Vegetarian options in Taiwan and South Korea
Replies: 2 - Last Post: Nov 16, 2012 8:29 PM Last Post By: dedwyh
Nov 15, 2012 8:54 AM
Also, in the likely case that there is trace amounts of fish/meat in dishes (sauce, broth, etc.) does anyone recommend a supplement/herbs that will calm a stomach that is not accustomed to meat?
Thanks in advance everyone!
Nov 16, 2012 1:04 AM
1Finding good vegetarian food in Taiwan will not be a problem. In Taipei at least, there are many strictly vegetarian restaurants. The bulk of these are vegetarian buffets where you pay according to weight. Often there will be a selection of at least 10 dishes, a daily soup, two types of rice, and a desert (liquid). For breakfast you can drink fresh soymilk and eat fried breads and veggie dumplings.
I only know specific places around the Taipower MRT, Gonguan MRT, and the Technology Building MRT.
From the North gate of the NTU campus, walk towards the Technology MRT, North on Fuxing South Rd. Section 2. Stay on the left side and eventually you'll see a veggie place before the Heping East Rd (look for green and white sign with vegetables). This is my favorite place. You can get an excellent lunch for under 100 NT. There are other veggie buffets in the alley west of Fuxing South Rd. too.
Walk North on Shida Rd. and turn right (East) on Heping East Rd. Stay on the right side and shortly you will see another vegetarian buffet. The food is great but its slightly more expensive than others.
The best one I've been to is in the Shilin district. It's in the LP. Haw Kuang on 357 Zhongzheng Rd Shilin. It's great, as reflected in the high price.
There are many others around the city, just ask around or wander.
Edited by: mrblueblue
Edited by: mrblueblue
Nov 16, 2012 8:29 PM
2@mrblueblue is right that there are many vegetarian outlets in Taiwan (I guess due to Buddhism). Look out for the sign " 素 " (sù) which stands for "vegetarian" in Chinese.
I've been to Korea a number of times. Whenever I'm there, it's actually a challenge, for a person eating alone, to find ENOUGH MEAT in the dishes commonly available. I'm a global traveler, and I've come to the conclusion that no other country I know of, eats more vegetables than in Korea. This is despite the fact that the most famous Korean dishes are their various table meat barbecues/grills (not that practical for a single diner). It's one of the few countries I've been to where I've resorted to searching for a burger joint! People might laugh, but the first week of any of my trips to Korea invariably involves sore jaws from chewing through all the vegetables they eat.
Here are some very popular and commonly found food items for tourists on the go that usually have no meat (or miniscule amounts - do some research and I think you'll find I'm right. Most can be found in Wikipedia):
- kimchi, of course;
- banchan (the vast majority of these ubiquitous side dishes you receive with most meals consist of vegetables);
- bibimbap (rice topped with stuff, often with a fried egg - the staple for the single traveler, got so sick of it pretty quickly);
- naengmyeon (cold noodles, sometimes with a boiled egg);
- gimbap (rolls of rice with filling covered in seaweed, like Japanese makizushi, has very little meat);
- teokbokki (sticky cylinders made from glutinous rice, mostly just with a red chilli sauce but often with some sliced fish cake);
- kimchi bokkeumbap (kimchi fried rice can be a good choice, mostly with very little meat);
- japchae (stirfried noodles made from sweet potato flour, usually just with vegetables, sometimes with traces of meat);
- kongguksu (noodles in a soya milk broth with a few slices of vegetables)
- kalguksu (noodle soup, mostly with vegetables but some shellfish);
- quite a few types of "jjigae" (piping hot stew) have none or very little meat in them, for example doenjang jjigae (soybean paste flavored), kimchi jjigae, sundubu jjigae (tofu);
- ramyeon (instant noodles that every "bunsik" snack joint will cook up and serve, almost always spicy, and the most "meaty" thing they are likely to add is an egg).
(By the way, besides being what I think is the nation that eats the most vegetables, I also think South Koreans are the people who brush their teeth the most: I see many people will have their toothbrush in their office or school and brush after meals. With all their vegetables and brushing of teeth, it's a healthy culture in those ways - but all those chili peppers in everything don't do much for keeping my stomach calm.)
So if you're traveling around South Korea, it's easy to avoid dishes which are obviously based on meat/fish, and end up with a mostly vegetarian diet (often whether you like it or not!)
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