While Chinese cuisine is known for featuring plenty of meats, it does offer vegan options too and here are some insights to keep in mind.

Vegan Dining
Vegan Dining | Image by Maddi Bazzocco via Unsplash

What to Expect

Interestingly, traditional Chinese cuisine was not dominated by meats and featured dishes with plenty of veggies, tofu and beans that would be eaten with rice. Over time, however, culinary offerings began to include meats, especially pork, that remain well-loved to this day; that said, with a recent shift in focus to healthy eating, vegan and organic food are becoming more popular and can be found in cities like Suzhou. Apartments for rent in the Suzhou Industrial Park such as Ascott Midtown Suzhou make an ideal base from which to head out on foodie adventures to discover vegan delights here.

Regional Culinary Traditions

Different regions in China feature their cuisine traditions; this means that the dishes you sample including vegan ones, will have different preparation methods and flavours depending on where you enjoy them. For example, Cantonese cuisine is usually known for its stir fries and steamed dishes, Fujian cuisine features yummy soups, and Sichuan cuisine offers more spicy creations.

Vegan Food in Rural Areas

Keep in mind when heading out of the cities to more rural areas, the language barrier can prove tricky, especially when in search of vegan food. It’s thus good to know some Chinese phrases, have a guidebook and install a translation app on your smartphone. Keep in mind that temples and monasteries usually offer vegan dishes that are linked with Chinese Buddhist cuisine as do the eateries around such sacred sites.

Vegan Food in Cities

You will normally have an easier time finding vegan food in Chinese cities though there are some things to be mindful of; while certain restaurants may have vegetarian dishes on their menu, ask ahead if any animal fats, meat powders (for flavouring), eggs, or fish are used. Since traditional Chinese food doesn’t usually contain dairy items, this will not be an issue, though finding a specialised vegan restaurant will be an ideal choice.