Sure, there are Asian vegetarians that exist in the world somewhere – the Bay Area Buddhist temples that serve vegetarian food on weekends come to mind. But for the most part, us Asian-American kids pride ourselves in eating every part of an animal that doesn’t try to run away from us at the table.
David Chang has nothing against vegetarians. He just doesn’t like to cook for them.
That much is made clear on the menu of his East Village restaurant Momofuku Noodle Bar, which offers exactly one vegetarian dish—ginger-scallion noodles. OUR ONLY VEGETARIAN OPTION, it reads in boldface type, as if to say, “Hey, you can take it or leave it.” A further examination of the menu, with its exuberance of pig tails, pork necks, Berkshire bellies, and boutique bacon, might lead you to speculate as to whether Chang was kidnapped by a gang of vegan hippies at a young age and then force-fed wheatgrass and raw parsnips and this is his revenge.
The article goes into detail about his newest project, an Asian burrito bar, and some of the difficulties he’s encountered on the way.