Finding veggie foods whenever I’m out hiking or taking my weekend jaunts around Korea is always a bit of a challenge. What are my top go-to Korean foods? Well honestly, it’s all gotten a bit too obvious and predictable in the way of being boring. So GRRR! thanks to Daegu Ayurvedic Yoga Academy‘s veganite Megan Deutsch, who recently enlightened me to two fresh and healthy vegetarian hiking foods to add to my vegetarian palette!
Deodeok root (더덕)
This dish has great health benefits –so the Koreans say– and is good for thinning the blood. It’s actually a type of bellflower root that’s grilled and marinated in a delectably spicy sauce. The taste has a bit of a spicy bite to it but grilled to a tender, the texture is a bit reminiscent of …meat. Your initial chomp may feel so-so, but thereafter, the taste will grow on you. Price-wise, the dish runs a bit on the steep –the one I tried was 25,000W for a plate for two– but between the taste and the health benefits, it’s worth the trade!
Sanchae bibimbap (산채비빔밥)
It’s a type yachae (aka vegetable) bibimbap, consisting of wild mountain vegetables over a bed of hot paste and rice. The dish is often eaten by monks who come down from their temple perch for food and is primarily sold at restaurants located at the foot of mountain trails.
My vegetarian staple in Korea:
Yachae or Dolsot (aka vegetable) bibimbap
duenjan jigae (soy bean paste soup aka miso)
yachae kimbap (vegetable sushi roll)
soon dubu jigae (spicy soft tofu stew)
kimchi jigae (I have to ask for it without meat)
*Note: most jiggae/stews – with the exception of duenjan jigae– have some ingredients of fish paste/ sauce or seafood for flavoring. Not recommended for strict vegetarians. The only place I have found soon dubu jigae vegan-style was here.