Re: Vegan?

Date: 2011-07-04 08:32 am (UTC)
Whilst much of Chinese food isn't particularly vegan, I would say that vegan food is arguably more prevalent in Chinese cuisine than western cuisine. Whilst the Chinese term, zhaicai 齋菜, is usually taken to mean Buddhist vegetarian food, much (if not all) of this is vegan, as the Chinese don't tend to use dairy in their cooking. Moreover, any seasonings and such like made from animal/aquatic products e.g. oyster sauce can be easily substituted.

My Gran was a devout Buddhist, and she stuck to a strict vegan diet. She was in a minority, but one that is larger than you might imagine. Moreover, zhaicai 齋菜 is traditionally served on the first day of the Chinese New Year - a tradition that was upheld when I was little with dishes like lo hon zhai 羅漢菜

PS: I must admit I was a little terror when little, and my Dad slipped me some meat on the sly on CNY to stop me whining.
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