Here’s some positive news: Thailand’s annual Phuket Vegetarian Festival is pushing through this 2021 on October 6-14! Even if you’re celebrating from the other side of the world, we’re sharing some of our favorite healthy vegetarian recipes to keep you company!
Healthy Vegetarian Recipes for Phuket Vegetarian Festival
The Phuket Vegetarian Schedule
The Phuket Vegetarian Festival is celebrated every 9th lunar month of the Chinese calendar. For 2021, it is scheduled on October 6 – 14.
Yes, you heard it right! The event is pushing through after its cancellation last year. COVID-19 protection measures will be strictly observed throughout the celebrations.
Phuket Vegetarian Festival History
There isn’t a definitive account of how the Phuket Vegetarian Festival came to be. But, it is believed that it all started with a Chinese opera group who were struck by malaria while wandering in Thailand. One of their members was sent to China to invite the Nine Emperor Gods to Phuket.
Upon the gods’ arrival, they carried with them the tradition of avoiding consumption of meat and alcohol, engaging in sexual activity, and similar activities to promote the purification of mind and body. Lo and behold, the opera group made a full recovery.
The Phuket Vegetarian Festival, or Nine Emperor Gods Fest, continues to be commemorated today for thanksgiving, physical and spiritual cleansing, good fortune, prosperity, and longevity.
What happens in the Vegetarian Fest?
The celebration begins with the raising of the 10-meter Go Teng Pole or lantern poles at the 25 shrines across the island of Phuket. The Chinese Gods are believed to descend these poles carrying their spiritual powers to the event.
This 9-day festival attracts thousands of locals and tourists alike. Not only is it an opportunity to feast on some of the best Vegetarian Thai food in Phuket, but the street processions are also a sight to behold.
Part of the festival’s tradition involves ritualized mutilation without anesthetic and minimal precautionary measures near or within the temples. We’re talking about impaling through the arms, legs, cheeks, and back, slashing of the tongue, and walking through firecrackers.
This practice is a form of worship to the gods and a striking expression of devotion to their beliefs. While bandages may be a common sight after the festival, devotees claim that scarring is unusual and stitching is rarely required even after being impaled. Devotees also experience a shift to a calm and focused demeanor for days or even weeks after the festival.
Easy Vegetarian Recipes for Phuket Vegetarian Fest
By the name itself, vegetarian food is a must-have during this festival. That means no meat and no alcohol. Soybeans and tofu are typical protein substitutes, so you really wouldn’t know the difference when compared with regular Thai dishes.
The best vegetarian food in Phuket may be in Ranong Road where the streets are riddled with vegetarian food stalls throughout the festival. All you have to do is to find the yellow flags and it will lead you to some of the best Vegetarian Thai food in Phuket.
But if you’re staying at home or living on a different continent, we’ve got you covered. Here are our favorite vegetarian recipes that you can try for whatever occasion, wherever you are!
1. Som Tum Green Papaya Salad
This Thai salad dish will treat you to a refreshing burst of spicy, tangy, sweet, and savory flavors! Using green papaya and the fresh combination of lime juice, Thai chilies, savory fish sauce, and palm sugar, Som Tum offers a mouth-watering experience that makes all the other salads you’ve ever tasted take a back seat. Simply use soy sauce as a fish sauce alternative for Som Tum and you’re good to go!
It’s super fun to make too! Follow our recipe here!
2. Iced Thai Tea
Thai Tea isn’t your typical milk tea. Its bright orange color already makes it a standout beverage! Thai Tea is black tea that’s mixed with condensed milk for a delightful blend of sweet, earthy, and nutty flavors.
To make your homemade vegetarian Thai Iced tea, simply brew 2-3 organic black tea teabags, add in coconut sugar, and pour in your choice of plant-based milk. Stir it to bring out its vibrant orange color and serve with ice.
3. Tom Yum Noodles
You can’t leave out Tom Yum in any Thai festivity. One of the most popular Thai soups, it usually includes shrimp, but it still is equally scrumptious with tofu as your protein of choice. You can add coconut milk for a deeper flavor and rice noodles to make it extra filling.
4. Tonkatsu Tofu Noodles
Tofu is the main superstar of this dish and it tastes like the real deal, maybe even better! Our recipe features three main ingredients: Kikkoman Soy Sauce, Marukan Rice Vinegar, and Bulldog Tonkatsu Sauce—a trio that you can always rely on for this vegetarian rendition of a classic Japanese dish.
These vegetarian ingredients are available in Karman Foods’ galleries, online Asian groceries, and your local markets.
If you’re in need of a warm and nutritious bowl of soup, check out our 20-Minute Vegetarian Tonkatsu Tofu Noodle Recipe!
Vegetarian dinner recipes are easier to make when you’ve got high-quality and great-tasting ingredients with you. That’s what we’re here for. Have everything you need for plant-based recipes when you shop at Karman Foods!
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