Popular Chinese vegetarian dishes can be prepared by cooking vegetables such as beans, mushrooms, bamboo shoots, seaweeds, carrots, corn, green pepper, and wheat. Chinese dishes are colorful and healthy at the same time, and best when prepared with garden fresh vegetables. In China, grand meals are prepared for ceremonies and special occasions, such as the Chinese New Year, which is celebrated for five days in China and traditionally follows the lunar calendar. The Chinese dishes that we are familiar with today are foods adapted to suit the American pallet, and are quite different from traditional style cuisine.
Popular Chinese vegetarian recipes
Here are some of the most popular vegetarian Chinese dishes, which are delicious, healthy, easy to prepare, and ones that everyone will like. These are also quick and cheap.
1. Peanut-sesame cold noodle
This is a cold noodle dish, popular in Sichuan Province in China. It’s made with chili, peppercorns, and lots of spices that numb your pallets (Ma La).
For peanut dressing
- 1/3 cup warm water
- 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons chopped peeled fresh ginger
- 1 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
- 1 ½ tablespoons Asian sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
- 1 medium garlic clove, chopped
For noodle salad
- 3/4 lb. dried linguine fini or spaghetti
- 4 scallions, thinly sliced
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/8-inch-thick strips
- 1 yellow bell pepper, cut into 1/8-inch-thick strips
- 3 tablespoons sesame seeds (toasted)
Pour all dressing ingredients into a blender and blend for 2 minutes or until smooth.
Add 6-8 quarts of water in a saucepan and add one tablespoon of salt for every quart of water. Boil pasta until tender. Drain well in a colander and rinse with cold water.
Add pasta, bell peppers, scallions, and sesame seeds to dressing. Toss it to combine, and serve immediately.
This makes a low-fat, low-sodium, delicious meal, with 19 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber.
Chinese hot and sour soup
This is an authentic Chinese dish that is also curative, often prescribed by ancient Chinese doctors. It has the healing power of chicken broth, which is often prescribed as a remedy for the common cold and fever. The tree fungus and lily buds enhance circulation, and work with the antiseptic powers of vinegar. Adding chili and freshly ground white pepper makes this dish hot and spicy.
- 5 ounces boneless pork loin, cut into 1/4-inch-thick strips (2/3 cup)
- 4 oz tofu cake, rinsed and drained, then cut into 1/4-inch-thick strips
- 2 large eggs (beaten)
- 12 small dried tree ear mushrooms
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 4 small Chinese dried black mushrooms
- 2 tablespoons fresh whole cilantro leaves
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons dark soy sauce
- 12 dried lily buds
- 1/2 cup sliced bamboo shoots, cut length-wise into 1/8-inch-wide strips
- 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar (not seasoned)
- 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons peanut oil
- 4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 2 teaspoons Asian sesame oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground white pepper
- 2 tablespoons thinly sliced scallion greens
Soak mushrooms in 3 cups of boiling water for 30 minutes. Cut and discard stems. Squeeze excess liquid from caps into bowl and thinly slice caps. Remove tree ears from bowl, reserving liquid, and trim off any hard nubs. In a small bowl, stir together 1/4 cup liquid from soaking mushroom, with cornstarch and set aside.
Soak lily buds in 1 cup warm water for about 20 minutes, then drain. Trim off tough tips of lily buds. Shred lily buds in half cross-wise, then tear each half length-wise into 2 or 3.
Toss pork with dark soy sauce in a bowl until pork is well coated. Cover bamboo shoots with cold water by 2 inches in a small saucepan, then just bring to a boil and drain in a sieve. Stir together vinegars, light soy sauce, sugar, and salt in another small bowl.
Heat a wok over high heat and pour peanut oil down the side of wok, and then swirl oil, tilting to coat sides. Add pork and stir-fry until the meat just changes color, about 1 minute, then add black mushrooms, tree ears, lily buds, and bamboo shoots and stir-fry 1 minute.
Add broth and bring to a boil, then add tofu. Return to a boil and add vinegar mixture. Stir cornstarch mixture, then add to broth, return to a boil, and while stirring, the liquid will thicken, and then reduce the heat to moderate and simmer for 1 minute.
Add the beaten egg slowly, while stirring in one direction. Add the green onion and the white pepper to taste.
To learn more about the benefits of Chinese food, please join us at our next bi-weekly huddle webinar. We are delighted to have Giuseppe La Manna as our next webinar guest. He will share his knowledge and life experiences with us.
Source: Nourish the Planet
Recipe credits: epicurious.com