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19 February 2006 @ 05:40 pm
Caveat emptor  
I just found out today that my favorite tofu and string bean dish at a local restaurant is made with a condiment containing dried shrimp. They call it Sha Cha string beans and it's the Sha Cha sauce that comes ready-made and always contains dried shrimp and other fish along with ground peanuts.

I had looked online for a recipe and found this out. I called the restaurant to confirm and was told that yes, indeed, it contains dried shrimp. I suggested the the menu clearly designate the vegetarian dishes apart from the non-vegetarian dishes. The woman I spoke to said she has suggested this to the chef and that he doesn't wish to do this because of the "traditional" cooking methods involved. Instead, the waitstaff is instructed to let the kitchen know when a dish must be completely vegetarian. I replied that there should be a mention on the menu that customers need to specify this because many vegetarians assume that a tofu and vegetable dish is vegetarian unless the description mentions a meat ingredient or sauce.

I'll have to see if I can duplicate the basic flavor of this dish, which involves crushed and whole peanuts, on my own. I am dismayed that I had this many times without knowing.