Videos about vegetarian, China

Vegan and vegetarian dining in China 中国

All restaurants will have dishes to cater for vegans and vegetarians but to be certain there's no trace of meat or meat oil or egg in your food, head to a specialized vegetarian restaurant. There are quite a few in all major cities but you'll need to look them up on the net. Some of these are run by devotees, some exist to cater to Buddhist people. Some have 'meat substitutes', such as vegetable based chicken, duck, prawns, etc., made from things like bean curd and mushroom, and are remarkably good.

In these films, Nadine shows us some of what you can eat in BeiJing ...

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Hot tip : A great dish you can get at many restaurants is Di San Xian 地三鮮 (literally, '3 things from the earth') - stir fried potato, aubergine (egg-plant) and green pepper. Mildly spicy, filling, comforting and delicious; a great choice for anyone.

Bonus film - a wander through BeiJing and a trip to the Great Wall of China (GuBeiKou and SiMaTai) ...

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Plus, some vegetarian Chinese recipes ...

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Food in Beijing

Beijing is a food lover's heaven! As you would expect in such a large and varied country, there are many regional cuisines - and you can find them all in Beijing, plus Korean, Japanese, Thai and Western dishes.


HotPot


Hot Pot is a varied and interesting 'cook by yourself' experience. You choose what to eat and the ingredients are prepared and arrive ready to cook. The common ingredients are meat (mutton, chicken, beef) and fish, plus various types of Tofu, mushrooms, eggs, noodles and many kinds of vegetable. These are cooked in a 'soup' that is heated by gas, electricity or flame.


Meat is prepared by being thinly sliced while frozen. When added to the gently bubbling soup, it cooks in about 30 seconds. Leafy vegetables and thread noodles cook even quicker. However, starchy vegetables, such as potato and yam slices, need a few minutes. Tofu and mushrooms perhaps 2 minutes or so.


Hot Pot comes in basically two styles - Sichuan and Mongolian. Both are commonly found in Beijing.


Sichuan hotpot involves a sesame paste 'dip' made from ground sesame seeds (paste) and sesame oil. Other dip types are sometimes available. The sesame dip is often topped with coriander. Other condiments are also usually available, including garlic, spring onion and chilli oil, to add either to the soup or dip.


Barbecue Restaurants


Similar to Hot Pot restaurants in the sense that you order the ingredients and cook them yourself - in this case by barbecue grill. One would normally order condiments and side dishes also.


'Small Eats' Restaurants


These informal cafe restaurants have a wide range of not so small (!), cheap and quickly prepared dishes, featuring a large range of staples. Look for the red and white sign as shown above.


The Chengdu and Sichuan versions are particularly good; the dishes are not all hot and even the spicy ones are not too hot in Beijing. Many dishes come with or without rice. Noodle soup dishes are many people's favorite, as is Kung Po chicken - boneless chicken pieces in a slightly spicy sauce with peanuts, spring onion and cucumber. Another popular, spicy dish is Mapo Dofu - soft tofu beancurd with minced pork in a rich sauce. Anothe is DiSanXian - eggplant, peppers and potato. And egg with tomato or peppers.


Roast Duck


Beijing's most well-known contribution to the world of gastronomy is its delicious, and incredibly moreish, Beijing Duck.


After being marinaded in a mysterious deep-red sauce, ducks are roasted directly over flames stoked by fruit-tree wood until crisp, then sliced thinly and served with small pancakes with a black bean sauce, cucumber and spring onion.


The QuanJuDe (which has branches in Qianmen, Hepingmen or Wangfujing) and BianYiFang dishes among the most popular variations, each using a different method of preparation, spices and sauces, but both producing wonderful results.


Teriyaki


Japanese style quick fry, with just a little oil, on a hot plate just in front of you.


Dim Sum


Cantonese style snacks.


Imperial Court Food


Imperial Court Food is a style that has its origins in the Imperial Palace - it is based on the foods that were served to the emperor and his court. There are several places where you can sample these rather unique dishes. The Fang Shan restaurant in Beihai Park and Ting Li Guan restaurant in the Summer Palace are perhaps the best two.


Some of these dishes will seem rather strange to the western palate - and quite expensive too. For the true gastronome.


Shopping Centre Food Courts


All the large shopping centers and indoor markets have these, usually at the basement level or top floor. The quality ranges from good to excellent, depending on what part you visit.


On the lower ground floor of the Oriental Plaza one can find a wide range of restaurants and cafes; among these is the MegaBite, which itself has dozens of types of food and is well worth a visit.


Outdoor Dining


Beijing has very warm evenings from May to September (inclusive) and so outdoor dining is very popular in these months.


Side Dishes / Entrees


Many restaurants, especially Korean ones, provide free small side dishes, often as entrees, such as the one shown below. Nuts, seeds, beans or dried fruit are often provided free as nibbles.


Western Style Food


There are about 1000 McDonalds, KFC and Pizza Hut restaurants in Beijing. At McDonalds, prices are about 1/3 of those in the West. Pizza Huts have similar prices to the West but the service and decor in these are particularly good.


Ice-Cream Parlours


These include the popular Haagen Daaz.


Drinks


Try something different with your meal, such as haw juice, almond juice or coconut milk. Or how about flower 'tea' (infusion), such as Chrysanthemum or 'Eight Treasure Tea' - much nicer than you might think!


If you would like to buy some teas to take home, you'll find tea shops have more choice than you dreamed possible. An excellent choice is ***.


You might also like to try 'Pearl Milk Tea' - an iced tea based drink that also contains small balls of tapioca that are sucked up through a wide straw. The drink may also contain milk and fruit pulp - in fact there are many varieties available.


The local Yanjing beer is cheapest (3 yuan in an everyday restaurant). There are a number of higher quality versions that are avaiable in restaurants a little up market (often 10 yuan). TsingTao beer is generally rated as better than Yanjing and is also common in Beijing. Expect to pay more for western lagers (an unnecessary choice) - and much more in bars and clubs.


Wine is a fast growing drink in China - and a fast growing industry. Local wines are often made with French know-how and investment. 'Great Wall' is perhaps the best known brand but there are many others.


Street Snacks


Don't be afraid of the street food - in Beijing it's amongst the best in the world, and you'd be missing out on a crucial part of the city's cultural life if you chose to eat exclusively in the (many) top class restaurants.


Beijing has over 250 types of traditional snack foods, freshly prepared and served fast. Many of them are made of glutinous rice, soy beans or fried materials.


Some types of street snack appear at different times of the day. For example, HongShu (sweet potatoes baked in their skins), a filling, quick snack, perhaps served with diced lamb or chilli, appear in the afternoon. Then there are the night markets where steaming stalls appear, as if by magic, when the sun sets.


One very palatable snack found in many places is shown below - meat or fish on bamboo skewers that are deep fried then optionally coated with cumin seeds and herbs and/or chilli powder.


7/11 stores often have hot take-away dishes.


Vegetarian


All restaurants have many delicious vegetable only dishes.


There are also specialised vegetarian restaurants that also offer dishes that mimic meat dishes, often based on various types of tofu. Every dish in the following picture is vegetarian.


JiaoZi and BaoZi


These are both types of chinese dumplings. BaoZi are more like stuffed buns and are steamed. JiaoZi are made from thinly rolled dough and sealed by crimping; they can be steamed or cooked in other ways (fried or boiled). JiaoZi are often served with a dip of soy and vinegar or chilli sauce. Both may contain either meat or vegetable fillings.


Note that JiaoZi and BaoZi are different from wontons (a south china dish) which look similar but are served in a soup.


Lunch Boxes


Popular with some office and shop workers.


Cakes


These include sesame seed coated buns, often containing pumpkin or red bean paste and served hot in restaurants.


       
   

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