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Being a vegetarian in Korea
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Poltergeist



Joined: 03 Sep 2010

PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 8:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

drydell wrote:
re: the great iron debate
heres 3 links showing no greater iron deficiency anaemia in veg heads than meat chompers (despite generally having lower iron levels)

http://www.ajcn.org/content/78/3/633S.full.pdf

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10232635

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10479197

in short - nothing much to worry about here - move along now...

getting heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes are things people should be much more wary of (but if yer worried about iron or B12 etc- just get your levels checked out anyway - its so cheap in Korea)

Back to the original point of the post - OP I think it's becoming increasingly easier to be a vegetarian here - and one thing i've noticed is the explosion in vege-restaurants in the last 3 years (now over 40 Loving Huts nationally alone..)...and very often bustling with people - sometimes with queues out the doors (queue = line North Americans) case in point the Insadong Supreme Master Ching place Osegyehyang - it was always quiet when i visited there 2007/8 - but was there a couple of weeks ago and had to wait 30 mins for a table...
my only gripe these days is the focus they put on recreating meat dishes with soy or wheat protein instead of making healthy whole food vegefare..


Thank you, Drydell!!!

I agree about Loving Hut ... although the old SM was packed on many occasions around 2000-2001 as well.

The Itaewon location (not Hannam but the other one, around the corner from the Hamilton Hotel) has a lot of non-meaty options. Their "burgers" don't try to mimic the taste or texture of meat.
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TheUrbanMyth



Joined: 28 Jan 2003
Location: It's not a superiority complex when you really are superior

PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 9:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nathanrutledge wrote:
speaking of wastes of time, why don't you take this conversation elsewhere and let this thread remain about the specific topic of "vegetarians in korea?


That's a reasonable request. Everyone who wishes to debate about the health benefits as regarding iron please go here so we can avoid hijacking this one. I posted a study published in a peer-reviewed journal to start us off.


http://forums.eslcafe.com/korea/viewtopic.php?t=197020
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tomato



Joined: 31 Jan 2003
Location: I get so little foreign language experience, I must be in Koreatown, Los Angeles.

PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 9:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Poltergeist wrote:
What mailing list?


The mailing list that says:

Hello,

You are receiving this email because you are watching the topic, "Being a vegetarian in Korea" at Korean Job Discussion Forums. This topic has received a reply since your last visit. You can use the following link to view the replies made, no more notifications will be sent until you visit the topic.
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NYC_Gal 2.0



Joined: 10 Dec 2010

PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 9:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Poltergeist wrote:
drydell wrote:
re: the great iron debate
heres 3 links showing no greater iron deficiency anaemia in veg heads than meat chompers (despite generally having lower iron levels)

http://www.ajcn.org/content/78/3/633S.full.pdf

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10232635

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10479197

in short - nothing much to worry about here - move along now...

getting heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes are things people should be much more wary of (but if yer worried about iron or B12 etc- just get your levels checked out anyway - its so cheap in Korea)

Back to the original point of the post - OP I think it's becoming increasingly easier to be a vegetarian here - and one thing i've noticed is the explosion in vege-restaurants in the last 3 years (now over 40 Loving Huts nationally alone..)...and very often bustling with people - sometimes with queues out the doors (queue = line North Americans) case in point the Insadong Supreme Master Ching place Osegyehyang - it was always quiet when i visited there 2007/8 - but was there a couple of weeks ago and had to wait 30 mins for a table...
my only gripe these days is the focus they put on recreating meat dishes with soy or wheat protein instead of making healthy whole food vegefare..


Thank you, Drydell!!!

I agree about Loving Hut ... although the old SM was packed on many occasions around 2000-2001 as well.

The Itaewon location (not Hannam but the other one, around the corner from the Hamilton Hotel) has a lot of non-meaty options. Their "burgers" don't try to mimic the taste or texture of meat.


I went to the one near the chili burger place. Is that the one? They only had 2 pasta dishes on the menu, were out of one of the sides, and some salad on the menu. I must admit that the mushroom salad was great, but the menu was lacking. Where's the other one, please?
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Poltergeist



Joined: 03 Sep 2010

PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 10:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NYC_Gal 2.0 wrote:
Poltergeist wrote:
drydell wrote:
re: the great iron debate
heres 3 links showing no greater iron deficiency anaemia in veg heads than meat chompers (despite generally having lower iron levels)

http://www.ajcn.org/content/78/3/633S.full.pdf

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10232635

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10479197

in short - nothing much to worry about here - move along now...

getting heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes are things people should be much more wary of (but if yer worried about iron or B12 etc- just get your levels checked out anyway - its so cheap in Korea)

Back to the original point of the post - OP I think it's becoming increasingly easier to be a vegetarian here - and one thing i've noticed is the explosion in vege-restaurants in the last 3 years (now over 40 Loving Huts nationally alone..)...and very often bustling with people - sometimes with queues out the doors (queue = line North Americans) case in point the Insadong Supreme Master Ching place Osegyehyang - it was always quiet when i visited there 2007/8 - but was there a couple of weeks ago and had to wait 30 mins for a table...
my only gripe these days is the focus they put on recreating meat dishes with soy or wheat protein instead of making healthy whole food vegefare..


Thank you, Drydell!!!

I agree about Loving Hut ... although the old SM was packed on many occasions around 2000-2001 as well.

The Itaewon location (not Hannam but the other one, around the corner from the Hamilton Hotel) has a lot of non-meaty options. Their "burgers" don't try to mimic the taste or texture of meat.


I went to the one near the chili burger place. Is that the one? They only had 2 pasta dishes on the menu, were out of one of the sides, and some salad on the menu. I must admit that the mushroom salad was great, but the menu was lacking. Where's the other one, please?


That's the one. I really like the dishes I've tried there, but it is still a small place. I think they have a few pastas on the menu now.
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NYC_Gal 2.0



Joined: 10 Dec 2010

PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 10:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's all they had! 2 (maybe 3) pasta dishes, 2 or 3 sides, and a dessert menu. I'd love a veggie burger. Bean burgers are delicious, but take too long to make from scratch. Know anyplace that makes one (not the Wolfhound. They deep fry theirs Embarassed )?
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Poltergeist



Joined: 03 Sep 2010

PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 10:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had a bean burger the last time I went, and it was really good ... but I preferred their roasted veggie "burger," which was more of a sandwich. Maybe you went when they were just getting started? It got an amazing review here.

Last edited by Poltergeist on Mon Dec 13, 2010 10:42 pm; edited 1 time in total
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NYC_Gal 2.0



Joined: 10 Dec 2010

PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 10:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It was a few months back, so probably. I'll be sure to check them out next time I'm in the area. I'll order the bean one, and my friend'll order the veggie, so we can share and compare. Thanks for the info!
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Poltergeist



Joined: 03 Sep 2010

PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 10:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No problem--the potato wedges are great too. Definitely not health food, though.
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tomato



Joined: 31 Jan 2003
Location: I get so little foreign language experience, I must be in Koreatown, Los Angeles.

PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2010 3:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm eating my first vegetarian meal right now, which is a vegetable pizza.
But I can't keep eating vegetable pizzas forever.
Can someone recommend a good vegetarian cookbook?
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Poltergeist



Joined: 03 Sep 2010

PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2010 3:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know, there are tons out there. Maybe you could start by looking through some of the recipes at http://vegweb.com?
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le-paul



Joined: 07 Apr 2009
Location: dans la chambre

PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2010 5:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

tomato -
there are tons of recipes on the web. I use bbc a lot ( http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/ ) becasue they have a vegetarian search option. Today I made rossti with sun dried tomatoes on top ( http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/rostipotatoeswithsun_88384) courtesy of the fat bikers.

Failing that, download a pdf/epub recipe torrent. I got one a few months ago with 32,000 recipes on them. Quite a few were veg.

ps

Its easy to make veggie burgers. Just glue them together with feta.
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Wide eyed wanderer



Joined: 03 Jun 2009
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2010 1:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I appreciate the constructive criticism. I will admit I am not the most skilled and knowledgeable cook, but I am constantly working at it and I have learned quite a bit in the last several years. However I never really understood why people become so touchy and angry on these forums. It really makes a person not want to help out. I think there are two or three other threads about this. One of them was started because of this post.

I have a suggestion. Why don't all the vegetarians add to this by adding recommendations, vegetarian korean recipes, more website links to vegetarian living in Korea websites. I would like this to be more constructive.

I did live in a city called Namyangju, about an hour east of Seoul. I really would expect Daegu to have more than Namyangju because it is one of the largest cities in South Korea. However if you live outside these major city centers you are really out of luck. For Example Namyangju has over 800,000 people which isn't huge, but a fair sized city. I never once saw a vegetarian sausage or veggy burger in my city. There were no vegetarian restaurants. There were ways to order food without meat, and I became very specific when ordering. I would go through the list "I don't eat ham, egg, beef"

I don't think it is really fair for you to call me ignorant when it came to me explaining that I was vegetarian to koreans. I mean when you say "I don't eat meat", MEAT (at least by western definition) is anything made from an animal. I would prefer not to list out everything I don't eat like: "I don't eat chicken, liver, pork, ham, turkey, rabbit, duck quail, dog, cow, fish, egg, milk. ect, ect," The fact that they don't consider ham to a meat is a misunderstanding, NOT ignorance. At first the lady at the restaurant I would occasionally would accommodate my diet, but after a while I saw that I was annoying them and I could hear them talking about me in Korean, so I stopped going. This wasn't the only time I got strange looks, not to say all Koreans are like this. Some where fantastic and they warned me of certain things in the dishes. I also had several vegetarian Korean friends, and even they concurred that it was difficult to be vegetarian because there were few resources for them and other Koreans would treat them like outsiders because they didn't eat meat. I found ways to stay vegetarian and healthy sometimes I would make vegan kimchi, mandu, jap-che and other dishes. So it is possible but it wasn't easy I had to change the whole way that I cooked and look for new sources of nutrients.

For example the nutrition chart you gave us, this is how often I found these very items in the grocery store or E-mart:

mg

Soybeans, cooked 1 cup 8.8 -often dried at E-mart
Blackstrap molasses 2 Tbsp 7.2 - occassioally
Lentils, cooked 1 cup 6.6 - rarely even in Seoul
Spinach, cooked 1 cup 6.4 - rarely in seoul
Quinoa, cooked 1 cup 6.3 - I was lucky to find it in seoul
Tofu 4 ounces 6.0 - very common
Bagel, enriched 3 ounces 5.2 - rarely in nam, common in Seoul
Tempeh 1 cup 4.8 - occassional in Seoul
Lima beans, cooked 1 cup 4.4 - never found
Swiss chard, cooked 1 cup 4.0 - you are lucky to find cheddar, good luck finding Swiss
Black beans, cooked 1 cup 3.6 - never found, even dried
Pinto beans, cooked 1 cup 3.5 - never found
Turnip greens, cooked 1 cup 3.2 - common
Chickpeas, cooked 1 cup 3.2 - rarely in Seoul
Potato 1 large 3.2 -common
Kidney beans, cooked 1 cup 3.0 - common in Seoul
Prune juice 8 ounces 3.0 - finding juice that wasn't pumped full of sugar and that had half decent nutrients was hard
Beet greens, cooked 1 cup 2.7 - common
Tahini 2 Tbsp 2.7 - common
Veggie hot dog 1 hot dog 2.7 - never found
Peas, cooked 1 cup 2.5 - occasional
Black-eyed peas, cooked 1 cup 2.3 - rare
Cashews 1/4 cup 2.1 - common, but expensive
Brussels sprouts, cooked 1 cup 1.9 - rare
Bok choy, cooked 1 cup 1.8 - common
Bulgur, cooked 1 cup 1.7 - occasionally
Raisins 1/2 cup 1.6 - common, but expensive
Almonds 1/4 cup 1.5 - common, but expensive
Apricots, dried 15 halves 1.4 - common
Veggie burger, commercial 1 patty 1.4 - occasionally in Seoul
Watermelon 1/8 medium 1.4 - common, expensive
Soy yogurt 6 ounces 1.1 - never found soy yogurt
Tomato juice 8 ounces 1.0 - common
Green beans, cooked 1 cup 1.2 - never found
Kale, cooked 1 cup 1.2 - common
Sunflower seeds 1/4 cup 1.2 -rarely
Broccoli, cooked 1 cup 1.1 - common
Millet, cooked 1 cup 1.1 - rare
Sesame seeds 2 Tbsp 1.0 - rare

So there are things to survive on, but I like variety in my diet and I can't eat bran flakes, broccoli, and kidney beans everyday. I'd go mad. It was really hard to find dried beans and spinach (they had other greens but spinach was particularly hard to find) Keep in mind I don't live in Seoul so it may be easier to find stuff it you live there. It may easier to shop in Seoul, but going an hour on transit, then an hour back just for groceries is a pain.

Rennet in Tofu? I am quite certain it doesn't, I checked again, looking at a whole list of Tofu products. None. I mean just because a Korean said 'cow' and all evidence shows otherwise. Couldn't that have been a miss understanding. Maybe your right for that kind of tofu, but everything I have bought so far is vegetarian.
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Wide eyed wanderer



Joined: 03 Jun 2009
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2010 1:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tomato wrote:
I'm eating my first vegetarian meal right now, which is a vegetable pizza.
But I can't keep eating vegetable pizzas forever.
Can someone recommend a good vegetarian cookbook?


all recipes have a few:

http://allrecipes.com/Search/Recipes.aspx?WithTerm=korean%20vegetarian

The Jap-chae is particularly good, although I recommend adding some lightly fried veggies and tofu fried in olive oil and soy sauce. I got tons of compliments on this meal. I was particularly proud of it. Very Happy
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le-paul



Joined: 07 Apr 2009
Location: dans la chambre

PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2010 4:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sorry mate but you just sounded like a martyr a bit when I read your O.post (and still do a bit actually).

Ive lived in the sticks and never had any problems being a vegi.

Once a month i take a trip into town and stock up on the essentials (lentils, veg sausages, protein drinks, pesto sauce, olives, baked beans, breakfast cereal etc). The rest of the time Id shop for perishables (such as veg.). When I eat/ate out id order bi bim bap or something, sometimes it would come with meat but if I went to the same restaurant, i wouldnt have to keep explaining myself.

And yes it is ignorant to expect everyone here to understand your western idea, no, personal idea of vegetarianism. Being a vegi is a new idea here (if not, none existant).

you said,

I would prefer not to list out everything I don't eat like: "I don't eat chicken, liver, pork, ham, turkey, rabbit, duck quail, dog, cow, fish, egg, milk. ect, ect," The fact that they don't consider ham to a meat is a misunderstanding, NOT ignorance

well its a shame that you dont want to list everything you dont want but if you dont want meat, thats what your going to have to do unfortunately. My girlfreind sometimes has to explain for 5 minutes solid what I dont want in my food when were travelling. And I STILL get meat in it.

Its not a misunderstanding - it is ignorance that you expect them to understand your definition. A lot of koreans just dont consider ham or fish to be meat. And every person is different. This is a meat culture.

What is meant by 'meat' is your definition - not anyone elses.

I have met a lot of americans for example who say they are vegetarians who eat what I would consider meat - becasue they dont.

My advice if you dont feel like explaining; find one restaurang - order vegi food, never eat anywhere else.

As for the shopping, I have every thing I could buy at home in my fridge - I just had to do a lot of looking/asking around. It takes a lot of effort but it is possible.

Personally, I actually enjoy the looking around part and dont see myself as suffering any hardship.
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