According to the Korean Vegetarian Union, the number of vegetarians in Korea in 2018 increased 10-fold from 2008 from about 1 million to 1.5 million, or 2 to 3 percent of the total population. Among them, about 500,000 are vegans who do not eat any animal products at all. Vegetarianism types include lacto, ovo, Lacto-Ovo, pesco, and polo. Let's look at the criteria by which they are divided. Vegan is usually confused with vegetarian, but vegan is a type of vegetarianism. Vegetarianism is divided into seven categories depending on whether you eat poultry, fish, eggs, dairy products, honey, or vegetables. Vegans do not eat any dairy products. They only eat foods derived from fruits and vegetables. It can be seen as the highest standard.
Recently, a craze for veganism is blowing around the MZ generation. Veganism is a philosophy and way of life that rejects the exploitation of animals in all areas of life, moving from vegetarianism, which reduces animal food intake and increases plant food intake. As such, more and more people are choosing to go vegan in consideration of the environment and their bodies. However, even if you try to become vegan, you will feel hesitant due to believing that there will be restrictions and fear that you may not know how to start. People think it will be difficult to go out with friends since they have such a restricted diet. People often have a stereotype that vegans can only eat vegetables and fruits every day which will make them avoid the vegan diet. However, there are more menus in restaurants that vegans can go to than you would think. Throughout this article, I would like to introduce some vegan restaurants near Gachon University that fellow students can easily experience.
Restaurants with vegan options
Pangyo ‘Eden Restaurant’
382m from Exit 1 of Pangyo Station, 25, Dongpangyo-ro 177beon-gil, Bundang-gu, Seongnam-si, Gyeonggi-do
Mon-Sun 11:00-21:30, 15:00-17:00 Breaktime
When you think of vegan food, salad and meat substitutes will usually come to mind. Because of this, and you may feel a sense of distance from vegan food. However, vegan food isn't that far away. More Korean food than you think is vegan food. I often eat potato pancakes, seasoned vegetables, cheong-gukjang stew, etc., but I never thought that they would be vegan foods. This restaurant has seasonal vegetables bibimbap, cheonggukjang, and two side menus for vegans.
Previously, I had a prejudice that seasonal vegetables tasted gross. Each seasonal vegetable is fragrant and produces a variety of flavors. I thought it would be difficult to have fried vegan foods, but when I saw the shiitake mushroom gangjeong here, I realized that it is in fact very easy. It was crispy like regular tempura, and I could feel the meat-like texture from the shiitake mushrooms. Through this restaurant, I realized that vegan food has the advantage of being delicious while being as delicious as the original tasting ingredients.
121, Jeongjail-ro, Bundang-gu, Seongnam-si, Gyeonggi-do, 763m from Exit 3 of Jeongja Station, B-15/B-16, 1st floor of The Shop Star Park
Mon-Sun 11:00-21:00 Closed every Monday
This is a southern American home-cooked restaurant that offers 100% homemade dishes from New Orleans, a southern city in the United States (Cajun, Mexican, and Vietnamese). ‘Lagmoappe’ does not use processed food ingredients, factory-prepared frozen food, or chemical seasonings. The most eye-catching menu board is finely categorized vegetarian and vegan menus. The menu here is categorized into a regular menu, a vegetarian menu, and a vegan menu, all of which have the same name but are made with different ingredients. If cheese is included in the regular meal, it is replaced with taco sauce in vegan food.
The texture of the fried tofu was similar to that of meat. In particular, the scent of Mexican food sauces was strong, so it tasted the same as regular meat wraps. The most amazing thing is that I thought that the texture would be completely different, but the most amazing thing was that it tasted the same as regular pasta noodles.
Starfield Samseong, Bongeunsa Station, 513 Yeongdong-daero, Gangnam-gu, Seoul
'Plantude' is a compound word of ‘plant’ meaning vegetable and ‘tude’ meaning attitude. It is a vegan restaurant that aims to provide delicious and enjoyable meals through a plant-based diet while staying faithful to the basics. They want you to have an attitude toward life and food that considers the future and environment of the earth. It is a specialty restaurant. Pulmuone is the first food company to open a vegan restaurant. It is said that more than 20,000 menu items were sold within two and a half months of opening. All 13 of their menu items are vegan. Pulmuone Food & Culture said, “With a veganism concept that anyone can enjoy, we set a price around 10,000 won to lower the entry barrier for vegan food, and the composition of a familiar menu with no likes or dislikes seems to have evoked a positive response from consumers. "
I have ordered Plant Soy Bulgogi Rice Bowl and Truffle Gamtae White Tteokbokki. I ate soybean meat for the first time here, and the texture and taste are all meat-like to the extent that you wouldn't know unless you said it was substituted meat. The sauce for Truffle Gamtae White Tteokbokki is said to be made with potatoes and garlic instead of milk. However, the taste of the cream sauce was the same as the sauce that we usually eat. The taste of Gamtae was also strong.
16 Gangnam-daero 118-gil, Gangnam-gu, Seoul 251m from Exit 3 of Sinnonhyeon Station
Mon-Sat 11:00-21:00 Closed every Sunday
This is a famous restaurant that was also introduced in ‘생생정보통’. This café is a sugar-free, gluten-free bakery cafe. The ‘Interact’ cafe owner graduated from Le Cordon Bleu (a culinary school located in Paris, France) from the Department of Hotel Culinary Arts and opened a specialty and dessert cafe in 2020. Then, at a young age in his early 30s, he was diagnosed with acute diabetes. He studied for 5 months with a promise to make healthy and delicious bread. That's how healthy sugar-free gluten-free vegan desserts came about. The boss has a special philosophy. If he develops a new dessert right away, eats it himself, and checks his blood sugar, he can determine if it is healthy. He says he needs to be released to make sure his blood sugar is stable. In this way, there is a reason to trust in introducing bread that even diabetics can eat.
When you visit the cafe and look at the cake display stand, there is something that stands out. It is that the sugar content and net carbohydrate content of each cake are clearly stated. The vegan cake 'Chocolate Crown' is only about 12.8 g / 100 g. Since this place uses allulose, a sweetener, instead of sugar, even dieters can eat it without a twinge of conscience. Again, the vegan cake keto cake is prominently stated. The difference between vegan and keto is that vegan is made using organic sugar cane, which is non-refined sugar and does not contain butter, dairy, or eggs. Keto is a food with low sugar content by selecting ingredients with a low GI index (short for Glycemic Index, which means glycemic index). In addition to cakes, there are a variety of options from financiers to cookies. Each bakery also has a nutrition label attached, so you can eat without hesitation.
Seyoung: I had never encountered vegan food because I thought the barrier to entry was high, but after this interview, I changed my mind. The original taste of the ingredients was very good, and it was a happy meal because it was delicious and healthy. I would like to visit a vegan restaurant again in the future.
Due to time considerations, I was able to only introduce a few restaurants; however, there are many other diverse vegan restaurants. The app ‘Vegan Road’ is helpful to use finding vegan restaurants. The ingredients that can be used for vegan food were more diverse than I thought, and the quality of vegan foods is not at all different from regular food. Through the experience of going to vegan restaurants like this, I was able to eliminate the stereotype that I had about vegan food. However, I found out that vegan restaurants tend to close faster than other restaurants. It's good to be vegan for the environment and our body, but vegetable protein such as grains, vegetables, and nuts is less protein than animal food intake, and the essential amino acid lysine content is low. In addition, it can cause iron and anemia, so it is necessary to take care of additional intake of nutrients such as vitamins C and D supplements, which can compensate for this.
What I want to say through this article is not 'Let's become vegan! or ‘vegan is always good!’. I just want to let people know about the vegan culture, and those non-vegan people can easily enjoy this culture. I hope that everyone who reads this article eats healthy and happy meals every day. Bon Appetit!< Copyright © The Gachon Herald All rights reserved >