The Ultimate Guide to Vegan Chinese Food for Chinese New Year
Food is a big part of Chinese New Year – it’s said to be the most important meal of the year in Chinese culture – and although every region and household has different customs, this special meal will usually include delicious spring rolls, dumplings, noodles, and much, much more. Want in on that? Of course you do.
Whether you’re craving a tasty takeaway or a delicious recipe to make yourself, look no further than our ultimate guide to having a vegan Chinese New Year celebration. Though you’ll be spoilt for choice with the selection of fully vegan restaurants, don’t forget that most Chinese takeaways offer vegan-friendly dishes already or may be happy to veganise your favourites – just ask! Chinese cuisine is great for vegans: plant-based meat can be traced back as far as the banquets of mediaeval Asia and the Tang dynasty. So it’s easy to veganise your Chinese New Year – here’s how:
This 100% vegan Chinese restaurant in London has vegan and not-yet-vegan locals obsessed with its dishes, which are packed full of flavour. Chinese classics on its extensive menu include wonton soup, Cantonese sweet and sour “chicken”, dim sum, and Peking “duck”. 美味! Its Islington branch has been so successful that you can now find a Tofu Vegan in Spitalfields and Golders Green, too.
This little Chinese restaurant is tucked away in London Fields and is 100% vegan. It’s quirky, authentic, and great for a fun meal out. The menu may be small, but it sure is mighty.
At this fully vegan restaurant in the heart of Camden, friendly staff serve Chinese cuisine with a vegan twist. From spicy wontons to deep-fried salt and pepper tofu, the food is authentic and delicious. You’ll definitely want seconds!
Woo Tan Scran
Originally opened as Liverpool’s very own Asian-inspired chippy, Woo Tan Scran has reopened after a short closure – with a tantalising new menu to sample. The fully plant-based eatery boasts a mouthwatering range of dishes, including “duck” pancakes, char swoo “chicken”, and a tempting selection of bao buns.
Lotus Plant Based Kitchen
Whether you’re tempted by crispy dim sum dishes or sizzling hot pots, Lotus Plant Based Kitchen in Manchester will not disappoint this Chinese New Year. Why not go all out and order the satay skewers or chilli “squid” for the table – they’ll go down a treat.
Bamboo Vegan Chinese
This Birmingham-based takeaway offers an impressive range of all your Chinese favourites, cooking up staple Singapore noodles, steamed xiaolongbao dumplings, and even crispy chilli “beef”. And you don’t even need to leave the house – simply order and have a vegan banquet delivered to your door.
With locations in Sheffield, Leeds, and York, Wawin is a northern powerhouse when it comes to vegan Chinese food. Dig into “chicken” drumsticks with your favourite sauce alongside “tiger prawn” fried rice and garlic broccoli. Offering collection and delivery options, Wawin is on hand to satisfy your foodie cravings.
Off the Shelves
M&S Plant Kitchen has a must-try vegan version of a Chinese takeaway favourite. Its Sweet ’n’ Sour No-Chicken is the perfect vegan takeaway treat, made from pea-protein and with eggless fried rice. Pick it up at your local store for a great main dish at your New Year’s feast.
Desperate for a high-protein treat that delivers serious flavour? Look no further than Iceland’s Hoisin No-Duck Wrap. Packed with vegan duck pieces, edamame beans, and veggies, coated in a rich hoisin sauce, this microwaveable snack is ready in minutes and offers a convenient and tasty take on a Chinese classic.
You can grab vegan chow mein right off the shelf from Asda and have oodles of noodles in minutes! Chow mein is a well-loved dish in China and around the globe, so if you’re thinking of adding it to your table this Chinese New Year, try Asda’s Plant Based Veggie Chow Mein.
Ready to Go
The beloved bao bun originates from China, but these cloud-like buns have been enjoyed across Asia for thousands of years. Itsu’s delicious steamed buns can be ready and on your plate in 60 seconds and are even marked with a little green dot so you know they’re vegan. Did you know bāo means “treasure” in Mandarin? You can go treasure hunting in supermarkets such as Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s, and Ocado to find them.
Linda McCartney has made it super-easy to assemble vegan hoisin duck pancakes in your kitchen in just a couple of minutes. The meal kit contains everything you need: vegan duck, hoisin sauce, and Chinese-style pancakes. Want a DIY version? Simply pop a pack of frozen shredded “duck” in your trolley, load up with veggies, and you’re good to go. Keep an eye out for these magical treats in supermarkets such as Asda, Tesco, and Sainsbury’s.
Do It Yourself
SWEET AND SOUR JACKFRUIT
BOSH! has an extensive range of recipes, including one for the perfect Chinese takeaway – sweet and sour jackfruit. This simple recipe combines crispy jackfruit with pineapples, peppers, and a delightful tangy sauce to create a fakeaway that even newbie vegans can master.
VEGAN CHINESE NOODLES
Jamie Oliver has created an easy, speedy, super-tasty vegan Chinese noodle recipe packed with mushrooms, spinach, courgette, chilli, and spring onion. You can serve up to four people at your Chinese New Year feast with this delightful dish.
KUNG PAO CAULIFLOWER WITH RICE
Co-op’s kung pao cauliflower is a vibrant vegan take on Chinese kung pao chicken. This is an exciting main that you can whip up with simple ingredients from your local Co-op, or just make the cauliflower as a delicious side dish.
You don’t need any extra equipment or hard-to-find ingredients for this simple BBC Good Food vegetable gyoza recipe. With easy step-by-step instructions, you can have 18 homemade vegan dumplings in 30 minutes. All you need is plain flour, cabbage, mushrooms, carrots, ginger, sesame seeds, and soy sauce. Get creative with your dumpling shapes and have fun making them as well as eating them!
GIANT SPRING ROLLS
If bite-sized spring rolls don’t hit the spot for you, try Katy Beskow’s giant ones. This recipe is from her 15 Minute Vegan on a Budget cookbook, so it’s quick and easy. The recipe calls for tortilla wraps to hold all the veggie goodness together, making the ingredients easy to find – it’s never been simpler to cook up your own vegan feast!
GENERAL TSO’S TOFU STIR-FRY
Minimalist Baker has created a mouthwatering vegan version of this comforting Chinese dish. Inspired by flavours of Hunanese cuisine, this General Tso’s tofu recipe combines soy sauce, maple syrup, and chilli garlic sauce to make tender, crispy tofu that bursts with heat and flavour.
Vegan Chinese Cookbooks
THE VEGAN CHINESE KITCHEN
This exquisitely designed cookbook by Hannah Che grew from her discovery of zhai cai, the plant-based Chinese cuisine that places umami-rich ingredients front and centre. From meatless versions of your favourite dishes like tofu with black bean sauce to naturally vegan classics including crispy scallion pancakes, this collection of recipes will transform your Chinese repertoire and have you cooking up a storm in no time.
VEGAN CHINESE FOOD
Vegan Chinese Food by Yang Liu is packed with 86 enticing recipes that illustrate the deep connections between food, memory, and place. If your creations are half as beautiful as the photographs that accompany every recipe, your dishes will be a feast for the eyes and the stomach this Chinese New Year. Our favourites are the kung pao king oyster mushroom and zha jiang mian noodles – yum!
Hungry for More?
Still curious about where to get your Chinese foodie fix? Check out our guide to the top 10 Chinese vegan takeaways in the UK. From Belfast to Bristol, eating vegan has truly never been easier!
Thinking of Going Vegan?
If all this wonderful vegan Chinese food has made you excited and you’re thinking of going vegan, take our 30-day vegan pledge. Every week, we’ll send you meal plans, recipes, and tips on eating a balanced diet, choosing vegan clothes and cruelty-free cosmetics, and showing compassion for animals in other areas of your life.