Sadly, the most popular dish in British Chinese restaurants is ‘Crispy Duck’. Because of its perceived ‘exotic’ nature, most customers in restaurants and take-aways are even more removed from the reality of modern duck meat production than many consumers in supermarkets. Whilst some duck for the restaurant trade is imported from abroad, most of it comes from the same factory farms that supply the main supermarkets in the UK. That means these animals, which have evolved to live and thrive in water, are denied any opportunity to follow that most basic behavioural need and spend their entire short lives on excrement-soaked litter in industrial sheds instead of swimming, diving and feeding in fresh, running water.
However, duck sales are down - and we are determined to keep them on a downward spiral! Try out Viva!'s new cruelty-free Chinese alternative below.
Crispy Duck-friendly Pancakes
The Chinese have a long and honourable tradition of vegetarianism, partly because of Buddhism. Monks weren’t supposed to eat meat because it inflamed their desires (oo-er missis), so traditional recipes were recreated using meat substitutes made from special mushrooms, tofu or seitan – made from wheat gluten.
This very sociable dish uses mock duck or plain seitan, available from Chinese supermarkets or health stores respectively. It’s absolutely delicious and has fooled a few meat eaters that we know! And of course, no animal has to suffer.
PS. Seitan is pronounced ‘Satan’!
Check cooking instructions on rice pancakes and prepare accordingly.
Still hungry for more? Check out the links below for more cruelty-free Chinese treats!