4 Veganizable Korean Dishes Every Vegan Should Try

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Korean Vegan Food

Tteok vegan rice cakesKorean cuisine has been taking the world by storm. In every corner of the world, Korean dishes are being introduced to the market. When it comes to Korean cuisine, you’ll find a conglomeration of different kinds of meat, vegetables, and rice being served on your plate.

What if you are a vegan having set foot in the beautiful country of Korea? How can you possibly endure eating and manage veganism in Korea? Chances are you’ll get overwhelmed by a variety of meat dishes. However, fret not. There’s more than a handful of vegan and veganizable Korean dishes that will surely satisfy your taste buds. In fact, some are based on amazingly simple ingredients. To better know exactly what vegan or veganizable Korean food dishes are available in the country find our Korean Local Food tab.

Find below our 4 chosen foods that will help you enjoy Korea like a true vegan pro!


4 Chosen Veganizable Korean Foods


Kimbap, or Gimbap

Let’s start with Kimbap or Gimbap. Kim or gim means “seaweed.” That said, kimbap is a Korean seaweed rice roll – an equivalent to the famous Japanese sushi. This dish typically includes yellow pickled radish, egg, spinach, sliced carrot, and ham. At times, a slice of surimi is added, instead of ham. It may not be entirely vegetarian as a dish, but you can easily veganize it by leaving out the animal products or asking for ‘Yatze’ kimbap, which is one of the vegan variations. The good thing is that there are several Kimbap restaurants and they do offer a list of varieties that you should definitely try. If you would rather go to an all vegan restaurant serving delicious Korean Kimbap, check out Maru JaYeonSik Kimbap in Seoul. 


Kimbap Veganizable Korean Dishes



As the name suggests, bibim means “mixed.” Bibimbap is a mixed, steamed rice dish. Similar to Buddha bowls, this dish is made from a base of rice and topped a large variety of fresh and cooked vegetables and sometimes egg and meat. 

You’ll have a bowl of steamed rice displayed with vegetables and mushrooms. It is topped with a fried egg and a side dish. The taste is spruced up with thick, deep-red chili paste called Gochujang. Once served and ready, mix the rice with the contents of your bowl and add as much spicy sauce as you desire. Then, eat to your heart’s content and nibble from the side dishes with your chopsticks. One of the best places to get your fix in Seoul would definitely be the vegan restaurant Osegye Hyang who take bibimbap to a whole new level. 


bibimbap Veganizable Korean Dishes

Memil Guksu

Another vegan dish is the Memil Guksu. Memil is “buckwheat,” and Guksu means “noodles.” For sure, this is a perfect summer meal. The buckwheat noodles are cooked in broth, which may be based on meat or vegetable ingredients. Makguksu is served in ice-cold water with slices of cucumber and radish and with seaweed and sesame seeds. When you order this dish make sure no anchovy or fish flakes are added.

Another buckwheat based local delicacy you should try is Memil Jeon. This dish is a pancake prepared with a batter of buckwheat flour. It has water that comes with a filling of scallions or cabbage.


Vegan Memil Guksu Korean Buckwheat noodles

Dubu Jorim

The last on the list is Dubu Jorim. Dubu jorim, or braised tofu, is an alternative option for spicy food enthusiasts. It makes use of tofu, which is an excellent meat substitute. The good thing is, many Korean restaurants have tofu dishes on their menu. Dubu Jorim is one that shouldn’t be missed out. It has slices of tofu which have been fried in oil until they become crisp. It is then braised in a mixture of soy sauce, garlic, onion, green onion, salt, hot pepper flakes, sugar and sesame seeds. Finally, braised tofu is served with a number of banchan (small side dishes), such as rice, pickled vegetables and more. Make sure none of them contain fish sauce / flakes or shrimp paste and you will be in for a great meal. 


Dubu Jorim korean vegan deep fried tofu in tomato sauce

Final Words

The list above is a few vegan dishes that are worth a try in Korea. There’s a variety of vegetarian cuisines that you should eat and savor. It’s a matter of knowing where to go and how to properly ask for vegan or Veganizable Korean food dishes.  

If you’re looking for a Vegan Travel Guide for Korea on where to visit – take a look at ours today! We provide detailed & transparent information in each in a variety of categories such as information about animals, Vegan Snacks and ready made foods, Korean Vegan Related Words and more. 

Traveling Around the World, the Vegan Way

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