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Aug 12, 2012 02:45 PM

Vegetarian Chinese Appetizers

Are any of these things vegetarian on a chinese restaurant menu?

Fried or Pan Fried Wontons
Cheese Wontons
Fried or Steamed Dumplings

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  1. Uh - not necessarily. You need to ask what's in them unless it's specified on the menu. All three can easily have meat &/or seafood items in them.

    You need to ASK.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Bacardi1

      Thanks. I was hoping the cheese wontons were like cheese ravioli, usually vegetarian. I wonder if I can request them to be vegetarian, has anyone ever tried this or are they always premade?

      1. re: JolokiaJen

        No, more often than not, the "Cheese Wontons" (aka "Rangoon") has crabmeat or fake crabmeat (aka Surimi) in it.

        1. re: Bacardi1

          Not true in Minnesota, at least in my experience. The cream cheese wonton is a particular favorite of mine and is ubiquitous on Minnesota Chinese, Vietnamese and even Thai menus. I've never ever been served anything with crab in it.

          As always though, best to ask if you are unsure.

          1. re: Bacardi1

            Down here, the cheese wontons are often called that instead of 'Crab Rangoon' in order to get around Florida's truth-in-seafood state law. They normally still do have krab/surimi in them, and therefore can't legally be called crab.

      2. At least in NYC, the menu will always say "vegetable dumplings" if they are vegetarian. If it says "dumplings" or "wontons" without a modifier they will have pork.

        2 Replies
        1. re: alc

          Thanks. I googled cheese wontons and they seem to be made with just cream cheese.

          1. re: JolokiaJen

            This can vary by the restaurant, so it's still a good idea to check. Just in our town, the varieties in labeling are somewhat mind-boggling.

        2. As others have suggested ask - but I have seen these on many Chinese and Thai menus available as vegetarian -

          2 Replies
          1. re: weinstein5

            Well yes - if it says "Vegetarian" on the menu, then it most likely is.

            What the OP is asking is that if something is listed on a menujust as "Fried or Pan Fried Wontons", "Cheese Wontons", or "Fried or Steamed Dumplings", can it automatically be assumed that they're vegetarian? And the answer is no.

            1. re: Bacardi1

              I agree with that always ask if it is not clearly stated -

          2. Definitely ask. Something that seems vegetarian may not be. The restaurant may be willing to make a substitution or suggest something that you can eat.

            1. Always ask. Something that says "vegetarian" on the menu could very well be cooked with fish stock or lard.