We are an Asian take-away food/restaurant that caters to vegans and non-vegans alike.

In an effort to be more "vegan friendly" our menu has become confusing and I need a way to bring it back into line. The problem I am having is finding a word that can substitute for a meat and a non-meat filling.

For example, we have a garlic pepper stir fry which simply reads:

stir fried vegetables in a garlic and pepper sauce

On the original menu we had:

stir fried vegetables with your choice of chicken, beef, pork, or mixed seafood in a garlic pepper sauce

I didn't like it because it was too awkward. So it became:

stir fried vegetables with your choice of meat in a garlic pepper sauce

But when we started becoming more popular with the vegan crowd I just took all references to meat out and added an area that detailed "all the dishes come with your choice of chicken, beef, pork or mixed seafood," however, people don't see this and generally ask, "there's no meat in the dish?"

I then point to the coloured middle section of the form and start explaining.

What I would like to do is have something that indicates there is a meat in the dish, but without using the word meat. Something that preferably includes vegans and vegan choices (although we don't offer faux meats at all).

What I'm thinking is something more along the lines:

stir fried vegetables and X in a garlic pepper sauce

Where X can mean any of what you would or wouldn't put in.

The only two I have come up with have been "filling" or "protein", as in "your choice of filling". Neither of which I am happy with, although I am leaning towards "filling"


1 Answer 1


I disagree respectfully with the first answer for several reasons.

First, "protein" is a technical word, and not everyone is sure of what it means exactly. For example, beans contain "proteins," but not the full complement found in meat.

Second, I do not think it clarifies what is confusing to me in the original. If someone does not want meat or seafood, do they get the stir fried vegetables without anything additional, or can they get something additional such as tofu?

I'd try something very simple:

"Stir fried vegetables in garlic and pepper sauce with your choice of an extra ingredient."

Then you can have your box listing the options for extra ingredients. This is basically the "X" option using English instead of algebra.

  • Good points. I'm going to delete my answer. You will need to modify your answer for it to make sense after I do that!
    – thomj1332
    Aug 25, 2017 at 20:26

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