In Malaysia, it is really not difficult to be on a vegetarian diet and cooking vegetarian dishes on your own. For many years starting from the time I was 15 years old, my mom had urged me to go on a vegetarian diet on every new and full moon of the Chinese lunar calendar. She herself also went on the diet and soon the rest of my family followed because on these dates, she would only be cooking vegetarian dishes.
Note: Each year, I try to compile the full moon and new moon dates based on the Chinese calendar.
For an experienced cook, it is very easy to cook healthy vegetarian dishes on its own without the use of any mock meat or soy products. Just with vegetables and adjusting the flavouring of using salt, pepper, sugar, soy sauce and vegetarian oyster sauce.
However, many would enjoy the non meat versions of popular dishes for example loh mai kai, fried prawns, mock meat, char siew pao, satay, etc which are made using soy based products. There was some period of time in my life when I went on vegetarian diet continously for 6 months. Due to the huge variety of vegetarian versions of dishes available, I never really miss eating a meat diet.
Where to get vegetarian food supplies like mock meat, soy products, flavouring:
Chinese vegetarian ingredients: If you walk into any market, be it the morning wet market or night market (pasar malam), the Chinese seller who sells products such as tofu and fishballs would usually sell vegetarian products such as soy products and mock meat/fishballs. There was where my mom used to buy ingredients to cook vegetarian meals in the past.
Indian vegetarian ingredients: You would need to visit Indian grocery stores. In Klang Valley, areas like Sungai Way (Petaling Jaya), Little India Brickfields (Kuala Kumpur) and Klang – are places where you can find stores and source for Indian vegetarian supplies.
Online vegetarian frozen food suppliers
I’ve found two online vegetarian food supplier. The first one is https://everbest.my/ :
Another company is Vegeworld (https://www.vegeworld.com.my/):
The products sold are more limited but they do provide a store locator containing over 400 locations that carries their products such as AEON stores.
Here are some visuals of vegetarian mock dishes…..I took a picture of this poster but have not been able to locate their online details based on Malaysia.
Cooking at home:
During the time when I was cooking at home, I would purchase some of the mock meat from frozen food supplier and my local market as follows and cook my own simple vegetarian dishes at home:
All the dishes below are vegetarian. The sausage below is made of soy.
Note: Some temples in Malaysia also offer vegetarian diet on full moon/ new moon and Guan Yin Boddhisatva days. For example, Dharma Realm Guan Yin Sagely Monastery located in Jalan Ampang offers delicious vegetarian dishes for lunch on weekdays at a reasonable price – but you would need to go early as the dishes sold out very fast.