dishes came in vogue as early as the Song Dynasty, and made much head way
during the Ming and Qing dynasties, which saw the rise of monastic,
imperial, and secular schools of vegetarian cuisine. Green vegetables,
fruit, mushrooms, and bean curd are major ingredients, and only vegetable
oils are allowed in a vegetarian’s kitchen. The dishes are at once
refreshing, nutritious, easy to digest, and effective for preventing cancer.
Extensive choices of materials, and long years of practice, have enabled
this peculiar school of Chinese cuisine to come up with a series of highly
treasured dished. Many of the dishes are cunningly prepared so that they are
easily mistaken for real meat in shape and flavour – these dishes are
thereby nicknamed vegetarian’s chicken, vegetarian’s braised pork in soy
sauce and spices, vegetarian’s pork joint, and vegetarian’s assorted
delicacies. Other major dishes include mushrooms cooked with wheat gluten,
hot-and-sour vegetable filets, vegetarian’s ‘fish’ which is flavoured with
tender Chinese toon sprouts, and dried ‘meat’ strips.