Eating Vegan in Taiwan


Hi everyone!

Before I traveled to Taiwan, I was very worried about what I would eat there. I tried to do as much research as I could, finding out what I could eat as a vegan. After I spent a couple of days in Taiwan, I realized that eating as a vegan was not too difficult as there are actually quite a lot of people eating a vegetarian/vegan diet due to religion.

Today I'll be going over veganism in Taiwan and the foods I ate while I stayed there.

Eating vegetarian in Mandarin Chinese is called 素 (pronounced sù). Besides pastries and desserts, Taiwanese cooking doesn't contain a lot of dairy. As for eggs, most of the time, I was asked if I could eat eggs or I just told the waiter that I couldn't eat eggs.

Some things to keep in mind:

  • some restaurants use animal fat or boil broth from animal bones (you should tell the staff you are vegan if you are planning to order something fried or with soup)
  • some restaurants will not consider their dishes vegetarian/vegan because the pots/pans/grills have touched meat in the past
  • vegetarianism/veganism is often associated with Buddhist cuisine which considers strong smelling plants such as onion, scallion, and leek not 素
So now, on to what I ate!


抓餅 scallion pancake
For breakfast I often ate this pancake with scallion (抓餅 // zhuā bǐng). Sometimes it could be cooked with egg or other non vegan ingredients so make sure you specify what you want.

Lunch Boxes

便當 Taiwanese bento (contains mushroom, tofu, rice, veggies, noodles)
We were often traveling using high speed railways, so it was convenient to buy these Taiwanese lunch boxes (便當 // biàn dang) to eat on the train. At the train stations I was at, they all had vegan options.

便當 (contains fried mushroom, veggies, rice)
Eating Out in Restaurants

a type of seaweed that only blooms on rainy days
When eating out in restaurants, I would usually order some veggie dishes and white rice. Pretty much every restaurant will offer rice.

(contains tofu, mushroom, veggies, rice)
The dish above is similar to the lunch box, with the various different veggies and side of rice.

noodles with peanut sauce
There are also lots of vegan noodle dishes like the one above. You have to be careful and ask which are vegan because many noodles will contain little pieces of meat.

Street Food/Night Markets

veggies + stinky tofu
There are a lot of street foods in Taiwan that are vegan; personally, my favorite is fried stinky tofu. Usually the stinky tofu is deep fried in vegetable oils.

At the night markets there are lots of stands selling fruits like the one above (not quite sure what it is). Fruit is can be quite expensive in Taiwan, depending on the fruit.

炒麵 fried noodles with veggies
Lots of dishes can be made vegan if no meat/eggs are added, such as the noodles above.

So those are some of the foods I ate while I was in Taiwan. Many dishes can be made vegan if meat is taken out. However, ordering vegan would be difficult if you do not speak Chinese or Taiwanese. When going out and eating, it would be best to learn some Chinese or take someone who speaks Chinese with you (if you don't speak the language).

So that is the end of this blog post! I hope you found it helpful if you are planning to travel to Taiwan. ^^

Thank you for reading!

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