sure you savour the vegetarian Chinese dishes which are as delightful as the rest of the Chinese cuisine. 

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