8th GOVEG Asia Magazine

Macau’s Vegan Culture: A Blend of New and Old School Approaches

BY Angie P. 小帕

<Writer Profile>

 Editor-in-Chief of GoVeg, author of the book Veganastic. She also coaches Pilates, barefoot running and animal flow at the pure vegan studio Positiv Wellness, and lectures for various Fortune 500 companies and Hong Kong organizations, promoting worldwide a healthy vegan lifestyle, with an emphasis on balancing mind, body and spirit.

 

<Writer Profile> Editor-in-Chief of GoVeg, author of the book Veganastic. She also coaches Pilates, barefoot running and animal flow at the pure vegan studio Positiv Wellness, and lectures for various Fortune 500 companies and Hong Kong organizations, promoting worldwide a healthy vegan lifestyle, with an emphasis on balancing mind, body and spirit.

 

Remy was born in the ‘90s in China’s Anhui province, and is now a semi-vegetarian. He started his career as a vegetarian chef at the age of 15 and decided to pursue that career in Guangdong at the age of 23 after leaving Beijing’s JingzhaoYin Vegetarian Restaurant. He has, since that time, had experience working in many restaurants. 

With 14 years of experience as a vegetarian chef, Remy is committed to making vegetarian cuisine a refined, healthy and fashionable choice, combining Chinese and western features, as well as traditional and modern cooking methods. He selects ingredients according to the “24 Solar Terms” to make vegetarian dishes that better suit mainstream consumers.

As the famous Chinese saying goes, people’s lives depend on food. The basic idea of the “24 Solar Terms” is that each season has its representative foods and that eating those foods in season is a great way to stay healthy. People in harmony with nature will choose their food according to natural rhythms and seasons.

 

 

 

For this reason, some chefs, including Remy, choose their ingredients based on the current season, when harvest for those ingredients is at its peak. Thus the chefs go with nature. 

Furthermore, different regions have different eating habits in line with different times of the year. For example, in the north of China there is a custom of eating dumplings on the winter solstice and noodles on the summer solstice. But in the south it is different. The choice of food should adapt to local traditions. Where the customers come from plays an important part in what the chef is going to cook for them under the private bookings.

Simply put, the chef is customizing the vegetarian food for the customers. Choosing food based on the season and local traditions enables chefs to cook food more suitable for them.

To give three examples, Remy shared the following vegetarian dishes that he made at ShangShan Vegetarian Restaurant. The first one is gorgon fruits with sweet peas. The season of this dish corresponds to the White Dew in the 24 solar terms, which is around September.  Remy first blanches gorgon fruits and peas, then stir-fries them briefly using camellia oil. Lastly, he adds tomato slices and seaweed almond crisps.

 

 

The second one is radish soup, and the corresponding season is the beginning of winter. Remy stir-fries the radish with white pepper and ginger. The soup base is made with a blender afterwards. Next, he slices the radish then stir-fries them without oil, and these radish pieces are then put back into the soup. The toppings are baked beancurd slices.

 

The third dish is coconut milk with peach gum. The main ingredient in this dish is coconut, which corresponds to the hot summer in the 24 solar terms. It is a perfect desert for summer. Natural coconut milk, without any seasoning, is the base of the dessert. Next, Remy makes some coconut jelly.  The “caviar” is made out of mango and the peach gum is stewed with crystal sugar. Black wolfberries are used as decoration.

It is a cold soup but can also be a dessert. The chilled coconut is refreshingly sweet. Remy says this dish is particularly intereesting as the inspiration comes from a mobile phone. Thus we could say art is life. Life is art.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The third dish is coconut milk with peach gum. The main ingredient in this dish is coconut, which corresponds to the hot summer in the 24 solar terms. It is a perfect desert for summer. Natural coconut milk, without any seasoning, is the base of the dessert. Next, Remy makes some coconut jelly.  The “caviar” is made out of mango and the peach gum is stewed with crystal sugar. Black wolfberries are used as decoration.

It is a cold soup but can also be a dessert. The chilled coconut is refreshingly sweet. Remy says this dish is particularly intereesting as the inspiration comes from a mobile phone. Thus we could say art is life. Life is art.