When ordering at a traditional Korean diner or barbecue restaurant, which dishes can normally be modified to be vegan? I know that many Korean soups often have seafood as a base, even if tofu is the primary protein.

  • 1
    On all my travels, the travels to Korea were the most challenging as far as vegetarianism is concerned. And that's vegetarian rather than vegan. I wish I had a (better) answer for you. Good luck!
    – gerrit
    Feb 6, 2020 at 18:31
  • 1
    My mother-in-law is Korean, and I've known her for 8 years now, and in all these 8 years, she still really struggles to understand the concept of being vegan. The closest to vegan you'd find in Korea typically would be "Temple Food", but you typically need to go to specific restaurants to get that. Even seemingly vegetable only dishes often contain something from an animal, things like kimchi often contains fish sauce, or tiny shrimp. Anchovy broth is used in many soups as part of the broth base. Some restaurants, you might only be safe with a side order of rice.
    – Joe
    Feb 26, 2020 at 18:56

1 Answer 1


I agree with the sentiments of the above comments. I usually end up having to order something un-traditional (ex. salad).

I have noticed many places are starting to offer vegan options in the US, probably because it appears to be cool now and can be charged a premium, so now I have good luck with finding: Mandu (Dumplings), Hobakjuk (Pumpkin Porridge) or things you can easily make vegan like Japchae (Korean sweet potato noodles ordered w/o the traditional pork).

Hope that helps!

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