Vegetarian Chinese Meals
Cold Peanut-Sesame Noodles
The secret to Andrew Zimmern’s cold noodle recipe, inspired by the ones he had in China’s Sichuan province, is the oil that gets drizzled on top. Made with chiles, Sichuan peppercorns and lots of spices, it is called Ma La ("numbing and spicy").
Dan Dan Noodles
Joanne Chang sets aside her rolling pin to make stir-fries and noodle dishes like this peanutty dan dan.
Vegetable Stir-Fry with Ginger Vinaigrette
Fresh and green and bursting with flavor, this stir-fry is like a little taste of springtime that you can serve any time of year. Carrots, red bell pepper, or asparagus (if it really is springtime) will make the dish even prettier. Serve the medley with rice.
You can use gyoza wrappers instead of making dumpling dough.
Fried Tofu with Spicy Ginger-Sesame Sauce
Tofu is an unlikely partner for red wine, but in this recipe by Young Hwa Chung—wife of Dana Estates owner Hi Sang Lee—a soy-ginger glaze works well with the winery’s Cabernet Sauvignon.
The ingenious topping of quick-fried cellophane noodles makes this eye-catching slaw irresistibly crunchy. Wendy Leon likes to serve it alongside Peking duck; tossing it with shrimp or tofu would make for an even healthier main course.
Asian Steamed Buns with Bok Choy and Chinese Chives
The Baker Creek catalog includes lots of seeds for Asian greens, including some that Jere Gettle found on his travels in Thailand. Here, a blend of mild bok choy with spicy mustard greens and oniony Chinese chives fills puffy, savory buns.
Tea-Marbled Quail Eggs with Dipping Salts
"I’m half Chinese, so tea-marbled eggs were a staple snack," says Valerie Gordon. To turn the eggs into a sophisticated hors d'oeuvre, she soaks hard-boiled quail eggs in smoky Lapsang souchong tea and serves them with three different salts.
Crunchy Tofu Tacos
From his Pepto-pink truck, Joe Kim sells French-Asian tacos and sliders all around L.A., playfully combining ingredients like the fried tofu and peanuts here.
Spinach and Tofu Dumplings
These nicely spicy dumplings are a wonderful way to eat spinach, which is rich in vitamin C, beta-carotene, magnesium, riboflavin, folate and vitamins B6 and K.
Tea-Scented Pumpkin Soup
Han Feng lightly flavors this silky, creamy soup with Ceylon tea, garnishing it with a drizzle of roasted pumpkinseed oil. She always restocks her supply of the lovely, nutty oil whenever she's in New York.
Shiitake-and-Scallion Lo Mein
Asian street-food carts sometimes serve food in banana leaves instead of using plates or bowls. Look for them at Asian markets. Here, Melissa Rubel Jacobson wraps the leaves around silky Chinese noodles.