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Guest called AH for bringing tofu dish with meat to potluck; vegetarians are furious.

Guest called AH for bringing tofu dish with meat to potluck; vegetarians are furious.


'AITA for putting meat in a tofu dish?'

This happened at a potluck. I brought a dish that was tofu stir-fried with minced pork, ginger and spring onions. Similar to mapo tofu but not spicy.

Everything was fine except when someone asked me if my dish was halal, I said no, it has pork. That's when Jen overheard and freaked out that she ate meat. And it turns out a lot of other vegetarians ate my dish assuming it was vegetarian.

For the rest of the party, I've had so many people (including non-vegetarians) tell me I'm an AH for putting meat in a vegetarian dish. But this is a dish I grew up with, tofu for me is just an ingredient, not strictly a meat substitute. Also, no one asked me if my dish was vegetarian. So am I the AH here or are people just overreacting?

Edit: Since so many people are asking. Nothing was labeled. I just left the dish on the buffet table along with the rest of the dishes. There were many other meat dishes. About 20 people at the party, 4 were vegetarian. No one asked about my dish except for the person asking if it was halal.

Here's what people had to say:

Baejax_the_Great writes:

NTA. Chinese tofu dishes (and other vegetable dishes!) often contain pork to add flavor. It's not your fault they didn't know that, and I'd bet they've accidentally eaten pork at Chinese food places since they didn't.

Unhappy-Fault-3126 OP responded:

That's what was so frustrating. They kept saying I put meat in a vegetarian dish, but it's not a vegetarian dish!

Firebreathingshihtzu writes:

NTA. Mapo tofu usually comes with meat. The person that asked if it was halal was responsible. The vegetarians that ate it were not responsible. I live in an extremely health conscious area and know several people w/ allergies so I've started to put a list of ingredients with dishes I bring to potlucks.

Unhappy-Fault-3126 OP responded:

Thank you! And it's not like it was hidden, there obvious chunks of mince

pottersquash asks:


Was there a potluck planner?

Was a potluck menu/spreadsheet made?

Did you have to put a name on the dish?

Was there any visual indication on any other dish that it was vegetarian/vegan/kosher/halal/etc?

Unhappy-Fault-3126 OP responded:

It was a bring whatever you want. I just put it on the buffet table. Nothing was labeled.

333222444333 asks:

info: how did you introduce this dish?

Unhappy-Fault-3126 OP responded:

I didn't, just put it on the buffet table along with all the other dishes. There there many other meat dishes as well.

YouSayWotNow writes:

They assumed it was a vegetarian dish because they have a weird misconception that tofu exists only for vegetarians. That they didn't bother to ask is on them. NTA

Right_Count writes:

NAH. I feel as you do, that tofu is just an ingredient like any other. Its presence does not translate to an absence of meat.

However, tofu is often used as a vegetarian protein and substitute for animal proteins in a dish. A lot of people are raised with this perception: you eat tofu if you can’t eat meat and if you can eat meat, you wouldn’t bother eating tofu.

So I don’t think it’s a wild assumption to make that a tofu-based dish is vegetarian. In the future, I would just make it clear that the dish contains pork, along with any common allergens.

Sources: Reddit
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