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Jan 22, 2013 01:55 PM

Chinese Vegetable Dishes

So I feel like posting about all the foods I don't enjoy today. Rest assured that this one in particular is intended to help me broaden my horizons and to learn to like something that has generally disappointed me. So, I'm talking about Chinese vegetable dishes. Chinese food, generally speaking (meaning across all regions of China), is my favorite cuisine. One thing I love about it is the tremendous variety. With that said, it boggles my mind how unoriginal the vegetable treatments seem to be. It seems to me that most Chinese restaurants basically stir fry whatever vegetables you choose and add either garlic or ginger for flavor. I generally order water spinach at a Szechuan restaurant, which I enjoy, but it certainly is nothing more than what I just described.

So, here's where I need help. What vegetable dishes do you enjoy? Also, if possible please include where you order them. Let's exclude tofu from this discussion because I'm aware of, and enjoy, many of the varied tofu preparations. To start this, I'll include a few that I like:

Fish scented eggplant - (most Szechuan restaurants)

Turnip Cakes - Don't have a favorite in Dallas but get it any time i go for dim sum. Also, too starchy for me to consider a vegetable dish.

Soy beans and marinated cucumber - appetizer at most Taiwanese places (King Noodle comes to mind). I also get those at Royal Sichuan.

Three kinds of edible fungi - Royal Sichuan

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  1. We enjoy all the vegetable dishes at First Chinese BBQ in Richardson.

    Especially the Snow Pea Leaves with sprouts (when they have them), the steamed Mustard Greens and, stir fried Chinese Broccoli dishes. All the above are available either plain or with a protein.

    1 Reply
    1. re: twinwillow

      Mustard greens is one of the better vegetable dishes at First Chinese.

      One of my friends actually feels that water spinach is a good benchmark to order for testing the waters on how adventurous you should order at a Chinese place. I'm not sure if I agree/disagree on that opinion, just thought it was worth mentioning.

    2. Genroku in Richardson Chinatown has a Taiwanese menu with a vegetable and tofu section. I have enjoyed their eggplant hotpot and the mustard greens, pressed tofu and fresh soy beans dish. I wanna try the bok choy and dried shrimp.

      King's Noodles steamed chinese lettuce. I am pretty sure it is neither steamed nor lettuce, but I almost always order one as a side to go with my soup.

      Try sautéed snow pea shoots wherever available. I think its a step up from the water spinach, which I also like.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Jon G

        We also like the snow pea shoots at FCBBQ. Much better than the water spinach.
        But, they are not always in season.