Veg-Jing Out: Your regular guide to a guilt-free lifestyle in the capital.
Fatburger goes beyond
As the only international chain to place in the top 12 of this year’s Burger Cup, it’s clear that the capital’s carnivores have a soft spot for US-based Fatburger. Now, Beijing’s plant-based community can also taste what all the hubbub is about, as the company recently announced the addition of burgers made with Beyond Meat patties to its menu.
Billed as a burger that’s “beyond delicious” and “made from plants,” but “made for meat lovers,” it’s stacked with lettuce, tomato, chopped onion, relish, pickles, mustard, mayo, and cheese, so vegans might want to opt for one without those last two ingredients (full disclosure though, we’re not entirely sure if the bun is vegan as well, so best to ask before chomping down).
The new Beyond Fatburger (RMB 45) is currently available at their Sanlitun and Ritan Park locations. It’s also available for delivery via Meituan. We were unable to confirm availability at Guomao.
VoB Community Buffet and language exchange
Vegans of Beijing (VoB) have a number of activities lined up through November (all of which can be viewed here), but one that caught our eye was their upcoming Community Buffet and Language Exchange event at Qianmen’s Vege Tiger on Saturday, Nov 13. Aside from simply tucking into the restaurant’s famed buffet, the evening will also offer English-language learners the opportunity to meet and chat with a tutor for 30 minutes of speaking practice that includes pronunciation, vocabulary, and sentence building. The catch? Students will treat their tutors to a free buffet meal which runs RMB 68 per person.
As their first language-themed event, VoB is focusing on English learners, however, we’ve been assured that if there’s interest in flipping the script – that is, folks who want to practice their Mandarin – it can certainly be arranged.
The event takes place from 5.30-8pm on Saturday, Nov 13, with the language exchange portion happening during the first half-hour. So if you’re just there for the food and delightful company, plan to arrive at 6pm. For those interested in providing some tutoring services and potentially getting a free meal out of it, add VoB organizer Max Song on WeChat at maxgoesforlife. Whether you intend to tutor or not, tickets can be purchased by scanning the QR code in the poster above. For more information, click here. And to keep up-to-date with all VoB happenings, follow them on WeChat at Food_Meditation.
Recipe: Vegan pulled pork sandwiches with a local twist
Part of the fun of being vegan, or merely veg-curious, is discovering novel ways to prepare faux-meat dishes. As an expat in Beijing, that fun is bumped up a notch due to the fact that we don’t always have access to the necessary ingredients for recreating beloved foods from home, meaning there’s an extra level of creativity and satisfaction when we’re able to use what the capital deals us to cook up a little taste of the old country – aka wherever it is you hail from.
With that, we introduce yuba pulled pork sandwiches! For the uninitiated, yuba is the skin that forms over tofu as it cooks, and is a popular staple at malatang joints. Incidentally, it’s also pretty damn easy to make in and of itself, but you can always purchase a sizable box of the stuff from just about any grocer, such as Wu Mart, for around RMB 20.
Yuba Pulled Pork Sandwiches
For the pork
- 1 cup dehydrated yuba or 1/2 cup hydrated
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
- 1 cup BBQ sauce
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/2 onion diced
- Begin by chopping the yuba into small strips, recreating that pulled pork look and feel. Mince the garlic and dice the onion.
- Add the yuba, garlic, and onion to a skillet on medium-high heat and brown slightly. Add the vegetable broth and soy sauce. Allow the mixture to boil until most of the liquid has evaporated or has been absorbed by the yuba.
- Add the BBQ sauce to the pan and coat the yuba. Continue cooking, stirring frequently to prevent sticking, but making sure to allow the sauce to caramelize. Continue adding sauce to keep it moist, or to taste.
- Turn off your stove, toast up your buns, slap on the yuba pork, and top with pickles.
Note: Depending on the type of yuba you get, you may have to rehydrate it. Simply submerge it in cold water and leave for a few hours, or until all of the yuba is pale and tender.
This recipe was adapted from Monson Made This, and the full thing can be found here.
Images: Seitan Society, Tripadvisor, Happy Cow, Vegans of Beijing, Drew Pittock