What Chinese Food Is Vegan: Traditional Flavors

Are you a vegan and craving some Chinese food? You may be wondering, what Chinese food is vegan? The good news is that Chinese cuisine has many vegan options. In this article, we will explore the best vegan Chinese dishes that you can enjoy without any guilt.

Exploring culinary traditions from around the world often leads us to the rich and diverse offerings of Chinese cuisine. Yet, for those who follow a vegan lifestyle, the question inevitably arises: what Chinese food is vegan? In our quest to uncover plant-based treasures within this ancient culinary tradition, we embark on a journey that takes us to the heart of this cuisine, exemplified by establishments like the esteemed Chinese Express Restaurant.

The History of Veganism in China

Vegetarianism has recently become a trend because it is good for health, but it has existed for thousands of years in China. Vegetarianism began with Buddhism, Buddhists followed the law of not killing animals and a diet consisting only of plants, creating the frugality of Buddhism. This led to the development of vegetarian and vegan dishes in Chinese cuisine. Many traditional Chinese dishes are vegan or can be easily made vegan.

What Chinese Food Is Vegan

Vegetable Dumplings

Vegetable dumplings, also known as jiaozi, are a popular Chinese dish. They are filled with chopped vegetables like cabbage, carrots, and mushrooms and are steamed or fried.

what chinese food is vegan

Stir-Fried Vegetables

Stir-fried vegetables are a staple in Chinese cuisine. They consist of various vegetables like broccoli, snow peas, and carrots sautéed in oil and seasoned with garlic, ginger, and soy sauce.

Tofu Dishes

Tofu, also known as bean curd, is a versatile ingredient in Chinese cooking. It is made from soybeans and is high in protein. Some popular tofu dishes include Mapo Tofu, Ma Po Dou Fu, and Kung Pao Tofu.

Read more: How Many Chinese Food

Spring Rolls

Spring rolls are a crispy appetizer that is often served at Chinese restaurants. They are filled with vegetables like cabbage, carrots, and bean sprouts and can be dipped in sweet and sour sauce.

what chinese food is vegan

Hot and Sour Soup

Hot and sour soup is a savory soup that is popular in Chinese cuisine. It is made with tofu, bamboo shoots, mushrooms, and other vegetables. The soup is flavored with vinegar, soy sauce, and chili pepper.

Vegan-Friendly Ingredients in Chinese Cuisine


Tofu, also known as bean curd, is a versatile and widely used ingredient in vegan Chinese cooking. It absorbs the flavors of sauces and seasonings, making it an excellent substitute for meat in various dishes. Popular tofu dishes include mapo tofu and tofu with black bean sauce.


Chinese cuisine features an abundance of fresh vegetables, making it easy for vegans to enjoy a plant-based diet. Some commonly used vegetables include bok choy, Chinese broccoli, snow peas, and watercress. These vegetables can be stir-fried, steamed, or used in soups and noodle dishes.

what chinese food is vegan


Mushrooms, such as shiitake, oyster, and wood ear mushrooms, are staples in vegan Chinese cuisine. They add umami flavor and a meaty texture to dishes like mushroom stir-fry and hot and sour soup.

Noodles and Rice

Many Chinese noodle dishes and rice dishes can be vegan-friendly when prepared without meat or animal-based broths. Look for dishes like vegetable lo mein, vegetable fried rice, and sesame noodles.

Dining at Chinese Express Restaurants

When dining at Chinese Express restaurants, vegans can enjoy a variety of plant-based dishes. Be sure to communicate your dietary preferences to the staff to ensure that your meal is prepared without any animal products or animal-based broths.

what chinese food is vegan

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Can I eat Chinese food if I'm vegan?

Yes, there are many vegan options in Chinese cuisine. Some popular vegan dishes include vegetable dumplings, stir-fried vegetables, tofu dishes, spring rolls, and hot and sour soup.

Q2. Is Chinese food gluten-free?

Some Chinese dishes may contain gluten, but many can be made gluten-free. Be sure to ask your server or chef if a dish contains gluten before ordering.

Q3. Are egg rolls vegan?

Egg rolls are not vegan as they are made with eggs and sometimes meat. Spring rolls, however, are vegan as they are filled with vegetables and do not contain eggs or meat.

Q4. Is soy sauce vegan?

Most soy sauce is vegan, but some brands may contain animal products like fish sauce or shrimp paste. Be sure to check the ingredients before buying or using soy sauce in your cooking.

Q5. Can I find vegan Chinese food at a non-vegan restaurant?

Yes, many non-vegan Chinese restaurants offer vegan options on their menus. Be sure to ask your server or chef for recommendations.

View more: What Chinese Food Is Low in Sodium?


As we conclude our exploration of What Chinese Food Is Vegan, we unveil the delightful world of vegan options that Chinese cuisine has to offer. Chinese Express Restaurant, with its dedication to providing a variety of plant-based dishes, reflects the evolving nature of culinary awareness and inclusivity. Whether you choose vegan Chinese dishes for ethical reasons or simply appreciate their delicious flavors, remember that dining is not just about nourishment but a celebration of cultural diversity and the joy of savoring dishes that cater to both your values and your palate. So, as you explore the menu at Chinese Express, embrace the plant-based flavors and the mindful choices that make Chinese cuisine an inclusive and delectable dining experience for all.