Asian cuisine is notable for its use of vegetables and fruits in its dishes and it does not rely heavily on meat to produce a huge variety of dishes. This is because this region has an abundance of fertile lands and great bodies of water which always provide fish, clams, and other seafood products that are also used in Asian cuisine. Up until today, the culture of food has not changed dramatically even after countless colonizations and merging cultures from the west have visited Asian countries. Culture is strongly preserved in these countries and that is why the food has also remained, focusing still on varieties of vegetables, fruits, and seafood.
Out of all the countries in Asia, Korea is one of the most popular countries based on its culture and cuisine. Korean cruising is mostly derived from temple cuisine, which mostly uses plant-based materials and ingredients. Their ancestors also do not consume too much meat since it was scarce back then so they have learned to stick with a vegetarian diet, which brings a lot of benefits.
Many dishes in Korea favor vegetables over meat and this is why many vegetarians thrive in this country. Also, vegetarians around the world are starting to take note of this country’s cuisine and have adapted them into their vegetarian diets. If you are just starting to take on a much healthier, vegan diet, these dishes may help you love your new lifestyle and you may just forget about eating a single slice of steak.
When we hear Korean cuisine, it is almost impossible to not think about kimchi. Almost everything we see on television involving Korean culture and heritage, you will see that they are eating kimchi at some point. For starters, kimchi is one of the staples in Korean cuisine and it is made primarily from napa cabbage and Korean radish, mixed with a wide variety of spices such as chili powder, spring onions, ginger, etc. Kimchi is a very versatile dish that can be eaten on its own or be used as an ingredient in other Korean dishes. For a vegan diet, this is certainly an item that you must not ignore since it is made purely from vegetables and it adds a great flavor when used as an additional ingredient for other dishes. It has a high concentration of dietary fiber and vitamins so it is a good addition to your vegetarian diet.
Another dish that is very popular among Koreans is gimbap. You cannot go through a Korean restaurant’s menu without seeing gimbap on the list. Gimbap is a dish that is made primarily of three ingredients: rice, gim or dried seaweed, and the filling rolled inside it. The filling used in gimbap may be made using an assortment of meat, eggs, fruits, and vegetables. Gimbap is a very convenient dish to carry around since it can be made in advance before going somewhere and it lasts long even if stored in a lunchbox. When making a vegan version of this dish, we can substitute the meat with tofu and use vegetables and fruits that will greatly complement the tofu. This is a great dish for lunch since the rice provides the much-needed calories and the tofu and vegetables provide the protein and vitamins needed by our muscles and organs.
Bibimbap is also one of Korea’s famous dishes and it has been adapted by many fast-food chains all around the world. This dish is also a great choice for a vegan diet since you can make this with vegetables, rice, and also kimchi. The dish is served with a bowl of warm rice topped with kimchi or namui (seasoned and sauteed vegetables), along with gochujang (chili paste) and doenjang (fermented soybean paste). Since this dish uses soybeans as a base for the sauce, it is also a great source of protein, which is much needed for body-building, and the effects of soy on men show great results for muscle growth. This dish is usually served with meat slices and a whole egg but for a vegan approach, we can substitute these ingredients with fried tofu, which is also an excellent source of protein. This dish is well-balanced with carbohydrates, proteins, and vitamins, and may serve as a lunch or dinner.
4. Beoseot Ganjong
Ganjeong is one of Korea’s traditional confections (a sweet delicacy) that is made from glutinous rice flour. It is deep-fried and is coated in sweet syrup and a variety of seeds, beans, and nuts, which makes it crunchy and sweet at the same time. It is a perfect snack at any time and may also serve as a dessert. For a more vegan twist, beoseot gangjeong is made with a variety of mushrooms and then coated with a sweet sauce and topped with different types of seeds and nuts. You can use dried shiitake mushrooms for this dish to give it a mild, earthy flavor along with a slightly spicy sauce. This dish is a great appetizer or snack for any vegetarians and they will surely love the mix of crunchiness and sweetness.
Korean cuisine is a great culture to explore because they have maintained their traditional practices of making food as well as remaining focused on a diet constituting of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. There are still lots of delicious food that you could explore from different countries and different cultures. If you want to learn more about different cuisines around the world, this article will help you get started.