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Lunar New Year food can be a treat for vegans, too, thanks to plant-based meat alternatives, such as Omnipork served at some great Hong Kong restaurants.
Turnip pudding, yee sang, poon choi … There is no doubt that food is of great importance when it comes to the Lunar New Year celebrations.
Yet whoever said that you can’t celebrate the festival with food the traditional way when you are a vegan – those people who eat a plant-based diet and also refuse to wear animal-derived products, or just follow a plant-based diet – is sorely missing out on some of the most dazzling menus on offer in Hong Kong this year.
This festive season, there is every reason to rejoice in the nostalgic flavours of childhood – but cruelty-free, too, thanks to creative innovations of chefs working in some of the city’s major hotel restaurants.
They have used Green Monday’s plant-based meat, Omnipork, to recreate traditional dishes and offer new interpretations.
These dishes are delectable – so close to the original and not short on flavour and texture at all.
The best part of this, especially for non-vegans looking to have a healthier new year food option, is that this plant-based meat is antibiotic- hormone- and, of course, cholesterol-free, so you don’t have to ever worry about overindulgence.
Check out some of our top picks.
1. Ming Court, Cordis Hotel, Hong Kong
The Michelin-starred Ming Court has outdone itself again.
Chef Li Yuet Faat has created a menu with three vegan offerings, which all include Omnipork for that gold old-fashioned meaty texture – the bamboo pith roll, pan-fried lotus root and water chestnut, and Chinese cabbage stir-fry with assorted vegetables.
Available from February 2 to 14.
2. One Harbour Road, Grand Hyatt Hong Kong
Chef de cuisine Chan Hon Cheong is including a few vegan and vegetarian dishes on his festive menu of 12 dishes.
Vegans can order things such as steamed Omnipork dumplings, deep-fried Omnipork lotus roots with spring onions and a super abundant roasted Omnipork stone-bowl-fried beetroot rice, served with morel mushrooms, yellow fungus and water chestnut.
Available from now until February 28.
3. Sha Tin 18, Hyatt Regency Hong Kong
From the Omnipork preserved vegetable dumplings to the Omnipork glass noodles, Sha Tin 18’s sumptuous offerings are a feast for both the eyes and the palate!
What also caught our attention were the wok-fried Omnipork and fungus pot and the gigantic braised Omnipork meatballs.V
4. The Cakery, Hysan Place
Always one for recreating decadent indulgences – such as cupcakes – with healthier ingredients to make them completely guilt-free, The Cakery at Lee Garden Two in Causeway Bay, and Landmark Atrium in Central, has outdone itself with this vegan Lunar New Year tea set.
It includes vegan cupcakes (of course), red date cakes, black and red sugar sweet rice cakes, yuan bao chocolate, and a savoury panoply of vegan abalone tart, made with Omnipork and mushrooms, Omnipork vegetable dumplings and lotus root and Omnipork patty.
Make sure you specify that you want the vegan version as the cafe also offers an alternative pescatarian set.
5. King of Sheng Jian
Oh, joy, a xiaolongbao with a twist, using Omnipork, potato and carrot and flavoured with Japanese-style curry.
This all-new concoction is available only from King Of Sheng Jian – in Mong Kok, Sham Shui Po and Causeway Bay – now until February 17.
These specials are on offer only during the Lunar New Year celebrations, so what are you waiting for? Kung Hei Fat Choi – and tuck in!
By Lim Li Ying. This article originally appeared on STYLE under the the title ‘Year of the Pig: how to have your pork and eat it – vegan and cruelty-free.’ All images & content courtesy of SCMP, except lead photo courtesy of Omnipork & One Harbour Road.