20 Vegetarian Chinese Food With Its Recipe

VEGETARIAN CHINESE FOOD – Chinese food is full of colors, flavors, and textures that appeal to a wide variety of eaters. While ordering vegetarian Chinese food may seem easy at first glance, it can be tricker than one might anticipate. It’s not just about avoiding General Tsoa’s Chicken and other obviously meat-centric dishes; many Chinese sauces, broths, and condiments contain animal products. To complicate matters further, even some vegetable or mock-meat dishes may be cooked in lard, an animal-based fat.

But once you know what to watch for and what questions to ask, it’s easy to confidently order and enjoy vegetarian Chinese food. After all, Taoism and Buddhism are widely followed in China, both of which adhere to vegetarian lifestyles.

Before getting into a list of usually vegetarian Chinese food to order, I want to preface this by stating if you’re not sure about something, ask. Ask what stock and broths are made from, ask if fish sauce is an ingredient, and ask what kind of oil is used for cooking. If you’re a strict vegetarian, you may also want to ask if vegetable-based dishes like egg rolls are fried in the same oil as meat-based dishes. Once you’ve nailed these basic questions, you can order your vegetarian Chinese food worry-free.

Sesame Noodles


The magic of sesame oil shines atop a heaping bowl of noodles in this popular dish. It’s often also prepared with garlic, sesame paste, vinegar, and sometimes peanut butter and/or chili sauce. It may also be available with tofu and/or veggies.

Sichuan Style Cucumber Salad

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Cucumbers are tossed in a mixture of oil, vinegar, soy sauce, and spices, often including garlic and Sichuan or red pepper flakes.

Vegetable Fried Rice

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A vegetarian Chinese favorite. Fried rice is typically made by stir-frying cooked rice in a wok with eggs and/or vegetables. Ask about the sauces added to flavor the dish. Different places will use different ingredients, so make sure there are no animal-containing sauces like eel or fish sauce added. If you’re vegan, ask for it to be made without eggs.

Steamed Vegetables

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A safe side dish if you’re feeling desperate. Pair steamed veggies with a side of white rice and your vegetarian sauce of choice. It’s not the ideal meal, but it’ll do in a pinch.

Sichuan Fried or Spicy Green Beans

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Green beans are often a side dish available on Chinese menus. If you see a Sichuan Fried or spicy option, give them a whirl. Stir-fried with garlic, ginger, peppercorns, and/or pepper flakes, these are a flavorful addition to a meal and delicious with rice.

Vegetable Stir Fry

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A simple dish, chopped assorted vegetables are cooked in a wok with oil, and usually served with sauce and served with rice. Sauces will vary, so always ask.

Peanuts and Spinach


This is a traditional Chinese vegetarian dish made with peanuts, spinach, and garlic. It may also contain wasabi root depending on the restaurant. A safe and green side dish for your vegetarian feast.

Broccoli and Garlic


A popular side dish found on many menus, broccoli and garlic dishes make broccoli shine with scallions, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, and sometimes pepper. Be sure to double check to make sure they don’t use any pork-based oils or sauces in preparation.

Vegetable Chow Mein

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Steamed or cripsy stir-fried noodles serve as the base in chow mein dishes. Vegetable chow mein is usually accented with a variety of vegetables, and some menus may allow you to add tofu or mock meat.

Kung Pow Tofu

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Crispy tofu and vegetables are stir-fried in a spicy sauce, made with vinegar, ginger, garlic, and Sichuan peppercorns (or other hot spices). Frequently served with rice, this is a satisfying meal if you like it hot.

Chinese Dry Manchurian

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Veg Manchurian, which is one of the most popular Chinese dishes in India, is sold even in roadside food stalls and snack counters these days! This popularity is well-deserved, because the Veg Manchurian does have a zesty charm that captivates anybody who bites into one.

A mixture of crunchy veggies is shaped into balls and deep-fried, and then tossed with an assortment of sauces and flavour enhancers like ginger, green chillies and garlic.

Spring onions are a must in the Veg Manchurian, because it gives an authentic taste and aroma. Although the Veg Manchurian does not taste bad after cooling, we would advice serving it immediately while the flavours are vibrant and the textures are crisp and fresh.

Vegetable Manchuria


When you eat these deep fried vegetable balls in a soya-based sauce, do not let mundane things like the weighing scale bother you! just dig into these deep-fried delights and enjoy every bite!

We all need a good go-to green vegetable side dish to go with any main course, and this stir-fried bok choy recipe is a great candidate. It’s one of the easiest recipes we have on the blog, once you learn a few basics that make your stir-fried veggies stand out from all the others.

For this bok choy recipe, we used the larger variety that you can find at most regular grocery stores. Check out our Chinese vegetables and leafy greens page, where you can get more details on the differences between varieties and other bok choy recipes. This recipe makes a family-size portion, but feel free to cut the recipe in half for fewer people. Always remember that veggies cook down quite a lot, so 2 pounds of raw bok choy isn’t as much as it sounds.

Chilli Baby Corn, Chinese Chilli Baby Corn

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Chilli Baby Corn has become a taken-for-granted starter on most party menus these days. It is also a popular starter at restaurants.

Its crunchy, exciting texture and vibrant flavour make it popular amongst foodies, especially those who love tongue-tickling, spicy stuff.

Batter-coated and deep-fried baby corn is tossed with an assortment of awesome ingredients, which range from crunchy spring onions and pungent garlic to a splash of Oriental sauces.

Make sure the baby corn is not sliced too thin, or you will lose the lovely crunch. Sure to fire up your digestive juices, this starter is a must-try!

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