Thursday, 3 January 2019

I'm starting a new series on my blog titled 'how to vegan', as a way of making meals and takeaways more straightforward to new vegans or those transitioning, and thought as Veganuary is underway this would be the perfect time to begin. Chinese food is one of my all time favourites, and although some of you might be on new year diets and wanting to avoid takeaways, this guide will prove helpful throughout the year anyway. These guides will aim to give some basic pointers as to how to navigate your favourite meals/cuisines as a vegan and make life slightly easier, as well as demonstrating that you can always join in with non-vegan eaters when they order food.

The obvious options: this might be something of a no-brainer, but starting with the basic options that are undoubtedly vegan can get you a pretty substantial offering of choices already (although if you ever are concerned about cross contamination, or where the items are cooked definitely consider contacting the shop before ordering). My ultimate favourites under this category are salt and chilli chips (divine), crispy seaweed and vegetarian mini spring rolls. With a side of curry sauce you've got yourself some tasty options already.

Noodles: this isn't always guaranteed, but it is common for some takeaways to use wheat noodles rather than egg noodles - meaning vegetarian/mushroom chow mein and plain fried noodle dishes are often vegan-friendly. This is one that is often worth checking beforehand, but if you are still concerned simply just switch to fried rice with no egg.

Tofu based dishes: not all takeaways offer tofu based dishes, but where they do, it is delicious. It is deep fried so the classic tofu texture is usually not there at all, and can be found in a variety of styles - black bean, curry, or salt and chilli to name a few (which of course is my favourite, pairing nicely with the chips). If you are struggling to find tofu on the menu, look for deep fried 'bean curd' instead - it's just another name for it, and will probably be under the vegetarian options. If all else fails, a vegetable or mushroom curry could do the trick for your main dish.

Veggie specialised takeaways: this is one for those who predominantly live in bigger cities, as in my small home town this isn't an option, but if you're lucky some Chinese takeaways actually specialise in vegetarian options, offering a selection of mock meats in classic Chinese dishes meaning the options are endless and nothing is missed out on. However, if you don't have access to this, I'm sure this post has demonstrated that it is always possible to create a substantial meal just by looking around the menu a bit more.

So, that's the first 'how to vegan' guide dealt with, if there's any particular meals, restaurants or cuisines you would like to see next, leave some recommendations in the comments for inspiration and I'll try and give those a go, especially if you need help during veganuary!

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