Vegetarian ‘options’, fish sauce and eating out

When I became vegetarian in 1992, what did I think being veggie in 2015 would be like?

Well I guess I hoped it would’ve moved on more than it has, particularly in regard to eating out.

Restaurants and fish sauce

Over Christmas I ate out a few times. Unfortunately, some restaurants still let their customers down with extremely limited choices. For example, the Asian food chain Banana Tree. Now, you’d think that Asian cuisine is one of the most veggie-friendly in the world right? Well, not at Banana Tree!

On the surface a lot of their meals look veggie, however, they have a ‘vf’ symbol next to them which means they contain fish sauce. In fact, so many of their ‘vegetarian’ meals contained fish sauce, there were in fact only two meals on the entire menu that were actually veggie! Pretty poor in 2015.

The vegetarian symbol

The vegetarian symbol

Another Thai restaurant I went to in Hove also had a lot of fish sauce in the menu. They were however happy to cook it without, as all their food was cooked from scratch. But if I had not asked I would’ve inadvertently eaten the fish sauce, bleurgh!

Ask before you order

My advice is:

  • Always ask before you order. Assume nothing!
  • Look at the key on the menu to find out what ‘v’, ‘vf’ or ‘vg’ mean.
  • If eating in Thai, Chinese, Malaysian, Vietnamese restaurants always check about fish sauce.

Their definition of vegetarian might not away match yours!

Cook Vegetarian

I’ve been cooking veggie food for over twenty years but sometimes I run out of inspiration.

I often turn to the internet for vegetarian recipe ideas. However, I do also recommend subscribing to a vegetarian cooking magazine if you’re also looking for some non-meaty culinary ideas.

Cook Vegetarian

I have subscribed to two different vegetarian magazines, ‘Cook Vegetarian‘ and ‘Vegetarian Living‘.

I prefer ‘Cook Vegetarian’ as it has more recipes. I also really like the colour photos and I find the recipes easy to follow. It’s not one of those magazines with loads of really bizarre ingredients your struggle to get hold of.

Cook Vegetarian magazine

Cook Vegetarian magazine

It costs £17.25 for six issues and I just discovered you can buy a digital edition from the Apple newsstand.

I have no affiliation with this magazine. I just wanted to recommend it as I always find something I want to make in it and often their recipes are very seasonal too.