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Being a vegetarian in Korea
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NYC_Gal 2.0



Joined: 10 Dec 2010

PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2010 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wide eyed wanderer wrote:



mg

Soybeans, cooked 1 cup 8.8 -often dried at E-mart so soak them
Blackstrap molasses 2 Tbsp 7.2 - occassioally
Lentils, cooked 1 cup 6.6 - rarely even in Seoul nicedeli.com
Spinach, cooked 1 cup 6.4 - rarely in seoul
Quinoa, cooked 1 cup 6.3 - I was lucky to find it in seoul iherb.com
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 swiss chard is a vegetable, not cheese!
Black beans, cooked 1 cup 3.6 - never found, even dried canned at all of the Homeplus stores I've been
Pinto beans, cooked 1 cup 3.5 - never found foreign food market in Itaewon
Turnip greens, cooked 1 cup 3.2 - common
Chickpeas, cooked 1 cup 3.2 - rarely in Seoul foreign food market in Itaewon or nicedeli.com
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 just eat prunes, available everywhere
Beet greens, cooked 1 cup 2.7 - common
Tahini 2 Tbsp 2.7 - common
Veggie hot dog 1 hot dog 2.7 - never found I found some but they were horrible
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 You can get cheap Korean ones for cheap, but I opt for ordering sunmaid from nicedeli.com or getting organic ones from the specialty shop in Shinsegae
Almonds 1/4 cup 1.5 - common, but expensive But you're not paying for meat, so it evens out.
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 Rare? Sesame seeds are even at the smallest mom and pop grocery. They are in EVERYTHING!

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.


Many cheeses have rennet in them, unless you find a supplier who uses vegetable-based rennet, which is harder to use (I've done it).

There are loads of things you can do with beans. Refried, vegetarian chili, Indian, rice and beans, etc.

Good luck finding what you need. If you have any specifics, I might be able to point you in the right direction. I'm a foodie and am happy to scour the city until I find exactly what I need to make things properly.
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Rteacher



Joined: 23 May 2005
Location: Western MA, USA

PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2010 10:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's pretty easy to find cheese without animal rennet in Korea - Tillamook cheeses are carried by Costco and the Foreign Food Market. Some gourmet British cheeses available in Shinsegae supermarkets are also clearly labeled as being suitable for vegetarians. Even Pizza Hut reportedly uses cheese (made with microbial enzymes) that's not considered animal rennet.

As far as strictly vegan restaurants/cafes, there are now at least 40 "Loving Huts" scattered throughout Korea - and many of them are very low-key about being affiliated with "Supreme Master" Ching Hai's meditation cult. Most all the ones I've been to have a good variety of palatable dishes at good prices. http://suprememastertv.com/loving-hut/?sca=ns5 Some sell various faux meats, whole grain breads and other vegetarian supplies - as does "New Start" (a Seventh Day Adventist-run vegan buffet restaurant near Gangnam)

More information on this topic can be found on this old thread ... http://forums.eslcafe.com/korea/viewtopic.php?t=53723&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=210
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sojusucks



Joined: 31 May 2008

PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2010 12:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
there are now at least 40 "Loving Huts" scattered throughout Korea - and many of them are very low-key about being affiliated with "Supreme Master" Ching Hai's meditation cult


A cult? What is it all about?
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Poltergeist



Joined: 03 Sep 2010

PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2010 4:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sojusucks wrote:
Quote:
there are now at least 40 "Loving Huts" scattered throughout Korea - and many of them are very low-key about being affiliated with "Supreme Master" Ching Hai's meditation cult


A cult? What is it all about?


It's just a meditation group. No one will force you to join it, or even ask or suggest. I go there strictly for the food (and other groceries), and they've always been very helpful.
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le-paul



Joined: 07 Apr 2009
Location: dans la chambre

PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2010 5:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sounds like 'buy the book' restaurant/bookshop in daegu.

I went there for a drum lesson and some veggie food - I ended up having to role play being a seed and using my body as a musical instrument before they would let me leave...

I make my own humus now.
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Poltergeist



Joined: 03 Sep 2010

PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2010 5:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

le-paul wrote:
sounds like 'buy the book' restaurant/bookshop in daegu.

I went there for a drum lesson and some veggie food - I ended up having to role play being a seed and using my body as a musical instrument before they would let me leave...

I make my own humus now.


Loving Hut won't make you do anything like that, I promise.
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Rteacher



Joined: 23 May 2005
Location: Western MA, USA

PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2010 6:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm currently back in the U.S. in western Mass., but there are even a couple "Loving Huts" less than an hour from where I'm staying. Everything's in English on their website ... http://lovinghut.us/worcester/
http://lovinghut.us/worcester_02/menu.html
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elizabethbennet



Joined: 18 Aug 2009

PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2010 7:43 am    Post subject: vegan in busan for over a year now Reply with quote

I've been vegan in Busan for over a year now and I'm actually really disappointed in how many people come to Korea as vegetarians and leave as pescaterians or even all-out meat-eaters.

Honestly, I haven't found it difficult to be vegan. Home Plus and Lotte carry all kinds of different beans (black beans are particularly iron-rich, fyi). You can find oats and grains of all sorts with a little hunting. They even sell tempeh at the Indian and Southeast Asian stores you can find in Busan, Seoul and Gyeongju. Tempeh is super iron-rich. Lotte has started carrying kale and chard is available at many grocery stores.

There are Loving Huts and other vegan/vegetarian restaurants all over Korea. Indian and Mexican restaurants are spread around Busan.

Really, I think all you need to be vegan in Korea, let alone vegetarian, is some willpower and the ability to stand up for your diet and say "no, thank you" when you're offered animal foods. My school has not had a problem with my diet. I think they were disappointed at first not to share food more often, but I have a very good relationship with the Korean staff at my school where I'm the only foreigner.

I've seen so many vegetarians fall by the wayside over here whether they found it "too difficult" (I think it's only too difficult if you want to have anything you want when you want it or you fall victim easily to peer pressure), or because they want to have a "cultural experience" (to which I say, I'm sorry, but if in your heart you think it's wrong to kill animals then you're seriously selling out. Would you start molesting women, being a racist, or stealing things if the culture you entered did that? No, you wouldn't. So why are you abandoning your ethics in this arena? Sure, it's the path of least resistance, but grow some guts!)

Anyway, thanks to the fine people at The Loving Hut, the black beans of Home Plus, and a little creativity, I've been happily vegan for over a year here and just resigned for another year. And back in the States I lived in Portland, Oregon, so it's not like I'm used to roughing it.

You can do it too! Don't give up! Don't punk out! Remember that when you eat animals, someone killed that animal, someone probably tortured that animal and by eating it you're participating in the killing and torture. You don't have to! Stay strong! Korea becomes more veg-friendly every day!
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elizabethbennet



Joined: 18 Aug 2009

PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2010 7:50 am    Post subject: junk food too Reply with quote

here is a small list of some vegan junk food offerings you can find (in Busan, at any rate):

Purely Decadent (soy ice cream shop, located in Seomyeon. AMAZING. My non-vegan friends dig it too. We didn't even have a full vegan ice cream shop back in Portland)

Fruit Loops and other delightful sugary cereals
Fake Oreos (haven't 100% verified these, but regular Oreos are vegan and these taste even faker)
Pringles
pretzels (though they cost a ton, bizarrely, enough)
you can get soy everything at Starbucks and some Coffee Bean locations
chips and salsa, of course, the old standby
Peanut Chews (a candy bar type candy which can be found at Lotte)
various biscuits from Britain (Ginger Nuts being my favorite. Essentially they're just ginger snaps)
you can make your own hot chocolate easily - goes well with the Ginger Nuts
Smoothie King smoothies. mmmmmm... especially in summer!
Loving Hut sells some desserts. The chocolate madelines and streusels are quite good, the cookies are to be avoided.
Songpyeong!
There's a brand of vegan caramel corn you can buy at GS Marts.

Being vegan in Korea doesn't have to be about pain and suffering. And if you're vegetarian, I'm sorry, you should be able to handle that without going over to the Dark Side if I can be a vegan!
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NYC_Gal 2.0



Joined: 10 Dec 2010

PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2010 3:18 pm    Post subject: Re: vegan in busan for over a year now Reply with quote

elizabethbennet wrote:
I've been vegan in Busan for over a year now and I'm actually really disappointed in how many people come to Korea as vegetarians and leave as pescaterians or even all-out meat-eaters.

Honestly, I haven't found it difficult to be vegan. Home Plus and Lotte carry all kinds of different beans (black beans are particularly iron-rich, fyi). You can find oats and grains of all sorts with a little hunting. They even sell tempeh at the Indian and Southeast Asian stores you can find in Busan, Seoul and Gyeongju. Tempeh is super iron-rich. Lotte has started carrying kale and chard is available at many grocery stores.

There are Loving Huts and other vegan/vegetarian restaurants all over Korea. Indian and Mexican restaurants are spread around Busan.

Really, I think all you need to be vegan in Korea, let alone vegetarian, is some willpower and the ability to stand up for your diet and say "no, thank you" when you're offered animal foods. My school has not had a problem with my diet. I think they were disappointed at first not to share food more often, but I have a very good relationship with the Korean staff at my school where I'm the only foreigner.

I've seen so many vegetarians fall by the wayside over here whether they found it "too difficult" (I think it's only too difficult if you want to have anything you want when you want it or you fall victim easily to peer pressure), or because they want to have a "cultural experience" (to which I say, I'm sorry, but if in your heart you think it's wrong to kill animals then you're seriously selling out. Would you start molesting women, being a racist, or stealing things if the culture you entered did that? No, you wouldn't. So why are you abandoning your ethics in this arena? Sure, it's the path of least resistance, but grow some guts!)

Anyway, thanks to the fine people at The Loving Hut, the black beans of Home Plus, and a little creativity, I've been happily vegan for over a year here and just resigned for another year. And back in the States I lived in Portland, Oregon, so it's not like I'm used to roughing it.

You can do it too! Don't give up! Don't punk out! Remember that when you eat animals, someone killed that animal, someone probably tortured that animal and by eating it you're participating in the killing and torture. You don't have to! Stay strong! Korea becomes more veg-friendly every day!


I like to eat out. Sometimes a vegetarian option is unavailable. I don't think it's wrong to kill animals. We use animals for medicine creation. I don't go around kicking puppies, but some eco-systems support the eating of meat. Look at the prairie. It's made for grass-fed meat. I gave up meat gradually without realizing it because I prefer the healthier (for me) diet from being vegetarian. Now, I enjoy going out for soup, which usually has a fish base. Everything at home is veg, but when I go out, 30% of the time there isn't a veg option.


Last edited by NYC_Gal 2.0 on Wed Dec 15, 2010 3:22 pm; edited 1 time in total
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NYC_Gal 2.0



Joined: 10 Dec 2010

PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2010 3:21 pm    Post subject: Re: junk food too Reply with quote

elizabethbennet wrote:
here is a small list of some vegan junk food offerings you can find (in Busan, at any rate):

Purely Decadent (soy ice cream shop, located in Seomyeon. AMAZING. My non-vegan friends dig it too. We didn't even have a full vegan ice cream shop back in Portland)

Fruit Loops and other delightful sugary cereals
Fake Oreos (haven't 100% verified these, but regular Oreos are vegan and these taste even faker)
Pringles
pretzels (though they cost a ton, bizarrely, enough)
you can get soy everything at Starbucks and some Coffee Bean locations
chips and salsa, of course, the old standby
Peanut Chews (a candy bar type candy which can be found at Lotte)
various biscuits from Britain (Ginger Nuts being my favorite. Essentially they're just ginger snaps)
you can make your own hot chocolate easily - goes well with the Ginger Nuts
Smoothie King smoothies. mmmmmm... especially in summer!
Loving Hut sells some desserts. The chocolate madelines and streusels are quite good, the cookies are to be avoided.
Songpyeong!
There's a brand of vegan caramel corn you can buy at GS Marts.

Being vegan in Korea doesn't have to be about pain and suffering. And if you're vegetarian, I'm sorry, you should be able to handle that without going over to the Dark Side if I can be a vegan!


Everything not bolded is junk food. You remind me of a fat vegan I knew back home. Before her, I didn't realize that vegans could be unhealthy.

What ever happened to sliced apples with peanut butter? Carrot sticks with hummus? Geez. The reason I gave up meat was to be healthy, not to eat processed junk instead. I'd rather have my occasional bit of kimchi with fish paste, or (when out with Koreans) fish based soup broth and maintain my healthy diet the rest of the time than eat this garbage.
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Poltergeist



Joined: 03 Sep 2010

PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2010 4:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great posts, Elizabeth ... but I'm sure real Oreos in Korea and Japan aren't vegan. I checked recently, and the word 우유 was in parentheses after one ingredient. A few years ago I saw the milk Kanji on a Japanese label. They may be vegan in other countries, but not here.

I haven't seen Peanut Chews in ages ... around here they seem to have been replaced by Chewets, which look similar but have dairy in the recipe.

Regarding the "cultural experience" argument: Many Korean dishes can be veganized, and the Loving Huts provide a good chance to try Korean food if people want to. Recently I had a chance to participate in a Korean vegan cooking class. It was organized by a nonvegan company that usually teaches people to make conventional Korean dishes, but they veganized the class for us because they could see there was enough interest.

NYCGal, there's a third option besides eating junk food or just going with the flow. You could always choose to miss a meal and have whatever you want when you get home. If it's not important to you, well ... I guess Elizabeth's post wasn't addressed to you. I don't think Elizabeth is forcing junk food on anyone who doesn't want it, and I don't care if she's fat or thin. This isn't the Miss Universe pageant.
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NYC_Gal 2.0



Joined: 10 Dec 2010

PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2010 4:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's rude to go out with coworkers and not eat. I've done that and people were cold to me for a while after. I explained the situation, and we usually compromise now, but, hey, it's your work environment. Do as you see fit.

I know it's not a beauty pageant. These aren't nutritional foods, though. Eating mostly this stuff is going to cause more issues than weight.

Anyway, sorry to hijack.
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methdxman



Joined: 14 Sep 2010

PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2010 5:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NYC_Gal 2.0 wrote:
It's rude to go out with coworkers and not eat. I've done that and people were cold to me for a while after. I explained the situation, and we usually compromise now, but, hey, it's your work environment. Do as you see fit.

I know it's not a beauty pageant. These aren't nutritional foods, though. Eating mostly this stuff is going to cause more issues than weight.

Anyway, sorry to hijack.


Yeah, that's it.
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Jaspina



Joined: 30 Jan 2007

PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 2011 6:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are a couple vegetarian restaurants in Insadong. One is right near the subway exit (can't remember which exit number) and another is just off the main shop street. They were both really good. No idea what their 'version' of vegetarian was, but they used fake meat.
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