Korean food is undoubtedly very varied and rich in flavor, but is it also vegan friendly? With the rising number of people approaching the plant-based lifestyle every year more, it is normal to wonder whether a hot place like Korea is a destination to consider for your next travel destination!
Yes, Korean cuisine is not exactly vegan–friendly, as it includes some kind of meat or fish in most of its dishes, but not all is lost.
Whether you are vegan, vegetarian, or simply chose to consume more vegetables this year, you will be happy to hear that it has become increasingly easier to consume plant-based foods in Korea in the last few years.
Not only will you easily find products like plant-based milk, tofu, and all kinds of mushrooms in every grocery store, but if you get the chance to go to one of the larger chains such as Lotte Mart or Emart, you will discover that they actually carry vegan options like vegan Corn Dogs, vegan tteok galbi, vegan tangsuyuk and much more!
And if you find yourself in the metropolitan capital of Seoul, do not miss the chance to try one (or more) of the many vegan and/or vegetarian restaurants in the city! There are Korean, Italian, Indian, and Chinese restaurants and more, all vegan! That way you won't miss out on the chance of experiencing the local food and/or any other cuisine you're in the mood for!
Now, we also know Korea is the homeland of pretty and unique cafés, so of course, you are going to find vegan ones there as well! Places where you can simply enjoy a vegan latte while chatting with your friends or eating a vegan croiffle or even writing a letter to your future self!
There's a place for everybody!
But what if you find yourself wandering around the city, suddenly hungry, and you walk into this typical Korean restaurant that has no vegan options in sight, what can you do? Do not despair! You have some options left: you can ask for bibimbap, which is a rice-based Korean dish topped with all kinds of vegetables, eggs, and meat. All you need to do is ask for no eggs and meat and you're set! The same you can do for gimbap or buchujeon (garlic chive pancakes)!
Overall, if you have access to the right products and places, and if you are committed to sticking to your dietary choices, it's definitely possible to be vegetarian or vegan in Korea and not miss out!
You might need a little strategy, yes, but I promise it's worth it to see everything the country has to offer!
What do you think? Have you ever encountered difficulties sticking to your dietary choices while abroad? Tell us in the comments!