If you are thinking of ordering takeout, it is likely that one of the main options you consider is Chinese food. In the United States, Chinese takeout has become one of the most popular quick and easy to-go dinners. In reality, this type of cuisine differs greatly from the types of traditional foods eaten in China, where the types of flavors and ingredients differ from region to region. American Chinese food has become a cuisine of its own, and little restaurants specializing it have popped up all over the nation.
We’ve got a fun little surprise for you! Today, November 5th is National Chinese Takeout Day. What a wonderful excuse to treat yourself to some of your favorite delicious takeout eats tonight. Before you pick up your phone and start dialing, we have a challenge for you. This National Takeout Day, we dare you to make some of your go-to orders plant-based in your very own kitchen! Not only does it allow you to enjoy dishes that are frequently not vegan to begin with, but it also allows you to enjoy all the classic American Chinese flavors in a healthier, cheaper way.
To help you through this challenge, we’ve picked out the 15 most scrumptious copycat Chinese takeout recipes that the Food Monster App has to offer. Some of these can be made in even less time that it takes you to get takeout!
These Hearts of Palm “Crab” Rangoons are crisp, puffy dumpling made with a vegan crab and cheese mixture made from hearts of palm. The only major difference? They taste even better than the real thing! These rangoons are a salty, fried treat that makes a perfect bite-sized appetizer or addition to a meal.
Plenty of restaurants offer crowd favorite orange chicken, but it’s rare that a plant-based version of the dish will be on the menu. Making your own Cara Cara Orange Tofu with healthy modifications saves you money and calories. Instead of deep-frying, these crispy textured tofu cubes are baked. We all love a weekend splurge, but this orange tofu recipe will make you want to eat in instead of ordering out!
We promise that these “Egg” Rolls With Homemade Duck Sauce are better than any takeout egg rolls you’ve ever tried! These crispy bites are made using spring roll wrappers and are filled with Wood Ear mushrooms, baby bok choy, Napa cabbage, carrots, and water chestnuts. These rolls are especially great when dipped in this homemade, vegan duck sauce.
This egg-based Chinese dish has been updated, veganized, and it’s better than the original – trust us. The recipe uses silken tofu, a dash of nutritional yeast, turmeric, and a few other spices to make an absolutely incredible faux scrambled egg. We recommend you serve this “Egg” Fried Rice with the chili sauce of your choice to spice things up.
Contrary to what you may think, making your own chow mein sauce does not have to be complicated. For this 15-Minute Chow Mein, you will only need soy sauce and vegan oyster sauce and you can also add flavors by including minced garlic and ginger. Stir fry all your vegetables and cook your noodles and voilá! Healthier, vegan chow mein in half the time it would take to get it from a restaurant.
This Sweet and Sour Cauliflower will make you want to say “see ya later” to takeout. Cauliflower florets are tossed in a buckwheat and quinoa flour batter and baked in a sticky, sour sauce that is sweetened naturally with pineapple juice. Serve over a generous bed of brown rice, add a side of steamed veggies, and dig in.
This 15-Minute “Beef” and Broccoli is a quick and easy version of the classic Chinese dish, beef and broccoli. The slightly spicy, sweet sauce coats the tender broccoli and the sautéed seitan and the whole thing is topped with fresh green onions and sesame seeds. Once you have the first bite of this, you’ll realize that you never have to order delivery or take out again.
This General Tso’s Seitan is tender and meaty on the inside and slightly crisp and saucy on the outside — just like it should be. It look’s remarkably similar to the classic General Tso’s chicken and is beloved by both vegans and non-vegans alike. Pair with some broccoli and brown rice and take a trip to flavor town!
Yes, you read that right, eggplant noodles! This Chinese-inspired Eggplant Noodle Chow Mein is low carb, paleo-approved, easy to make, and incredibly delicious. Eggplant noodles are tossed in a five-spice garlic sauce with broccoli, Shiitake mushrooms, ginger, and scallions with a touch of toasted sesame. This feels as satisfying as a noodle dish.
Butternut squash takes on the role of lo mein noodles in this colorful and flavorful dish. The Butternut Squash Lo Mein noodles are stir-fried, but they hold up well and are tossed with bell peppers, mushrooms, greens, and a yummy ginger-tamari sauce. Once you try it, it will become a regular dish in your dinner rotation.
This Hot and Sour Mushroom Soup is tangy, flavorful, and delicious. The soup uses several different types of mushrooms to give the broth an earthy depth of flavor and the bok choy provides a nice crunch to every bite. This is the perfect dish for a cold night when you are looking for something warming but don’t want to spring for takeout.
This Oil-Free Kung Pao Tofu is a stand-out version of the Classic Chinese dish Kung Pao tofu. The sauce is sweet, tangy, and spicy while the tofu is crisp on the outside and tender in the middle. If you consider yourself a tofu novice, no worries! The recipe directions and cooking method is super simple and easy to follow. You’ll never need to get takeout again.
These savory Scallion Pancakes have cheesy undertones and a sprinkling of scallions to top it all off. They are the perfect snack or light dinner for when you want to eat healthy but don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen. And since they’re made with chickpea flour they’re lighter and less greasy than your typical scallion pancake. Easy and delicious!
If you love Chinese takeout, you will love this vegan take on Mongolian Beef. Slices of seitan are sautéed in soy sauce, ginger, and garlic, laid over a bed of rice, and then topped with green onions. This Mongolian Seitan is just as tender, saucy, and perfectly savory as the popular dish that it is based on.
These Veggie Dumplings can be prepared either steamed or fried! Since this type of decisions can be tough, we suggest making these vegan dumplings both ways. The sautéed mushrooms give the filling a hearty texture, while the cilantro and bell peppers add a fresh crunch. A simple spicy sauce is the perfect partner for these savory snacks.
We also highly recommend downloading our Food Monster App, which is available for both Android and iPhone, and can also be found on Instagram and Facebook. The app has more than 8,000 plant-based, allergy-friendly recipes, and subscribers gain access to ten new recipes per day. Check it out!
Lead image source: General Tso’s Seitan