Shanghai– Travel books caution westerners on breakfast, often giving the reader directions to “western breakfasts” (i.e., eggs, toast, bacon). This morning in a chilly corner restaurant in Shanghai, breakfast for me was a warm bowl of sweet soy milk, a pancake-like food with green onion, and a long donuty thing. All certifiably recreationally vegan (due to possible use of meat oil). But let me tell you, I’ve never experienced better soy milk, and certainly the best North American brands (see forthcoming review by my co-author) do not compare. The goodness was heightened when I learned the trick of dipping the donuty food in the soy milk, allowing the donuty food to absorb the delicate taste.
Street meat is a subject most recreational vegans roll their eyes at with disgust. After a day in this city, I’ve seen enough street meat to kill 100 vegans and their families. But today I had my first street tofu experience. Cooked tofu with a chewy skin, sold on the corner for pennies, and positively delicious. I’m not sure this changes my conclusions about street meat, but it definitely has opened my eyes to the possibilities.
Warm soy milk breakfast, complete with donuty thing and vegetable pancake, for under $2. Available at most of Shanghai’s hole-in-the-wall breakfast joints. Street tofu, available on … errr… streets (like the one below), for about 15 cents. The author, funded by therecreationalvegan’s QSB, is currently travelling in Shanghai and Beijing.