How can I survive in China being an Indian and pure vegetarian?
来源：三泰虎 http://www.santaihu.com/45970.html 译者：Jessica.Wu
Lakshmi Narayanan,31 year old student
Let me start with saying it depends on which city you are going to. If you are going to Beijing or Shanghai, lots of Indian stores have opened up. But, If you are going to lesser cosmopolitan places like Xi'an, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, or Chengdu you will not find Indian stores to get raw materials.
The following is a survival guide for China if you are a vegetarian:
NOTE: These notes are good for any person visiting any place in China for 1 day or even for people who plan to stay for years. This guide can serve well in Hong Kong as well. However, Hong Kong has bucketloads of Indians, is far more accessible than Mainland China and Most importantly, Google works there. Hence if you are a vegetarian you can easily survive there.
Step 1: When you are flying to China, you are allowed 2 bags each weighing 23 Kg. Apart from clothes reserve one bag for Masalas like Coriander power, Turmeric powder, Garam masala, Hing etc. These might be useful so that you can start cooking immediatly on landing. If you run out of Masalas over time, Do not worry Go to STEP 4. Also, if you like Pav Bhaji, pack and get Pav Bhaji masala from India or USA.
Step 2: China has 98% literacy. Sounds good. But that literacy is in spoken and written Chinese which means that you cannot expect them to speak or understand english. This also means that many products names will be in chinese if you visit a grocery mart. If you have doubts carry a mobile and write down the chinese translations of each item you are planning to buy. For example: Salt. I bet you will not find that easily. Also, some malls do not sell butter, they instead sell margarine. If you happen to be close to a Wallmart, you shall get butter there.
Step 3: Learn to make Paneer. It is very easy and requires heating milk to 80 degrees Celsius and then adding some acid like lemon juice or white vinegar. Vinegar is especially potent as it even works with UHT milk. For making Paneer carry a cheese cloth or keep some light cloth ready to extract the curds. Wiki How tells you how to make paneer and you can use that as a reference.
Step 4: This is the mother of all steps and once you do this you can stay in China for as long you like.
If you do not have a chinese debit card, ask a friend to order it for you and pay him by cash or Wechat (I have not used this option yet). Scroll through the items in this link before you leave for China so that you can pack and carry items that are not listed here. Also, the order takes 3-4 days to arrive so order atleast a week before you run out of supplies. Try ordering from the same seller as everytime you order from a different seller he adds a shipping charge,
Step 5: If you want to go for site seeing, use the Chinese literacy fact to your advantage. Carry a printout of locations you want to go in Chinese script and show it to your Taxi Driver.
Step 6: If you are tired of cooking, You can always find an indian restaurant using Bing or Baidu (substitutes for Google). Some restaurants even deliver food to your home.
Step 7: Enjoy.
第一步：当你飞往中国时，允许携带两个23公斤重的袋子。除了衣服外，留一袋装香料，芫荽粉，姜黄粉末，什香粉等。这些可能有用，到了你就可以立即开始烹饪。如果你香料用完了，不要担心，请看第4步。另外，如果你喜欢Pav Bhaji（Pav Bhaji是源自孟买的一道素食小吃，Bhaji 是指由蔬菜、 咖喱等做成的糊状酱汁，一般会提前做好并放在平板锅上保持热度Pav 则是面包，将面包在涂上油的平板锅上过一遍，然后将做好的面包和酱汁分开放在一个盘子里），那就从印度或美国购买Pav Bhaji 调料。
Lakshmi Narayanan,Vegan living in Shanghai for the last 2 years.
Yes. Easily so.
It is a wild misconception that there is no vegetarian food available in china. Believe it or not, China has the world’s largest vegan population. Most Chinese meals start with vegetarian appetisers and meaty mains.
However in an average household it is reasonable to expect a few vegetable dishes per meal which are basically stir fried vegetables/ boiled or steamed vegetables or cold vegetable dishes, followed by mains with or without meat.
I'm an Indian, vegan by dietary restrictions, pure vegetarian by choice living in China in a Chinese household for the last 2 years.
In my understanding, knowing the language helps.
It helps to know one sentence that says I do not eat meat, fish or eggs. Only vegetable dishes.
For reference something like this is a survival tip:
Also, if you're honestly this very concerned, download an app called ‘Happy Cow’ it lists vegan and vegetarian restaurants around the world in over 300 cities.
Last piece of advice, seek help and ask for names of vegetarian dishes to order in China. Alternatively only visit vegan restaurants. There are plenty of options in almost all tourist cities.
Shubhashis Shomil, SE
It depends on the number of days you are planning to SURVIVE in china.
For a short duration like 30 days or so, u can take around 20pc Ready to Eat ( I prefer Haldiram's Ready to Eat than MTR).
Rice Cooker and rice (ok in taste) is easily available.
Purchase some pickels, snacks , Oats and Maggi.
Cook rice and Njoy your visit.
"Veg Pizza is available in Pizza Hut".
Goutam Tulsiyan, Student, history buff, Foreign policy enthusiast
I am a pure vegetarian and "survived" close to 4 months (in my two trips) in China (Shanghai).
This is how I "managed":
(i) You can easily get cooked rice. If not, rice is not too difficult to cook.
(ii) Almost, all the vegetables available in India are these days available in China. Even, the Indian spices can be found in departmental stores.
(iii) I learnt some basic cooking (preparing a few curries)
(iv) Rice and cooked curry
(v) Toasted Bread + Butter/Cheese
(vi) In Chinese restaurants, you will find cooked (boiled) vegetables, but, I did not like the taste of those.
(vii) Western food chains: Subway, Mc D etc
(viii) These days you can even find frozen chapatis/parathas which you can microwave and eat along with cooked curry.
(ix) If you are going for a short duration, you can carry pre-cooked curries and maggie
(x) Most importantly, learn to adjust and enjoy China
Victoria Salter, I am a vegetarian, and would like to go vegan over this summer...
Apparently, there are 50 million vegans in China, making China the country with the highest vegan population in the world. With this high population of vegans, you are sure to be able to survive and, most probably, live a very good life as a vegetarian or vegan in China.
Also, one website that I will tell you about here is the Happy Cow website. This website can act as a guide to eating out and buying food as a vegan or vegetarian in various countries, cities and areas. It lists wholefood shops, vegetarian restaurants, vegetarian cafes, vegan cafes, vegan restaurants, vegetarian and vegan bakeries, and even restaurants that do both vegan/vegetarian options, and non-vegan/vegetarian options so, even if the rest of your family/household are not vegetarian or vegan, and want to eat meat, fish, dairy or eggs when you go out, you should be able to find a restaurant, cafe, bakery or wholefoods shop that will cater to them as well.
Terry Newman, Ten years living and doing business in China.
Very tough. I try to be vegan, but the concept is unknown here. So you have to be very focused. You can order rice and various vegetable dishes, but the problem is that they often incude pork. You need to pick it out. Also you need to think about the balance of vegetables. For example you need to look for tofu and beans etc to get the protein you need. Not easy.
Maria Mejia, Vegan, but have previously been Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian many years ago.
I know that chinese people eat pork a lot, but my best advice to you is to avoid soups as I guarantee you that 99.99% of them contain a meat-based broth. Living in the more urban areas, you can find some vegetarian foods, but typically cooking for yourself is the best advice that I can give you. Seeing as though a lot of the USA imports a lot of prepared food from China, I feel safe saying that you can find lots of fresh vegetables, fruits, rice, legumes, etc to enjoy while staying/living in China