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why chinese people aren’t vegetarians. « Jocelyn Wong's Blog


why chinese people aren’t vegetarians.

I mentioned going home for my Grandma’s 85th birthday dinner and I was really glad to be there. My huge Chinese family (my mom is one of 6, and I’m one of 15 grandkids) took up 4 whole tables (the big round ones with the spinning thing in the middle) at her favorite Chinese restaurant. These giant tables set the stage for this edition of Girl Vs. Food.

someone needs to get married soon so we can feast again!

If you’ve seen my blogs on what we eat during Thanksgiving and Christmas it should come as no surprise that the concept of being vegetarian has always been weird to me. We’re big on slaughtering the entire animal kingdom during family feasts. So I just don’t understand how people say they never liked meat growing up and that is why they don’t eat it; obviously they weren’t Chinese. ;)

Although I know there is a book called “The China Study” toting a vegetarian diet, I’ve never read it and am not sure where they found these mythical Chinese vegetarians.

Grandma’s birthday banquet was pretty similar to a 12-course wedding banquet, Chinese New Year feasts and whenever we have big family special occasions at restaurants. The members of the animal kingdom that died for a very worthy cause included:

  • Jellyfish
  • Shrimp
  • Pigs x2 or x3
  • Chickens x2
  • Fish
  • Crab
  • Lobsters
  • Cows
  • Scallops
  • Sharks (shark fin soup!)
  • Abalone (I thought they were mushrooms)

There was even tofu in there somewhere, but we all know that’s not a real animal. ;)

I was kind of sad we didn’t have Peking duck (I never made my way to Philly’s Chinatown for that) until I tried what Grandma had substituted it with–a new (to me) Chinese dish I’d never seen….chicken stuffed with sticky rice and fried up…WHOA!

winner winner stuffed chicken dinner!

In addition to the 12 entrees we had 3+ desserts. There was birthday cake in two flavors, then jello with condensed milk (in mango, green tea, and grass jelly flavors), homemade almond cookies, and mini bun things stuffed with red beans.

I love this photo because my grumpy Grandpa is smiling :D We used to think he never smiled.

And no, everyone in my big fat Chinese family isn’t actually morbidly obese. Surprising, isn’t it? I swear we don’t eat like this every day. :) And never fear, Mom made sure to pick up a Peking duck for me at Ranch 99 before I left home. :D

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