在中国历史的大部分时间里，肉一直被认为是一种奢侈品。由于人口众多，粮食和蔬菜生产往往在农业生产中占有较大的比重，并构成该国消费的大部分食品。1980-81 年进行的中国-康奈尔-牛津项目（“中国研究”）记录了“中国 65 个农村县的 6,500 人的饮食、生活方式和疾病特征”。康奈尔大学的 T. Colin Campbell 对数据的解释。发现较低的动物产品消费量与较低的死亡率和其他健康指标相关。从那时起，中国迅速发展成为一个现代化的工业社会。较高的家庭收入导致肉类消费量增加。从 1982 年到 2016 年，消费者平均每年吃肉 13 公斤到 63 公斤。因此，中国占世界肉类消费量的 28% 和猪肉消费量的一半。
At first, living as a vegetarian in China may seem intimidating. Despite the ancient tradition of vegetarianism in China, many Chinese do not understand the concept or reasons behind this diet. Small-scale restaurateurs or food vendors may not understand a customer's request to exclude all meat from a dish. It is not uncommon to have to send dishes back because it includes mince meat. Many dishes are cooked in animal fat or fish sauce. Chinese meals typically include several dishes, most of which include a mix of vegetables and meat. Vegetarians in China often choose to eat around the meat or make certain exceptions for practicality's sake. Vegetarian restaurants are common in major cities, but may not have convenient locations or opening hours.
Many popular dishes can be easily adapted for vegetarians. Tomato and egg (番茄鸡蛋, fānqíejīdàn) is cheap, easy-to-prepare, and popular all around China. It can be served plain, over rice or noodles, or as a soup. Buddha's delight (罗汉斋, luóhàn zhāi) is probably the internationally best-known vegetarian Chinese dish, but of limited availability in some regions. Fish-flavored eggplant (鱼香茄子, yúxiāng qiézi), despite the name, contains no seafood and is vegetarian by default.
Tofu (豆腐, dòufu) has been produced since at least the Han dynasty (ca. 2000 years ago), and is a common ingredient in many Chinese dishes. Many more varieties of tofu are available in China than the white "silken tofu" commonly available in western countries. The tougher texture of pressed tofu (豆腐干, dòufugān) makes it an appropriate meat substitute in many Chinese dishes. Mápó dòufu (麻婆豆腐) is a popular spicy tofu dish which can be prepared without the typically-included minced pork.
Vegetarianism is perhaps nowhere as well-established as in India.
Japanese cuisine is well-known for it's seafood dishes. It can be difficult to find food that contains absolutely no animal products, particularly fish stock (dashi). Temple food (shojin ryori) is fully vegan. The typically vegetarian/vegan macrobiotic diet was first developed in Japan.
As a peninsular country, seafood is an important part of Korean cuisine. Many dishes are typically prepared with fish or shrimp sauce, particularly the staple kimchi (김치). Meat-heavy meals such as barbecue, fried chicken or raw meat/ fish (회, hwe) are popular. However, a few vegetarian dishes can be readily found. Kimbap (김밥, "Korean sushi rolls") are usually prepared with canned meat (Spam), and sometimes with beef bulgogi (불고기) or eggs any of which can be excluded. Bibimbap (비빔밥) typically comes with egg and may come with meat, which can be excluded. Naengmyeon (냉면, iced noodles) may be made with vegetable stock instead of meat stock. Vegetable dumplings (소만두, so mandu; 납짝만두, nabjjak mandu are available at many grocery stores.
Temple restaurants are vegetarian.
The Malay peninsula has been an important focal point in world trade for centuries. As different waves of people settled there -- Orang Asli, Malay, Thai, Chinese and Indian -- they brought their foodways with them, giving modern Malaysia a richly diverse culinary heritage. As with other countries in the region, rice and noodles are staples, and seafood plays an important role. As a majority Muslim country, pork plays a lesser role and many restaurants prominently display whether or not they are certified halal. Over the generations Straits Chinese culture became influenced by Malay culture, which gave rise to the fusion nyonya cuisine. Vegetarian versions of the various ethnic cuisines are easy to come by in Kuala Lumpur and Penang. Outside of the major cities it becomes rather more difficult, except in Indian restaurants.
The unofficial national dish nasi lemak is composed of 5-6 parts: rice cooked in coconut milk, cucumber slices, roasted peanuts, sambal (chili sauce), and fried anchovies, typically accompanied with a piece of fried chicken. Vegetarian restaurants use mock anchovies and may serve fried tofu or vegetable curry in place of chicken. Non-vegetarian restaurants are often willing to serve the dish without meat or seafood, however be advised that sambal may be made with shrimp or fish. Laksa, a rice noodle soup dish, has several regional and ethnic variations. The most common versions have a tamarind or coconut soup base. It may be served with shrimp or chicken, but can be made with tofu instead.
Indian restaurants usually have several vegetarian options on the menu such as curries or thalis, and large cities have exclusively vegetarian Indian restaurants. Malaysian Indian cuisine tends to be based on southern Indian cuisine, but northern style is occasionally available.
Relative to many other ethnic cuisines, Thai food offers a wide array of dishes based on fresh vegetables. Although fish sauce, shrimp, and pork are common in Thai cooking, they can usually be excluded with little trouble.
- Vegetarianism by country - Wikipedia
- Vegetarian or Vegan in China? - Liuzhou Laowai
- Eating Vegetarian in China - Huffington Post
- Vegetarian Survival Guide to Japan
- A Guide to Being Vegetarian in South Korea - The Vegetarian Traveller
- Vegan Guide to Malaysia