Sticking To Your Vegetarian Diet While Eating Chinese Food

When you have special diet requirements and all your friends want to go out to eat, it can be daunting trying to figure out what exactly you will be able to order for yourself. Many typical restaurants will offer some type of vegetarian options, but when you go to a specialty restaurant, your options may be a bit more narrow. Chinese restaurants offer a wide variety of foods available for all taste buds and typically has meat that includes pork, duck, beef, and chicken. If you are looking for a vegetarian option when you hit up a Chinese restaurant, here are some great mainstream Chinese dishes that work for anyone on a vegetarian diet. 


There are several vegetarian options in Chinese restaurants. You want to be sure that you ask about the ingredients before you order to to ensure there is not meat. Some of these include:

  • Spring Rolls
  • Veggie Dumplings
  • Sesame Noodles
  • Salad with Ginger Dressing


You don’t have to eat light just because you are on a vegetarian diet. There are plenty of dishes to start with before you begin eating your main course. Whether you want vegetable lo mein or fried rice, you can find a starter that will help fill your tummy before your main course. 


The entree is the most important part of the meal. It should help take away your hunger and satisfy your needs. This is where you can really get risky and try some new dishes. If you have a favorite Chinese dish from your pre-vegetarian days, then you can ask the server about substituting the meat with tofu. This allows you to enjoy one of your favorites with a twist. Some popular vegetarian entrees include:

  • Orange Tofu
  • Kung Pao Tofu
  • Sweet and Sour Tofu
  • Sweet and Sour Tofu

The options are endless as long as you are able to substitute tofu in place of the usual meat. This allows you to eat just like the rest of your party. 

Questions to Ask When Ordering

Before you go on an ordering spree, it is always a good idea to inquire about some of the dishes. Even if you think it is meat-free, some of the ingredients could have traces of meat in them. For example, if you plan on ordering a soup with your meal, you should ask whether the stock has any meat in it. A lot of broths are made using beef, pork, and chicken. Sometimes, the meat broth can be substituted for vegetable broth. Additionally, you want to make sure the sauce does not have meat in it. A lot of chefs in Chinese restaurants will use a fish sauce to help add flavor to the dish. By being aware of these things, you can ensure you stay true to your vegetarian diet. Contact a local restaurant, like Lilac Blossom Restaurant, to find out what your options are before you arrive.

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