According to Wikipedia, Pei Wei Asian Diner is an American fast-casual restaurant chain serving Pan Asian fare in more than 200 U.S. and 6 international locations.
Like many Asian restaurants like PF Chang’s and Panda Express, Pei Wei will naturally have some vegan options considering their use of proteins like edamame or tofu. What’s more, Pei Wei is quite frank when providing information regarding cross-contamination, which does reassure some vegans.
In fact, according to information gathered by the Vegetarian Resource Group, Pei Wei adheres to the strictest standards when labeling something vegan. One example they’ve provided is that Pei Wei will avoid calling vegan any dish containing sugar because it’s often processed with bone char in the United States. Additionally, they are also careful not to label vegan any dish that may contain honey.
But what’s even more admirable is that they sanitize everything carefully, especially between the use of tofu and meat since they’re aware vegans may order tofu. With that being said, the risk of cross-contamination may still exist, particularly if the chef doesn’t follow proper sanitation rules.
In this article, we are going to look at 6 of the best food options you can order at Pei Wei, and how you can make them more interesting.
Eating Vegan at Pei Wei
Did you know that eating vegan at Pei Wei is quite east? They have a system in place that allows you to choose between plant-based and animal-based ingredients. In other words, at Pei Wei, you can create your own bowl.
When doing so, you can choose three things in order:
- Main recipe (with 4 vegan options available)
- Protein source (with 1 vegan option available)
- Greens and grains (with 6 vegan options available)
You also have other items listed on the menu, including small plates, noodle bowls, salad bowls, house-rolled sushi, soups, and desserts. However, among those options, you’ll only be able to find one that is vegan, which is a small plate of edamame sprinkled with salt.
Below, we are going to look at the aforementioned vegan options in order.
Main Vegan Recipes
The name of this particular dish is counter-intuitive, especially when we discover that it doesn’t contain any real honey.
According to Pei Wei, the honey is used merely to describe the flavor that is brought to life by the garlic sauce garnished with red bell peppers, scallions, and crispy rice sticks.
2 – Sweet & Sour
This sweet and sour dish is a combination of pineapple, red bell peppers, carrots, snap peas, onions, and fresh ginger topped with sweet & sour sauce.
3 – Thai Dynamite
The Thai Dynamite dish is deliciously spicy! It includes Thai basil, red bell peppers, carrots, snap peas, and onions in a Sriracha chile soy sauce and a lime wedge on top.
Vegan Protein Sources
Five-Spice Tofu (with or without fresh vegetables)
Tofu is a common source of plant-based protein in Asian cuisine, and at Pei Wei, you can order it steamed or fried, and with or without fresh vegetables.
This is the protein source you should order with any of the vegan recipes we have mentioned above.
Greens & Grains
The third step when creating your bowl is to choose between greens or grains, and you have solid six options to choose from, which include:
- Mixed Greens
- Lettuce Cups
- White Rice (Steamed or Fried)
- Brown Rice (Steamed or Fried)
- Cauliflower Rice (Steamed or Fried)
Depending on the ingredients you choose, you’ll be able to have a meal with between 750 and 1500 calories, which is certainly significant, especially considering the variety of nutritionally-rich vegetables.
Other Vegan Options
Small Plate of Edamame
A simple side dish in Asian cuisine is Edamame sprinkled with sea salt. However, Edamame, being a good source of protein, can also be a great addition to some of the options we’ve already mentioned.
We’ve learned that Pei Wei has a lot of vegan food, including cauliflower rice, white rice, brown rice, lettuce cups, and noodles. You can easily order one of these and toss some edamame on top, along with mixed salad greens to create a more complete dish, with a more balanced combination of nutrients.
Naturally, upon ordering, you have to be vocal about your dietary preferences so that the chef has the utmost care when preparing your food.
Miso Side Salad
Pei Wei also has a vegan-friendly miso salad that includes heritage mixed greens topped with grape tomatoes, julienne carrots, scallions, and red bell peppers, all tossed with white miso ginger dressing.
However, you can also choose among other dressings such as chili paste, lime vinaigrette, wasabi vinaigrette, and sesame ginger vinaigrette.
Needless to say, Pei Wei also has several widely popular beverages which include:
- Coke & Diet Coke
- Dr. Pepper
- or Dasani Still Water
These beverages, like in most places, are suitable for vegans.
As you can see, there are a lot of vegan items on Pei Wei’s menu that you can choose from. They have options that range from more complex Asian dishes such as the Thai Dynamite or
Honey-Seared to a protein like tofu or a side dish of edamame sprinkled with salt.
If you’re interested in learning more about how you can successfully eat outside (in both vegan and non-vegan restaurants), check out this article packed with awesome tips.
Are Pei Wei Spring Rolls Vegan?
Unfortunately, Pei Wei’s vegetable spring rolls are not vegan because the dough contains eggs. So, even though the content is clearly plant-based, the spring rolls are not suitable for vegans.
Are Pei Wei Noodles Vegan?
In Asian cuisine, it’s quite common to find a variety of noodles called “egg noodles”. However, the noodles sold by Pei Wei are not made using eggs and are suitable for vegans.
Are Pei Wei Fortune Cookies Vegan?
Among the many commercially sold fortune cookies, I’ve found that many of them are only made with wheat flour, water, sugar, and vegetable oils, being suitable for vegans.
However, according to the information present in Pei Wei’s allergen menu, their fortune cookies contain eggs. For this reason, they’re not vegan.
Related: Are fortune cookies really vegan?