The Ultimate Guide to Eating a Plant-Based Diet in Korea

The Ultimate Guide to Eating a Plant-Based Diet in Korea

A plant-based diet is becoming increasingly popular in Korea, and with good reason. Not only is it a healthy way of eating, but it's also a great way to explore Korean cuisine with a twist. Eating a plant-based diet in Korea can be challenging, especially when the traditional Korean cuisine relies heavily on meat and seafood. But don’t worry! We have you covered with this ultimate guide for navigating a plant-based diet in Korea.

The Benefits of Plant-Based Eating

A plant-based diet is full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can help promote better health. It has been linked to weight loss, improved mental clarity and focus, and reduced risk for certain diseases like heart disease and diabetes. Additionally, plants are naturally low in saturated fat, so there’s no need to worry about adding too much unhealthy fat into your diet.

Plant-Based Eating Korea(Image: Credits to the rightful owner)

5 Must Try Korean Plant-Based Recipes  

Crispy mushrooms are deep-fried in shallow oil to create Beoseot gangjeong - a dish that packs a sweet, sour and spicy punch! The lightly coated mushrooms are cooked to perfection and then glazed with the tantalizing sauce that takes only minutes to make.

Beoseot Gangjeong (Sweet Cripsy Mushrooms)
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Dubu Jorim is a classic Korean side dish that brings back childhood memories. The braised tofu is deliciously flavorful, making it a favorite of many. Growing up in Korea, this dish was a regular staple in school lunches called dosirak - usually consisting of rice and a few other side dishes.

Dubu Jorim (Braised Tofu)

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Korean temple cooking is all about seasonal and plant-based ingredients. As such, temple dishes are entirely vegan. During the summer months, zucchini dumplings are a popular favorite! These simple yet delicious dumplings make for a perfect meal.

Hobak Mandu (Zucchini Dumplings)

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Still part of the same Korean temple food theme, here's a delicious vegan recipe - eggplant rolls! In Korean, these delightful rolls are called gaji mari. Gaji is the word for eggplant while mari means that they have been rolled up. Easy to prepare and absolutely scrumptious, these rolls make for a perfect meal!

Gaji Mari (Eggplant Rolls)

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Bibimbap offers you great flexibility when it comes to meal planning! Whether it's chopping and blanching fresh vegetables, or simply using leftovers from other meals, there are endless options to come up with a delicious bibimbap. With such an array of ingredients, you'll always have an all-round satisfying dish at the end!

Dubu Bibimbap (Tofu Bibimbap)
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How to Eat Out As A Plant-Based Eater?

Eating out can be tricky but not impossible if you’re following a plant-based diet in Korea. Many restaurants now offer vegetarian options so be sure to check their menus before deciding where to eat. If there are no vegetarian dishes available, don’t fret – most restaurants will be happy to accommodate dietary requests if given advance notice. Additionally, many Korean BBQ restaurants also offer vegetable sides which make for great accompaniments when paired with steamed rice or noodles! Finally, don’t forget about the abundance of traditional markets which sell fresh produce as well as prepared foods like gimbap (seaweed rolls) and banchan (side dishes). 

Vegan Menu
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Finding the Best Vegan Restaurants

If you don’t feel like cooking at home but still want to get your hands on some tasty vegan fare, there are plenty of great vegan restaurants across Korea that cater specifically for those following a plant-based diet. Whether you’re looking for traditional Korean dishes or western favorites like burgers and pizza, there’s something for everyone. Many cities now have dedicated vegetarian or vegan restaurants so be sure to check out online reviews before visiting.

Vegan Restaurants in Seoul

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Eating a plant-based diet doesn't have to be boring or difficult—especially if you're living in Korea! With the right ingredients and some creative recipes, you can enjoy tasty meals while still getting all the benefits that come with eating more vegetables. Try exploring the traditional flavors of Korean cuisine by substituting animal products with vegan alternatives like tofu or tempeh. And don't forget about all the amazing sauces that will give your dishes an extra kick of flavor! With this guide as your starting point, you'll soon be able to master the art of plant-based cooking in no time. Bon appétit!


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