Jian Jian Vegetarian Food for Pork Free Penang Hawker Food
I was pleased to stumble upon Jian Jian Vegetarian Food at a corner of the Kopitiam on Tye Sin Street in George Town.
Penang’s hawker food has pork-based ingredients in either the soup stock, lard oil, or ingredients.
So, if you don’t take pork for personal reasons, it isn’t easy to find pork-free hawker food in a Kopitiam.
Jian Jian Vegetarian Food
Jian Jian Vegetarian Food is a bit of a hole in the wall outlet.
The Kopitiam is at the junction of Lebuh McNair and Lebuh Tye Sin, which is off Jalan Magazine.
You can walk from 1st Avenue or at the back of the Prangin shopping center (next to Komtar tower).
The mom-and-pop eatery is 100% meat-free very popular with the local vegetarians.
The place has a small cramped dining area with limited tables and chairs; super busy and popular with Penangites.
If you want to enjoy your meals in the Kopitiam, you need to go early to avoid the lunchtime rush.
Jian Jian specializes in the vegetarian version of many famous Penang noodles.
There is a food cart located on the street that whips up quick meals.
You can dine in as there is in-door seating, or you can take “tapao” (takeaway) your food to go.
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Hawker fare Breakfast at Jian Jian Vegetarian Food
The stall is run by a friendly lady who will explain the daily specials and take your orders. If you go for lunch, she will take you through the buffet options.
Since this is a vegetarian spot, they do have Eggs in some of the dishes.
Just make sure to let them know if you don’t want egg or egg noodles in your dish.
On a Monday morning, I was there, and the recommendation was the “special” their Penang Hokkien Mee, which they only make once a week.
The Noodles are RM4 per bowl, inexpensive, and filling.
Jian Jian Vegetarian Monday Special – Penang Hokkien Mee
The noodles are a good-sized portion with generous toppings.
The Penang Hokkien Mee has a flavorful broth and an excellent spicy chili.
Jian Jian Vegetarian Tuesday Special – Jawa Mee (Noodles in Potato Gravy)
Jawa Mee is a traditional Indonesian–Javanese-style noodle drenched in an orangy sweet potato gravy. It is also called Mee Rebus.
Jian Jian’s version has the sweet potato gravy generously ladled over Yellow Noodle and Bee Hoon, “Taugeh” (Mung Bean Sprout) garnished with Fried Soft Tofu and Crunchy Fried Crispy Fritters.
Best served with homemade chili sauce – BUT Jian Jian’s chili sauce made without Belacan (Shrimp paste) tastes excellent.
Jian Jian Vegetarian Wednesday Special – Lor Mee & Penang Assam Laksa
Wednesday is great with two hawker food for specials.
Vegetarian Penang Assam Laksa
The Penang Assam Laksa at Jian Jian is amazing.
Penang Assam Laksa is flavorful, spicy, and tangy – Jian Jian Vegetarian hits all the right notes with this unique soup with any mackerel fish in the broth.
Penang Assam Laksa is the most popular noodle dish and must-try for tourists visiting the island.
I’m pleased with this vegan-friendly version that looks and tastes like the real Macoy.
Since I don’t like the fishy smell of certain fish or “Heko” prawn paste, this version is perfect.
Even the “fish meat” texture is perfectly replicated in the broth.
The good news is if you’re vegetarian, you can still find a good bowl of authentic Penang Asam Laksa at home by packing it home.
I have had it at the shop, bought it at a friend’s home nearby, and had it at home after 3 hours, and the verdict is – it still tastes great when you heat the soup.
This is the one 5 star dish you need need to try!
Vegetarian Lor Mee
Braised Noodles Hokkien style “Lor Mee” is a popular hawker fare with notes of five-spice in the soup and topped with chili paste and minced vinegared garlic.
Jian Jian’s delicious and healthy vegan “Lor Mee” is a comforting hawker recipe for lovers of braised dishes with dark starchy gravy.
If you look at the “Lor Mee,” which looks exactly like the normal version, you may wonder if there’s garlic or onions in it.
Don’t worry, as all the dishes at Jian Jian are cooked without garlic or onions.
If you practice certain dietary restrictions, you will appreciate the dishes here.
People with sensitive GI tracts or conditions like irritable bowel syndrome will appreciate food without these two bulbs belonging to the Allium genus.
Daily Available Noodle Dish – Wantan Mee
Wantan Mee is readily available from roadside hawker stalls or in Kopitiam (coffee shops) in Penang.
For Jian Jian’s vegetarian version, the Wantan noodles are tossed with a dark soy sauce with braised Black Mushroom and topped with Fried Wontons, Vegetarian Char Siu, and blanched green leafy “Chai Sim” (Mustard Greens).
You can ask for sliced pickled green chilies instead of “Green Sambal.”
Other Vegetarian Must Order Dishes
If you’re excited to try another local Penang hawker food, these are my top favorites.
- Oyster Omelette
- Char Hor Fun Wet
- Char Hor Fun Dry
- Mock duck
If you’re a Penang bachelor boy, you would have probably heard of this – to buy or prepare Penang Char Hor Fun to impress your girlfriend or your future parents-in-law.
While you order the dish, it would be great if the Char Hor Fun has lots of “wok hey” plus plenty of extra ingredients to impress.
Jian Jian Char Hor Fun With Silky Egg Gravy
My octogenarian mom has always requested Korchabi Char Hor Fun.
The Char Hor Fun passed my mom’s taste test for good “wok hey” with plenty of ingredients and taste.
Jian Jian Dry Char Hor Fun With Egg
I prefer the dry version of this delicious dish, full of smoky, slightly charred, “wok hey” flavored Hor Fun, and Bee Hoon cooked on a very hot wok!
Jian Jian makes a yummy vegetarian version of the famous”Oh Chien” (Oyster Omelette), which smells and looks delicious.
A simple, fast dish, “Oh Chien,” is made with eggs, sweet potato flour, mushroom, and chopped cilantro.
The dipping chili sauce is sour yet spicy and goes well with the sticky egg batter fried to perfection.
Mock Duck is a gluten-based meat substitute made of wheat gluten, oil, sugar, soy sauce, salt, and deep-fried in oil.
At Jian Jian, the Mock Duck is freshly deep-fried when you place your order.
It looked so good that I was tempted to pop a piece into my mouth as the server cut it up with a pair of scissors.
You get its distinct flavor and that weirdly artificial “plucked duck” texture, but I think it tastes too sweet and oily for me.
Nevertheless, it is a popular item for the customers.
Jian Jian Vegetarian – Lunch Buffet Options
Jian Jian Vegetarian provides a vegetarian buffet that is pocket-friendly.
You can choose the healthier dishes and refrain from the fried items as these very oily—cheap local Chinese, vegetarian food stall with various Vegetarian dishes with rice.
You can find Eggs added to certain dishes.
If you don’t take Eggs, mention it to the server, and she will help you out.
Most dishes are vegan. All are tasty, so it is worth seeking out.
Most patrons will “tapao” or take away the food.
There are many vegan soups for you to choose from.
On Mondays, they have their signature White Radish Soup, a favorite of mine.
Since I was there for breakfast, I didn’t stay to wait for the soup to be ready.
You can try their faux veg ham.
On some days, you can find Nasi Lemak on the menu, minus all the meats.
Pros of Dining at Jian Jian Vegetarian Food
Most of the Vegan hawker food is tasty.
The portions are satisfying with a good amount of topping.
Popular with the local vegetarians who appreciate the excellent tasty food and low prices.
You can order a Kopi for RM1 only.
Cons of Dining at Jian Jian Vegetarian Food
Cons: The Kopitiam can be packed during mealtimes and is very busy. There are ceiling fans but no aircon.
Finding a car park can be rather challenging during lunchtime as the roads are busy and full of vehicles.
Jian Jian Vegetarian Food Review
Jian Jian has good quality vegetarian versions of authentic Penang hawker food for those who want a pork-free meal.
I paid RM4 for a delicious bowl of Penang Hokkien Mee that can rival the porky version in terms of looks and spiciness level.
My first impression is the food is cheap, flavorful, and in satisfying portions.
Jian Jian is popular among locals, even on a Monday morning.
The service is fast, and the food arrived piping hot.
I will be back to try the other vegan hawker dishes.
I have tasted several vegetarian food outlets in Penang.
Since Jian Jian is a local spot, the prices are reasonable.
Some of the dishes are for sharing.
You can order several dishes and eat family-style to try a little of everything.
I would recommend Jian Jian as their food tastes exactly like the famous original Penang food.
Jian Jian Vegetarian Food
58, Lebuh Tye Sin, George Town, 10300 George Town, Pulau Pinang.
Location: Google Map
Phone: 012-429 7518
Business Hours: Monday to Saturday 7.00 AM to 2.00 PM
Editor’s Note: Normally, I will make up to three trips to taste the food before writing. For Jian Jian Vegetarian Food, I have been to the shop three days in a row for two weeks simply because the food is tasty and very delicious.