Are Chop Suey And Chow Mein Vegan Dishes ? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 12-11-2007, 04:19 PM
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I ordered some vegetable lomein the other day at the Chinese carryout, and I was gonna order some Vegetable chop suey, but I wasn't sure what they make the sauce with. They might just say it's vegetarian , but it might have dairy so I didn't order it. That way we could order Vegetable chop suey or chow mein or ask for tofu with vegetables in this sauce.

Does anybody know if they put dairy or oyster or shrimp in the sauces for Chop suey or Chow mein ? Nice to know for those of us who are vegan eaters .

I ordered pasta primavera from an italian place a while back, and asked them not to put any dairy in it, which they didn't but they added shrimp to it, and I had to take it back and explain that I didn't want any seafood in it either.

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#2 Old 12-11-2007, 04:28 PM
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Won't the chow mein be made with egg noodles?
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#3 Old 12-11-2007, 04:54 PM
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Some chow mein is made with egg noodles. Sauces vary from place to place -- you'd have to ask at each specific restaurant. Sorry!
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#4 Old 12-11-2007, 05:16 PM
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Dairy is unlikley. (Most East Asian cultures don't use a lot of dairy except in select dishes such as rangoons.) However, chicken broth and pork products are what you need to worry about. Ask the restaurant manager, since every place is different.
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#5 Old 12-11-2007, 08:01 PM
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Can someone (mod?) please please change the title of this thread because the grammar is driving me CRAAAZY!!

"you know, nowhere in the bible does it say that jesus was not a raptor"

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#6 Old 12-11-2007, 08:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Scorpius View Post

Can someone (mod?) please please change the title of this thread because the grammar is driving me CRAAAZY!!


you'd have to check w/ each place. even if you order a dish that is traditionally w/ meat, and substitute tofu or veggies, often the sauce is the same, so beware.. for example, general tso tofu is often still using chicken broth in the sauce.

watch out for fish/ oyster sauces as well.
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#7 Old 12-11-2007, 11:42 PM
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I found this link for those of us who like to cook ( I don't too much )

Froggy frog is right you have to worry about the chicken and pork ingredients too. Such a pain to have to ask all that , they ought to have the ingredients listed for us for the dishes, save us some discomfort if feeling like we're hassling the staff. My friend said she just tells them she has a " heart condition ", to make sure they'll check on the ingredients for her and be honest. Only problem with that they won't realize she's just a vegetarian, and make them pay attention to us. We need to work on building our numbers somehow .
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#8 Old 12-12-2007, 06:39 AM
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Unfortunately, some Chinese restaurants label vegetable dishes covered in meat-based sauce as "vegetarian." They simply do not see broth as being meat.

Sometimes, language can be a barrier, too. I once asked a young waitress in a Chinese restaurant what the sauce contained. She pointed to a glass of water and then to the salt shaker. "This, and this."

But, I have been to a better Chinese restaurant in which they carefully explained the ingredients of the sauces they used, and noted which dishes were vegetarian. This seems to be the exception rather than the rule, though.

slops, gloops, and gruels.
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#9 Old 12-12-2007, 12:48 PM
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I only eat at one Chinese restaurant where I have excellent communication with the owner. Even then, I've known the cooks to still use chicken broth on a few occasions, and let the owner know what happened. As a rule, I avoid Chinese restaurants as much as I possibly can because they are usually very hard to eat at -- unless you're in Washington or Oregon.

Where I live, Thai places seem the most aware of vegetarians. Indian places are good if you're lacto-ovo, though 2 places I go know what a vegan is.
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#10 Old 12-14-2007, 07:50 PM
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It's really tough. There is an Asian buffet at my local grocery store. I recently discovered that the green beans have oyster sauce. What those poor beans did to deserve that, I'll never know. I think they only way to really tell is to ask or else suffer the consequences of assuming that green beans are vegan.
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#11 Old 12-14-2007, 11:57 PM
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That makes me so mad - putting oyster sauce on green beans - yuk ! Ordering food from restaurants / carryouts is a real job for us.

I love Indian food and they understand about wanting vegan food more so than many other restaurants, but I've found it's hard to find a good Indian place. Some of the Indian restaurants I've found make greasy food or don't know how to cook it to begin with. Indian food does have a lot of ingredients and alot of prep so, I can sort of see it.
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#12 Old 12-17-2007, 05:15 PM
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When i lived in vermont there were several chinese take out places that were very vegan friendly where I would eat pretty regularly. I havn't gotten chinese food much since I moved to Chicago though, dont trust it since going to eat in China town where the dishes labeled vegetarian had meat in them.
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