When you are eating at a Chinese restaurant as a vegetarian, you might be at a loss for what you can order to make sure that you avoid meat. Here are some tips for keeping to your normal diet when you are going out to get Chinese food with your friends.
1. Check for Hidden Meat Products in the Sauce
Before you order anything, talk to your server and ask him or her to identify any sauces that he or she knows for sure to be vegetarian. Many Chinese restaurants use chicken broth or some other type of meat-based broth in their sauces. This will allow you to immediately eliminate certain items from the menu because you know that they are made using a meat-based broth.
2. Check for Egg
Next, you are going to want to check for egg product. The most common culprit are the noodles in the lo mein. Ask your server if there are any eggs in any of the noodles on the menu. He or she should be able to pick out the noodles that don't have eggs and if they don't have any egg-free noodles, then you know that you'll have to stick with white rice. This will also help you narrow down your menu options.
3. Look For Vegetables
One of your best bets for vegetarian dishes are dishes that have steamed vegetables in them. This type of dish will have a large enough number of vegetables to keep you full and might even have cashews or peanuts for the additional protein. Steamed vegetables can also easily be served without any sauces because they are steamed, rather than being sauteed in a sauce. If you can find absolutely nothing else on the menu that will work with your dietary guidelines, then you can at least ask for a steamed vegetables.
4. Check the Soups
If you don't think that vegetables are going to be enough to fill you up, also ask to see their soups. Look for vegetable soup because this is almost always made with vegetable broth and will likely be safe for you to eat.
For more information, talk to your server. He or she might be able to put in a special order for you due to the growing number of people who are adopting vegan and vegetarian lifestyles. The restaurant might even have special options ready to go for you to choose from.