The ultimate guide to eating this delectable condiment.
Dining in Asian restaurants can be a minefield for vegetarians—you’re never too sure if that Thai salad is going to come drenched in fish sauce or if your vegetarian fried rice will be loaded with oyster sauce and the odd piece of Char Siu pork!
To avoid the dining angst, we’ve taken five of our favourite dishes from Asian restaurants and given them a vegetarian makeover for you to try at home.
Switch the Chicken for Firm Tofu
For a vegetarian take on a Chinese restaurant favourite, make a batch of honey sesame ‘chicken’, substituting cubes of firm tofu for the chicken breast.
Swap Beef for Mushrooms
Thanks to their meaty texture and iron-rich properties, mushrooms make an ideal swap for beef. Choose shiitake mushrooms or large field mushrooms for the most satisfying heft.
Substitute Fish Sauce with Soy Sauce
In Southeast Asia, fish sauce is used to flavour everything from curries to salads, so it can be hard to tell if that tofu curry you’ve just ordered really is vegetarian. A simple substitute is soy sauce, but you’ll want to reduce the amount, as soy sauce is stronger than fish sauce.
Shop for Vegetarian Oyster Sauce
One of the easiest ways to inject authentic Asian flavour into your vegetarian meals is by using a meat-free ‘oyster’ sauce.
Seek Out Faux Meats at Your Asian Grocer
Did you know that many Buddhists observe a meat-free diet throughout the month? Thanks to this, Asian cooks have become experts at making faux meats using soy, TVP and other proteins. Trawl the frozen section of your local Asian grocer for pretend prawns and mock meats, then use them in your dish. Alternatively, try strips of tempeh from your supermarket.