Blog, Travel Diaries, Videos / October 21, 2017

How Many Vegans Does Korea Have?

Happy Sunday!

 

How are you there?

I know my fellow university students are just reaching their critical points of desperation as the Mid-term exam week continues…

Good luck everyone!

And if you are not currently having to deal with the proximity of failing an exam enjoy your near Halloween!

I myself, being as handy as I am, have prevented myself from enjoying almost anything these days since I kid of broke my arm…

and the right one.

But that is not important to this post.

What is important is, that I managed to visit the 4th Vegan Festival In Seoul!

Vegans In Korea

First of all, I would like to applaud all the vegans living long term in Korea! Great job everyone!

Why?

It is really hard. But not impossible.

As you may have read in my Street Food post I mentioned that I had to revise my “vegan standards” and that is sadly true. Being vegan, even vegetarian, in Korea is truly a challenge so I live now by the rule of doing my best. Also there doesn’t seem to be that many of us.

Or are there?

Before attending the festival I have met only a few people who actively avoid certain animal products and those would be generally my fellow international students. The concept of vegetarianism and veganism is not very well known around Korea so I was surprised by the amount of people I met today.

And not just people attending the event. I was taken aback (happily) by how many vegan restaurants and little shops have emerged in Seoul over the last decade. And most of them are really popular! You may have seen my trip to Plant (go watch it now if you have not) and that is just the top of this new amazing list of vegan places I need to visit.

I was happy to find ethical cosmetics, fashion and even my favorite vegan leather brand Matt&Natt.

Let’s get to the food though shall we?

Vegan Food Baby

With my amazing friend, who helped me in this handicapped situation a lot today, we decided to arrive just in time for the beginning. Despite multiple stalls just getting ready to open we knew we made the right decision.

Later, it was impossible to avoid any long line.

We walked around everything to mark are go-to spots and I immediately had to buy something. Finding the Huggers stall, a new INCREDIBLY LOOKING vegan restaurant emerging in Itaweon, they certainly had a lot to offer. I could’t resist and bought a S’Mores Cake (sounds epic right?) which made my breakfast extremely delicious. It was so good!My friend opted for their burger which was also definitely worth the wait! I now plan on visiting the actual restaurant soon so I will show you much more.

After we explored more we opted for lunch (just about 30 min later… :D) and I decided to try Sweet Potato Veggie Wrap and it was truly delicious. Whole-wheat tortilla, mashed sweet potatoes, raw veggies and my favorite pickled cabbage. I am obsessed with this purple stuff <3

Just after finishing that I had to get a second lunch of course and I was amazed by the RAW Kelp Noodles with Cashew Cream from a packed raw food stall. That has to be my favorite food of the day! So tasty and cream and perfect for actually hot and sunny day!

And my friend? She waited her line to get a Vegan Hot Dog! I have to admit it looked (and tasted) crazy good but I personally am not the biggest fan of fake “meat”…. sorry hot dog.

Like I was not full enough I had to end “lunch” this with Black Sesame Cheesecake. Raw cheesecakes being my nemesis, I wondered if it will be the same. It was not, but it was tasty. Made out of tofu and cashew mix and actually baked it had much firmer and drier texture than your regular raw cake. Not that it was bad, especially as I love black sesame desserts. It was just new.

This Is Not The End

People would think I can’t stuff my belly more but I was unable to stop with all the food around me. I honestly tried to target the stall with no permanent shop to visit later so I had to avoid very popular Jack’s Bean Falafel (I will go there soon..) or Korean Loving Hut. Instead I returned to the wrap stall (that pickled cabbage <3) and bought their Brown Rice Kimbab. I love kimbab and can get it without a bigger problem but this one looked so good! And it wasn’t even expensive. I know I said I eat a lot but I decided to only try a piece and then took it home for the next day. Just kidding I ate it that evening.. oops.

Instead of the Kimbab we bought ourselves weirdly (poop-like) looking Oat Milk Soft Serve. Since I am quite spoiled when it comes to vegan ice cream (thank you Prague..) I was hesitant whether or not it will be good. And it was!
I was so surprised how light, creamy and smooth the soft serve was! And with oat milk? Wow!

If you can ever taste it you won’t regret even as a non-vegan.

After taking last few pictures, we happily (and stuffed) left the Seoul Innovation Park and walked towards the subway to enter sleepy food coma. It was hard.

I can’t tell you how happy I was stocking up on some delicious goods – the best almond butter is now sitting on my shelf – and spending some quality time surrounded by all the stuff I love and sometimes miss.

Even in Korea, even if it’s more challenging, there is no reason for anyone to be the sad vegan. Things are changing and it is all getting more accessible than ever before.

 

So what do you think?

Would you attend the next festival?

I am already writing it down into my diary.

 

Love,

 

Sara

 

P.S. I truly apologize for the bad quality and lack of footage for my video but I am now in the critical week of healing my hand and I was unable to properly hold a camera nor film everything I wanted. I promise my videos will get better very soon. Thank you <3

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