South Korea


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Comments about South Korea

Feb 22 07

Eating veg*n in South Korea can be challenging, but rewards can be incredible.

Many East Asians think that not eating meat equates with no chunks of beef, chicken or pork. Any animal derived broths are thought to be OK, and removing chunks of chicken meat out of a chicken stew will be enough and will serve it to veg*ns.

The danger in Korea is the presence of anchovy broths and the salted seafoods, especially brined baby shrimp, used to add salt and flavor to many items.

The presence of the brined seafoods is in almost all kimchi receipes, sometimes even the usually safe white kimchis known as 'mul kimchi'. The difficulty is that the brined seafoods melt into the kimchi, and are not visible to the naked eye.

The safest fallback in a Korean restaurant is to order bimbimbap, and ask them to withhold any kimchi, meat and egg. Ask them to toss in some tofu, if they have any. Since this dish is composed right before serving, you won't have the "pick the meat out" problem.

At typical restaurants, any hotpots or stews should be avoided, because the stock will most undoubtedly contain anchovy or meat broth.

Vegans are not without hope. There has been a small, growing movement to take temple cuisine to new levels. There are restaurants, especially in the swanky Gangnam area, that are 100% Vegan. Typically, there are set menus with multiple courses.

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