Tuesday, 29 November 2011

eggy tomato / 炒鸡蛋西红柿

It never even occurred to me to veganise this very common Chinese dish until my housemate V started attempting to cook it just the way her mum does. Fried egg and tomatoes is common and cheap and fast, and is comprised almost entirely of tomato and eggs, but I decided it was possible and after a couple of attempts I have it all sorted. Since then I've made it several times. It's not exciting but it's easy and it contains some good things, and it's quick comfort food when I'm home late from work.

Don't talk to me about the photo below, I'm so used to the exceptional photographic conditions in my kitchen in Brunswick that I think I'm going to have to make some modifications to get my food photography anywhere up to where I need it to be for the eleven more months that I'm here.

vegan tomato eggs

vegan eggy tomato
comfort food

chop two large ripe tomatoes into thin wedges. in a fry pan, heat a large dollop of oil, throw in a tiny bit of minced garlic and then throw in the tomatoes. add a dash of water, and leave to fry for four or five minutes, until the tomatoes are seriously starting to wilt (but not fall apart). mash in 300g of silken tofu, and mix in a dash or three of light soy (or gf tamari for gf) and a tablespoon of nutritional yeast. leave it to simmer on high heat for two or three minutes. garnish with a little pepper or fresh spring onions if that takes your fancy. Makes a nice second or third dish in a meal, or you can eat it on its own with a spoon.

Saturday, 26 November 2011

fu hui ci yuan vegetarian cultural restaurant : 福慧慈缘文化会馆 [tiananmen area, beijing]

Addresses in Beijing can be a little difficult to decipher. Sometimes the area is given, sometimes just 'Beijing' is specified. And the areas can be very big. So I've spent some time mapping every vegetarian restaurant in Beijing, just to work out where all of them are compared to my apartment and my office.

The first time I headed out on my lunch break to find Fu Hui Ci Yuan, I completely failed, and ended up coming back to the office and grabbing a bread snack on the way. The second time I was more prepared. I'd assumed the English translation of the name would be sufficient, but I was wrong, as I discovered when I turned up at the the corner of Dong'anmen Street and Donghuangchenggen St, to discover a building named Leopard, and suddenly the direction "金钱豹/ 王府世纪北" (literally "leopard / palace century north") made sense.

fu hui ci yuan vegetarian cultural restaurant

This first visit I selected the mushrooms + noodles in broth, and the peanut soy milk (hot). I tried to order more but the waitress told me that it'd be too much food and wouldn't let me, which I appreciated because she was right.

The mushrooms were exactly what I wanted. They were accompanied by two baby bok choy, of which there could have been more, but the broth was lovely and so were the mushrooms. The peanut soy milk was interesting, but it turns out not really my thing.

It's a 15 minute walk from my workplace, which is not bad for guaranteed no meat, and my meal came in at 37¥ which I also liked. Will definitely visit again in the next eleven months.

The menu has English and Mandarin. Some of the staff have a little bit of English but it's mostly a spoken-Chinese experience.

fu hui ci yuan vegetarian cultural restaurant : 福慧慈缘文化会馆
53 dong'anmen street
beijing (200006)

on pt: catch the subway to Tiananmen East (on line 1), exit B. walk east along East Chang'an Street, then north (left) up Nanheyandajie, right onto Dong'anmen, first left onto Donghuangchenggen, and right into Xila Hutong. there are two stairs up to enter, lighting is good and tables are well-spaced.

there's a sign on the street that says they're vegan, but this is a translation error.

金钱豹/ 王府世纪北)

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

veggie table [lama temple area, beijing]

I stumbled across Veggie Table by accident late one evening when I was on the back of a scooter looking at apartments (apartment hunting in China: it's totally different to Australia). I wasn't able to visit that night, but a few days later I thought of it when I was in the area again, when it was half past three and I'd been touristing and had yet to eat lunch. Veggie Table is open from 11am onwards, the kitchen open until it closes, it serves vegan cake and it's a ten minute walk from my house. OH YEAH.

the table setting at veggie table

I've been there twice since discovering it, and I've been very happy both times. The first visit I had the falafel burger, which is more do it yourself than the name suggests, with an excellent amount of falafel balls, two pita breads, tahini, cucumber, tomato and lettuce. This was really satisfying and pretty great. The second visit I wanted to try the chili pasta, but sadly they were all out so I went for the mushroom burger, which is a mushroom patty (rather than a whole mushroom, as I thought it'd be) on a wholemeal bun, with coleslaw and wedges. This burger was so good. I am absolutely going to be eating this again, it was filling and hearty and way more than I was expecting.

falafel lunch at veggie table

The cake is good, even the next day. No photos because I got it takeaway both times; once, I had the carrot cake for breakfast (in bed at the hostel after a tiring day of cycling: no regrets); the second, I had the chocolate cake after a hard day of cleaning and moving in to my new apartment. Aside from the large dollop of (vegan) cream, it was so good. I had considered calling my travelling blog 'the year of no cake,' because for the most part Chinese kitchens don't have ovens so I thought there'd be no cake for vegans; I'm so happy to declare it's not true. There is cake for me.

The menu is in English, and some of the staff speak English. Open Wednesdays to Mondays (closed Tuesdays, as I learned the disappointing way today). Service can be a little slow, but not overly so. Sometimes greenie and vego events are held there.

veggie table
19 Wudaoying Hutong
Lama Temple Area
Dongcheng District

Take Line 2 or 5 to Yonghegong station, exit D. Head North from the exit towards the second ring road, and turn down the tiny alley way immediately there. It's about 150m down, on your right. Three stairs up to enter, and awkward double door and hard to manoeuvre. Good lighting.

me at peril

belated (i just moved countries!), but i have an article up at peril magazine: Care and Feeding: Comfort Food for Chinese-Australian Vegans.