My name is Hanjoon. I am a Korean vegan. I would like to introduce some tips for living the happy vegan life in Korea easier for you.
If you are a vegan, you might find that it is very difficult to find a vegan restaurant in Korea. Here is a simple tip for you:
Kimbap: The cheapest and most easy-to-access food!
Kimbap is the most common food you can find in Korea. In literally EVERY town, you can find a kimbap store.
These are kimbap restaurants you may see everywhere in Korea.
Ordering and making kimbap is a very easy way to find a quick meal when you are out and about. It is basically take-out food, so you can have it anywhere and anytime, and some kimbap stores run 24 hours a day.
But it is originally not vegan food, so you must order clearly with your particular request. Veganizing is very easy if you know what you have to tell them in Korean.
Typically, kimbap is made of these things:
- Rice (Bap)
- Laver (seawead) (kim)
- Pickled radish (danmuji)
- Fish cake
- Imitation crab meat
Above: laver (seaweed) = kim
Pickled radish = danmuji
Fish cake (you can request not to include it)
Imitation crab (you can request not to include it)
As you see above, every roll of kimbap is usually not vegan food. But, normally kimbap is made after you order it, so you can request your specific set of ingredients quite freely.
So, let’s order some, and veganize it!
1. Order Normal Kimbap or Vegetable Kimbap
You might see the menu says: 김밥 / 야채김밥 Kimbap / Yachae Kimbap
yachae (야채) = vegetable.
2. To order, say:
“Yachae kimbap hana ju se yo!” 야채김밥 하나 주세요!
To veganize, say:
“Jega chaesik eul hae seo yo. Kimbap eh gyeran, ham, eo muk, matsal eun bbae ju se yo.”
제가 채식을 해서요. 김밥에 계란, 햄, 어묵, 맛살은 빼주세요
Tips for Hungry Vegans
- Some yachae kimbap has mayonnaise-like sauce on it. You should check whether it has sauce or not. This sauce is not vegan.
- Sometimes, they don’t follow your request, so it is worthwhile looking while they are making your kimbap. If they start to include some pieces of animal, say “NO” immediately.
- To say that, you could say:
“Jam shi man yo! Gu geon bbae ju se yo” 잠시만요! 그건 빼주세요
= “Just a moment, please! Don’t include that, please!”
When I am working at my company office, I usually go to the kimbap store nearby and order it as a vegan. it takes less than one minute to make it. I take out that kimbap and have it at my office. It is delicious, cheap and very easy to find, make, and eat.
I also recommend you order kimbap when you must eat while on the move.
How about having some vegan kimbab today?
I will see you soon with another vegan tip.