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Vegetarians luck out with fresh fare

By Andy Beth Miller Photos By Anthony Consillio
July 26, 2015

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Canton Seafood Restaurant is no stranger to vegetarian fare, and proudly makes it a point to provide a wide range of options for its clientele.

“There are plenty of vegetarian choices here,” says manager He Gong. “Our vegetables are always fresh — never frozen — and no MSG is ever used either.”

That assurance of such quality and freshness is music to veggie-lovers’ ears, as are the waitress’ three magic words: “Ready to order?”

Diners feel lucky with this first-choice entree, Law Hon Jai ($9.99 special through August, $11.99 regularly). Famously served to celebrate Chinese New Year, this vegetarian dish features mushroom, Chinese bok choy, snow peas, broccoli, carrots, water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, tofu and long rice, swathed in broth made with bean curd and soy sauce.

Believed to bring good luck to the diner, and designed with ingredients that purify and cleanse the body and soul, Gong lets Dining Out in on some of the entree’s secret symbolism. “The long rice stands for long life … (jai) is very popular, symbolic and traditional,” says the manager.

Tofu with Vegetables and Mushroom ($10.99) also is a healthy choice, chock full of tofu, mushrooms, carrots, green onion and baby bok choy blanketed in a sesame oil-based sauce, spiced just right. Although standardly served with bok choy, Gong mentions that “the vegetables may be switched for any of the vegetables on our menu, including broccoli, string bean, bitter melon and more.”

Deep Fried Tofu ($9.99) dishes out generous cubes of tofu fried to a golden crisp — giving the perfect crunchy exterior and chewy interior. Served with a soy-based, house-special dipping sauce, Gong shares that “it’s our most popular vegetarian dish, along with our deep fried tofu with pepper and salt, which has stronger seasonings and smaller pieces of tofu.”

And what proper Cantonese meal would be complete without a Vegetable Egg Roll ($4.99 special through August, $5.99 regularly). These crispy pockets of mouth-pleasing flavor are great on their own or as an accompanying dish, and they’re served with sweet and sour sauce.

Canton Seafood Restaurant

923 Keeaumoku St., Honolulu
955-3388
Daily, 10 a.m.-11 p.m.