Americans enjoy experiencing Vietnamese-style “fake salty” vegetarian dishes in Hawaii

Americans enjoy experiencing Vietnamese-style “fake salty” vegetarian dishes in Hawaii


Vegetarian restaurants contribute to the promotion of Vietnamese vegetarian cuisine in the US, especially vegetarian dishes with salty imitation.

In an article in Honolulu Magazine , editor Martha Cheng, who has also written for The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Food and Wine…, describes her unique experience. themselves at a vegetarian restaurant of Vietnamese origin in Honolulu, Hawaii (USA).

“Walking into a vegan restaurant, the first thing I see on the menu is pork bun and meatloaf. I was a bit confused wondering if I had come to the wrong place? On the menu, I also see crab and fish dishes. Then I discovered the words “all dishes are completely vegan”, Martha writes.

That’s Thuong An Lac restaurant, which specializes in serving “savory-looking” Vietnamese dishes such as vegetarian pho and vegetarian noodle soup with prices ranging from $4 – 13 USD/dish. Phuong Nguyen, a vegetarian for decades, opened this restaurant about half a year ago, when author Martha visited Honolulu for the Lunar New Year. Small, neat restaurant opposite the O’ahu market, always full of diners of Vietnamese origin.

Author Martha evaluates that the vegetarian bowl of tofu ($13) is impressively decorated with deep-fried tofu pieces, and vegetarian ingredients are processed to look like real meat slices.

“It’s my favorite here, with a clear broth topped with broccoli and mushrooms, gravy and black bean paste, plus a plate of bean sprouts, basil and lettuce, all mixed together. Praying together creates a special flavor”, according to Martha.

Vegetarian noodle soup at Thuong An Lac restaurant

Through research, author Martha discovered that vegetarian restaurants are often divided into two categories: focusing only on vegetables and pseudo-salty (such as vegetarian chicken wings).

Martha thinks that fake vegetarian dishes cannot completely replace the taste of real meat, but create a special feature for the dish, helping diners temporarily forget the absence of protein from real meat.

Vegetarian vermicelli noodles attract many diners with a variety of dishes

Vegetarian dumplings at Thuong An Lac restaurant

However, Thuong An Lac restaurant combines the two, mixing soybeans and protein from vegetables in the Vietnamese tradition.

At this restaurant, vegetarian vermicelli noodles are also unique, attracting many diners, with soft pieces of tofu in broth with a plate of herbs, grated bananas and bean sprouts.

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