Chinese breakfast

On August 16, 2012, in Adventure Trip, Restaurants & Food, Tips & Ideas, by Jack Li

There are a lot of differences between China and the rest of the world, but we all agree that the most important meal of the day is Breakfast. During your China tour you will see that the things a Chinese person eats in the morning are different to what occidental people eat, so why not […]

There are a lot of differences between China and the rest of the world, but we all agree that the most important meal of the day is Breakfast. During your China tour you will see that the things a Chinese person eats in the morning are different to what occidental people eat, so why not try to have a Chinese Breakfast on your China Tour?

The traditional and popular Chinese breakfast starts with a bowl of Congee, the Congee is a watery rice that can be seasoned just to give it more flavor, it can be sweet or salty or even (if you dare) it can be spicy and, sometimes, they even add vegetables, meat or mushrooms if they feel like it.

Another typical food that the Chinese people eat for breakfast is Crullers, they call them also the “deep-fried-devils” and they are basically twisted strips of dough that have been fried in oil, they are very popular in the street stands although each time less due to the difficulty to make them compared to the simple fried bread.

The Crullers are eaten with the Congee, but depending on the part of China you are traveling to (normally in the north) you will see that they are served with soy milk and you can choose if you want it salty or sweet depending on your tastes.

But for breakfast there is a lot of variety too, for example Dumplings is a very good breakfast for Chinese people who are in a hurry (yes, even the meat ones) because they are easy to buy and easy to eat.

Salted pancakes with vegetables or meat are also a handy solution for the busy Chinese people, if you go by subway in the morning you’ll probably see a lot of people with a coffee in their hands and a plastic bag with something quick to eat.

Breakfast is a very good way to experience Chinese culture and their way of leaving, there is lots of places where you can have some typical Chinese breakfast and they are not expensive, normally they are fitted to please the average Chinese worker’s budget so don’t worry about the prize.

Even if you are in a hurry Chinese breakfast is the perfect way to start the day with energy and ready to face all the sightseeing or travel of your Chinese Tour, don’t hesitate and try it!

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Dumpling recipe

On August 2, 2012, in Restaurants & Food, Tips & Ideas, by Jack Li

One of the most important things in the Chinese culture is the food. It would be a sin to travel to China and not try the gastronomy so during your Chinese tour make sure that you try all the foot that you can, you never know, maybe you’ll discover your favorite food! Meanwhile why don’t […]

One of the most important things in the Chinese culture is the food. It would be a sin to travel to China and not try the gastronomy so during your Chinese tour make sure that you try all the foot that you can, you never know, maybe you’ll discover your favorite food!

Meanwhile why don’t you try to do your own dumplings at your house?

Obviously the best ones you’ll try will be at China, but if you try this recipe maybe you can bring a little bit of the Chinese gastronomy at your home!

The easiest way to start to cook dumplings is buying the mass already done, if you want to do it yourself it’ll take more than an hour so it’s more convenient if you just buy it.

The filling is easy to do but it has to rest for a long time so it is better if you prepare the dumplings with a lot of time in advance!

For more or less 30 dumplings you’ll need:

  • 900gr of pork (or chicken) meat cut in small squares
  • 5 big shiitake mushrooms
  • 2 spoonful of minced spring onion
  • A spoonful and a half of sesame oil
  • A spoonful and a half of soy sauce
  • A spoonful of  cornstarch
  • 5gr of sugar
  • A bit of white pepper
  • A spoonful of freshly scratched ginger
  • 5gr of salt.

Once you have all these ingredients you just have to mix them until they become a uniform mass and let it in the fridge for at least 3 hours.

After that time you can put them in the dumplings mass and fold the mass in a half circle (although there are lots of different ways to fold the dumplings so let your imagination grow free!)

Once folded you can close them applying pressure with your fingers to the corners so the mass won’t go out when you cook it.

The next part is cooking the dumplings, there are lots of ways to do it, you can either fry them in the pan with oil (they taste delicious but they are not very healthy), you can boil them in water (they will be done when they float in the surface, don’t let them a long time in the water because they’ll open very easily) or you have a third option, steam them.

For steaming it’s necessary to have an object to put on the pot with boiling water to allow the dumplings to be cooked in the steam. It may take a bit longer than the other two options but they’ll taste delicious!

While you wait to go to your first (or your next) China trip why don’t you cook some dumplings and try if you can make as delicious as in a restaurant.

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Come Hungry, Leave Happy: Adventurous Eating at Wangfujing Snack Street

On July 24, 2012, in Activities, Beijing, Cultural Experience, More Places of Interest, by Jack Li

You have to agree that after finishing a long day of Beijing tours, the perfect way to satisfy any hunger is with a big helping of fried and seasoned scorpions. In order to get a real Chinese experience, you cannot miss out on trying the gourmet spread at the Wangfujing Snack Street! When traveling to […]

You have to agree that after finishing a long day of Beijing tours, the perfect way to satisfy any hunger is with a big helping of fried and seasoned scorpions. In order to get a real Chinese experience, you cannot miss out on trying the gourmet spread at the Wangfujing Snack Street! When traveling to China, you probably expect to be eating your share of noodles, dumplings and rice. Nonetheless, don’t stray away from trying the real street food delicacies that can be found in this area. There are so many different creatures, sweets, and eats; be sure to b ring plenty of cash in case you want to try it all! I thought eating pork skins and bull frog at an upscale restaurant in Beijing was adventurous enough, until I heard about this marvelous food fair and new I had to push my limits even further. My friends and I ventured there in the evening, which provided a great atmosphere as the lights from the kitchens and lanterns above our heads lit up the night. I came with an empty stomach, expecting to grab some McDonald’s on the way home after trying a few things. However, I left the snack street that evening full and satisfied!

My first endeavor was the fried scorpions which seemed to be one of the most popular items available. Skewered on a stick, three very alive scorpions were dunked into a deep fryer, seasoned, and then handed to me ready for tasting. I was amazed! They were similar to eating a great batch of crispy potato chips, only with better spices and a little more substance. I decided to pass on the seahorses and starfish in order to save room for some meatier fare. Next came the snakes; a single long, thin piece of pink meat on a stick, cooked on a grill and dipped in spices. This was another great surprise, because it tasted so good. I could have eaten three or four! Being that is was pre-skinned, it was a lot easier to put the “snake” thing out of mind and just enjoy the flavors. The strangest thing I tried was a grilled bug. It was about the size of my ear and had a hard outer shell. When I crunched into it all the steamy guts kind of squished into my mouth, this sensation threw me off a bit, but I must admit the flavors were good so I just gulped it down all at once. Along the way there were definitely some things I absolutely avoided such as the centipedes, squids, winged insects, lizards, and dog. I was done tasting the creepy crawlers, so in order to get some real sustenance I nibbled on some ostrich and ducklings. I had reached a level of full satiation with no room left for dessert. If there had been room, I would have definitely indulged on a long kabob piled high with candied kiwis, pineapple, and grapes. All in all, this attraction is a ‘must-do’ during your Beijing travels. The pictures you take will be some of the best to share with friends back home, and your stomach will thank you too!

Peking duck

On July 13, 2012, in Beijing, Restaurants & Food, by Jack Li

If you are traveling to Beijing there is some things that you cannot miss, one of them is the famous Peking duck, the typical dish of the city of Beijing with its peculiar way to eat it, so be sure to make a stop in your Beijing tour to enjoy this delicious dish! This dish […]

If you are traveling to Beijing there is some things that you cannot miss, one of them is the famous Peking duck, the typical dish of the city of Beijing with its peculiar way to eat it, so be sure to make a stop in your Beijing tour to enjoy this delicious dish!

This dish has been prepared since the Imperial Era, and it needs a complicated elaboration to make it the traditional way.

For example, the ducks are specially raised for the dish, when they born they are set in a free range environment for 45 days and after that they are force-feed four times a day during 20 days so they reach the ideal weight of 5-7 kilos by the end of this process.

Then they are slaughtered and plucked, they take all the viscera off and they rinse the body with water, after that they pump air through the neck in a point that is between the fat and the skin and it is boiled for a short time and hanged to dry.

While it’s hanging they coated it with syrup and they rinse the interior once more, 24 hours later they roast it in a special oven where the duck can be hanged during the roasting process, they use gaoliang wood to heat it and it is slowly cooked.

Once cooked the chefs store it and preheat it when is time to serve it, they slice it in front of the costumers and they serve it in three stages.

  1. The first one is the skin, it’s served with sugar and garlic sauce
  2. Then they serve the meat, this is very important because it’s the main part of the dish, they serve it with spring onions, sweet bean sauce and other sliced vegetables and it is accompanied by very thin pancakes called chūn bǐng , the right way to do it is putting a pancake in your hand, fill it with meat dipped in sauce and some vegetables and then folding it so nothing escapes.
  3. They also serve a broth made with the rest of the duck’s meat or they stir fry it and put it in sweet bean sauce.

If you don’t finish all your duck, don’t worry! Normally they pack the things you haven’t eaten and you can bring them home.

There are a few variations on the recipe depending on the restaurant or the chef and it can be also ordered to take away, and in that case you can choose if you want it preheated or not or cut or not, it depends on your abilities!

So if you are traveling to Beijing, either for a long period of time or even if you are staying just a few days or hours make sure to taste the Beijing duck in a good restaurant, and, if you really want the original taste go to Quanjude or Bianyifang, two very ancient restaurants with more than 200 years of tradition in preparing Peking ducks.

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My stomach has never been empty in Beijing

In my first China travel, the first thing I have noticed was Chinese women’s body shape. Most of Chinese women are all gracefully slender, and that at every ages. But, the second thing I have seen is that Chinese people love to eat snacks, everywhere, every time. Not logic right? I can’t explain it, but […]

In my first China travel, the first thing I have noticed was Chinese women’s body shape. Most of Chinese women are all gracefully slender, and that at every ages. But, the second thing I have seen is that Chinese people love to eat snacks, everywhere, every time. Not logic right? I can’t explain it, but I can tell you more about what they eat. If you ever travel to Beijing, you can be sure that your stomach will never be empty. Snack food or drinks are sold on every corners. Let me introduce you some of them.

Hash houses

Well, this is not a very fancy place, it’s quite simple, but I like eating there, and it’s very cheap. The typical dishes you can find there are jiaozi, baozi, and huntun for example, but you can have some soup or a bowl of noodles as suanlafen. Each dishes is about 5RMB, and you can watch them prepare your dish since most of the time the kitchen is not really separated from the tables where you sit in.


Jiaozi is steamed ground meat and/or vegetable wrapped into a thin rolled piece of dough sealed by pressing the edges together or by crimping. It is a specialty from the north of China.
Baozi is a type of steamed too, it’s a kind of filled bun. It can be filled with either vegetables, meat or beans.
Huntun is quite similar to jiaozi, but it is not steamed, moreover the dough they use and the shape is different. It is often served in a soup with some seaweed, noodles or vegetables.
Suanlafen is sweet potatoes noodles in a spicy/sour soup.

Malatan

There is always a moment when I’m hungry while hanging out late at night. What I like to eat at that moment is Malatan. You can find stands almost everywhere at night, sometimes you can eat it in greasy spoon restaurants or just in the middle of the street.
It is very simple, all you have to do is choose the vegetables and brochettes you want to eat, and wait to be served. Sometimes you can even cook the ingredients by yourself, if the “pot” is at the center of the table. Each brochette costs between 1 or 5 RMB, and vegetables 1 or 2 RMB. Brochettes can be boiled in the water or grilled.

Others

I often see Chinese people walking around with some fruit brochette like big cherries covered with sugar. I have always been very curious about it, was it that fruit and what’s the name of it ? In fact it is made of hawthorn berries and they call it bing tang lu lu. I’ve tasted it and it’s not bad, it was a good surprise but most of all, at that moment I just realized that I’ve eaten something made with this fruit before : the Haw Flakes. Haw Flakes (see the picture) are very appreciated by Chinese people too, the flakes are smooth and has the same size than a coin. I won’t call it a snack, I will consider it more like a type of candy. And if you go to some grocery store around your hotel in China, you will find sausages near the packs of potato chips. These sausages are ready to eat, you don’t have to cook them or put in the microwave. You have different tastes like chicken, fish, crab…

 

Let me know if you have experienced Chinese snacks during your China Tours !

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The noodles way of life

On July 4, 2012, in China Travel Gossip, Restaurants & Food, Tips & Ideas, Travel Info, by Jack Li

Instant noodles were invented by the Japanese, but the biggest consumers of these noodles are the Chinese ! Chinese people eat 42 billion packs of instant noodles per year, that is to say that they represent 44% of the world consumption of these noodles, amazing right ? In fact, I’ve never eaten as much noodles […]

Instant noodles were invented by the Japanese, but the biggest consumers of these noodles are the Chinese ! Chinese people eat 42 billion packs of instant noodles per year, that is to say that they represent 44% of the world consumption of these noodles, amazing right ? In fact, I’ve never eaten as much noodles as in my whole life during my China travel.

You can find instant noodles everywhere you go at anytime. Noodles are very simple, quick and convenient to prepare, all you need is some hot/boiling water, and in only 3 minutes, your noodles are ready. Chinese people eat noodles for breakfast, lunch or dinner ! Yes, I said for breakfast, they put an egg and some vegetables with it. I’m pretty sure that you were served instant noodles in your China flights. And if you ever doing your China tours by train, you will see numerous Chinese people eating noodles at the station. As a student, I can say that little packets of dried noodles are the best seller of all the groceries around the University.

Each pack is composed by a block of dried noodles, a flavoring pack and seasoning oil, you can also find a plastic fork in noodles cups. Instant noodles are sold everywhere : groceries, on the street, at supermarkets, and it is also served in restaurants. Indeed, I think that the main difference between a western supermarket and a Asian one is the presence or absence of the noodles shelf. There is a huge choice of noodles flavor, and so many different brands. The best seller in China is Master Kong’s noodles, they managed to launch a wide variety of flavors that fit the local eating habits for each region. For example, they launched spicy noodles in Sichuan, “halal” noodles for the large Muslim community living in China and if you like lamb meat during your travel to Tibet you may taste lamb flavoring noodles who knows ?

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Xi’an: The Muslim Quarter

On May 17, 2012, in Ethnic Group Flavors, Other Places of Interest, Xi'an, by Jack Li

To experience an ancient city at a grassroots level, then travel to Xi’an and no further than The Muslim Quarter (or Islamic Street as it is otherwise known). The Muslim community is primarily composed of the Hui people who have resided in Xi’an since the Tang dynasty. Their presence emerged in the area as a […]

To experience an ancient city at a grassroots level, then travel to Xi’an and no further than The Muslim Quarter (or Islamic Street as it is otherwise known). The Muslim community is primarily composed of the Hui people who have resided in Xi’an since the Tang dynasty.
Their presence emerged in the area as a result of the influence of Islam along the Silk Road with Xi’an being the final destination. As China’s silk trade was fundamental in its historic advancement, so Xi’an has an intrinsic place in the country’s past. This article will highlight that there is more to this region of China other than Terracotta Army and thus gives more weight towards booking Xi’an flights.

Hidden behind the city’s Drum Tower, The Muslim Quarter is an excellent place to experience a different side to Chinese culture. In particular, Islamic Street offers an array of food to tickle the taste buds. It is evident that the food has been influenced by foods from typically Muslim areas of the world and China per se, yet also having its own unique flavour. Indeed, the entire quarter has this mixed feel; the Great Mosque is evident of this combined Islamic-Chinese feel. Indeed, this fact is supported by the advent of the riveting Xi’an Halal Food Festival 2012.

It has been suggested that Marco Polo brought the idea of the pizza back the Italy after observing the Chinese pizza being made in the Muslim Quarter. This is a contentious point, as some say the Greeks invented the pizza. Nevertheless, amassed along the many stalls down Islamic Street are many tasty treats with the most common including trays of dates and nuts. Again, this is a reflection of the cross-cultural fusion. Dates, for example, are a very popular fruit in many parts of the Islamic world, however the vast amount of dates on display in the Muslim Quarter were specifically ‘jujube’ or the deep-red date which is common in China. In a similar vein, market was also showcased countless walnuts which could be seen turning slowly in a large roaster. Despite all these foods sounding delicious, the prices would hopefully mirror the tasty with dates fetching 198RMB per pound!

Islamic Street sure does have an unparalleled traditional atmosphere which is acts as a glimpse of days gone by. Take the brass statutes scattered around the main street; these are not only a fun way to take some photos, but also depict in marvellous detail scenes of life in the old city. One statute, for example, was of a little girl requesting some drink from an old vendor whilst her mother lovingly watching. Another particularly interesting feature of the quarter was the bird cages hanging along the street with cute and colourful feathered friends hopping and chirping inside. Centrally located, this corner of the ancient city of Xi’an is a stone’s throw from many of the advertised Xi’an hotels.

Do You Know How To Use Chopsticks?

On May 4, 2012, in China Travel Gossip, Restaurants & Food, Tips & Ideas, by Jack Li

In many countries in Southeast Asia chopsticks are the most common utensil to eat food. For this reason most Asian restaurants in western countries offer their guests both chopsticks and silverware. So if you’re planning your China Tours and you can’t handle chopsticks yet it is about time that you learn how to use them. […]

In many countries in Southeast Asia chopsticks are the most common utensil to eat food. For this reason most Asian restaurants in western countries offer their guests both chopsticks and silverware. So if you’re planning your China Tours and you can’t handle chopsticks yet it is about time that you learn how to use them. So get yourself a pair of chopsticks and start preparing for your china travel adventure!

First of all it’s not always easy to get western silverware in Chinese restaurants and not having to look for a knife and a fork will save you time and energy. And more than that, with a history of several thousand years chopsticks are an important part of Asian eating culture, so you should try your best to adapt to this way of eating food. You can show that you’re open to the Chinese culture and win the local’s respect by using chopsticks like a pro.

Chopsticks are not only an eating utensil but are also used to prepare food, to pick it up, turn it in the pan, stir etc. Considering their long history it’s only natural that they come in all different materials and designs. The most common materials are wood, bamboo, plastic or metal. The more expensive materials such as silver, gold, bones, jade or ivory were more common among wealthy families in earlier times but they are still used until today.

How to hold your chopsticks

Pick up the first chopstick and place the broad end where your thumb and index finger connect. The narrow end should loosely rest between your ring and middle finger. This chopstick is the steady part. Then take the second chopstick and place the broad end above the first one and hold the narrow side with your thumb and index finger. The upper stick is the one you move towards the lower one. Try to hold both of them rather loose and make sure you don’t cross the ends. Once you got this right you can just start picking up the food, it will need some practice though.

 

What to avoid when using chopsticks

In western countries it is considered bad manners to play with the silverware, to point at people or objects, make noises, tab bowls and plates or dig in the food and these rules are just the same when you use chopsticks in China. Apart from that you should avoid in any case sticking them into a bowl of rice. This reminds of the ritual of incense-burning which are offerings to deceased family members. Moreover, try to avoid pointing the sticks towards other people sitting at the table when you put them down.

Also, try to avoid spearing your food with the chopsticks. Anything that is too difficult to be picked up this way is usually eaten with a spoon, e. g. small slippery foods or those with a round shape such as cherry tomatoes or fish balls. And please don’t hack your food into smaller pieces, just take several bites instead if the piece is too big.

Noodles which are usually served in a soup might come as a challenge. Even though they are long and slippery don’t roll them up with your chopsticks like spaghetti, just bring them to your mouth and then slurp them in. That’s how Chinese people do it and slurping is not considered to be bad manners at all. But don’t worry, there is also a lot of street food which you can eat without using chopsticks like skewered meat and seafood and lots of other tasty snacks. Have you already booked your China Flights? Then why don’t you go to your favorite Chinese restaurant to get ready for your trip?

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Beijing Hot Pot

On May 3, 2012, in Beijing, Restaurants, Restaurants & Food, by Jack Li

When travelling to other countries one of the many highlights of every trip are usually the culinary delights of the region. People who travel to Beijing often want to try the famous Beijing Roast Duck and there is a huge choice of restaurants offering exactly that. The other thing you don’t want to miss is […]

When travelling to other countries one of the many highlights of every trip are usually the culinary delights of the region. People who travel to Beijing often want to try the famous Beijing Roast Duck and there is a huge choice of restaurants offering exactly that. The other thing you don’t want to miss is Chinese Hot Pot (huoguo, literally fire pot), a very popular restaurant experience for locals and tourists just the same. Having dinner together is a great way to spend a relaxing evening after exciting daytime activities, such as Beijing Tours, trips to museums and other interesting things. And having dinner in a Hot Pot restaurant are social gatherings rather than simple and quiet dinners and the food is often spicy and full of flavors.

Hot Pot is often eaten in winter but restaurants are in general well frequented all year around. It has a history of over one thousand years in China and the name describes the way the food is prepared. Different kinds of food are cooked in a broth which is kept simmering in a heated brass vessel on the table. The more original pots have a little chimney in the middle and are heated with hot coals whereas the more modern way is often heated with gas or can even be electric. There are two different main styles, Mongolian style und Sichuan style. While Sichuan tends to be very spicy the Mongolian variation uses broths mainly based on vegetables and seafood and is therefore the milder version.

There is a very large choice of ingredients that can be used for this dish. Most common are different kinds of thinly sliced meat, often it’s mutton meat but also beef, pork, chicken, lamb, goat and others can be ordered. Apart from meat slices you can have fish and seafood, small meat or fish balls and dumplings, different kinds of vegetables, such as mushrooms, lettuce, cabbage and other leafy greens, and also tofu, noodles or rice noodles. Cooking time can vary from less than a minute to several minutes and while you’re waiting you can try some little snacks and appetizers. Once the food is cooked to your taste it is dipped into different kinds of sauces, sesame sauce is a very common one.

In restaurants you can either have a big hot pot to share with all people at the table. Very often the big vessels have different sections with some milder and some spicier broths. Or you can order smaller individual ones so that everybody can choose their own broth. This is a great option for people who are allergic to certain foods or for vegetarians because all food can be kept separate. You just have to make sure that the broth doesn’t contain anything you can’t or don’t want to eat.

There is a countless number of Hot Pot restaurants not only in Beijing but also in other cities. Apart from the different flavors the interior of the restaurant and the price categories can also vary a lot. So if you have the time why don’t you try a few restaurants in different regions on your China Tours to find your favorite hot pot place?

Some Advice on Vegetarian Meals

On April 19, 2012, in Cultural Experience, Restaurants & Food, Tips & Ideas, by Jack Li

In general, there is a lot of really delicious vegetarian food in China. There are tons of vegetables and fresh fruit and the spices turn regular food into culinary delights. But you still have to know how to find what you’re looking for and as a vegetarian you might find it tricky at the beginning […]

In general, there is a lot of really delicious vegetarian food in China. There are tons of vegetables and fresh fruit and the spices turn regular food into culinary delights. But you still have to know how to find what you’re looking for and as a vegetarian you might find it tricky at the beginning of your China travel experience. If you choose one of the many China Hotels the staff at the reception desk will be happy to give you some advice. Very often people will understand if you say that you’re a vegetarian. But it helps to add that you don’t eat meat, fish or seafood, if that’s the case. And even then, is there a guarantee that there is no touch of fish paste or oyster sauce in your dish? Probably not. If you’re that open, just go from the taste and maybe have a friend take the first bite. If you’re not, you might consider avoiding street food in general missing out on some great food though.  Still, things like baked sweet potatoes or corn on the cob from the streets are just pure vegetables, maybe not exciting but still tasty.

If you think the easiest place to get you something to eat is the supermarket, keep in mind that China is not your home country and even international chain stores don’t offer exactly the same. There are international brands as well as local products but the range of goods is oriented towards the Chinese buyers. This is not a problem at all but for foreigners the difficulty is finding out what’s exactly in the products, unless you have an excellent knowledge of Chinese or somebody who can help you out. When you look for it you can find some products with an English list of the ingredients because just from looking at it you can’t really be sure.

There is not much that can go wrong in the bakery section. Vegetarians who avoid gelatin might stay away from cakes with a creamy filling. But things like rice cakes with a slightly sticky consistency are in general made with starch and not gelatin and there is a really big offer. In general, fruit is a sure bet and easy to get anywhere. If you buy it from street stands just try to bargain as much as you can because vendors often try to charge foreigners more taking advantage of their inexperience. Going from the first offer you can cut it down to a third or a half and then find a compromise. And that’s not only the case for fruit but for all other things you might buy in the streets and smaller shops.

Another thing vegetarians should be aware of is that you might find something that’s in your opinion surely vegetarian but then the next moment you find out that it’s being prepared in the same frying pan as all the meat dishes or even being cooked in the same broth with meat and fish. A no-go for many vegetarians, especially if you have the taste of meat on your vegetarian food. I guess the only thing that helps is to have a close look before buying and to see how the food is prepared. Moreover, it’s sometimes hard to find out if a certain food was prepared with animal fat or vegetable oil. So, again you might listen to your taste buds or you can go for steamed food, like steamed dumplings (baozi) with a vegetable or egg filling. In general, rice is usually just plain rice and noodles are vegetarian, too, although they are often served in a broth that doesn’t necessarily need to be vegetarian.

Talking about restaurants, it’s not impossible to find vegetarian ones. But Buddhist restaurants for example also offer fish and seafood dishes. So they might not be an easy place either for people who don’t eat that. In bigger shopping centers the restaurants adapt more to western eating habits and it’s usually not too complicated to find meat and fish free dishes. And, of course, touristy areas have reacted to visitor’s eating habits and you can find things like pizza easily, although it has nothing to do with Asian cuisine. Regarding all these difficulties for vegetarians it is even harder for vegans. The only place that comes to my mind for is Loving Hut, an international vegetarian and vegan restaurant chain that has branches in Beijing and Hongkong.

In general, there might not be the perfect advice for vegetarians in China. First of all, there are different types of vegetarians some who eat fish and seafood and others who don’t. And then people are vegetarians for different reasons and more or less strict and also, everybody has his own personal taste. So all you can do is keep those little difficulties in mind when you’re planning your China tours . And once you get there you just find your own way.

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