Vegan in Vietnam (and Everywhere Else!)

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Posted November 29, 2011 by Ryan Huling

We’ve all heard it. Friends or family members saying, “I would love to go vegan, but it’s just SO hard to do in [insert city/country].” Yawn.

Well, I don’t know about you, but I’m not convinced that animals care whether they’re being killed for food in Alaska or on the island of Zanzibar—they don’t want to die anywhere. That’s why I don’t change my ethical beliefs based on where I happen to be in the world.

Enter my latest trip, traveling north to south in Vietnam. In a country perhaps best known for guerrilla warfare and having dogs smuggled across its borders to be sold in the local meat trade, if ever there were a place to put up the white flag, maybe this would be it.

But, boy, am I glad I didn’t. Otherwise I may have missed out on the extraordinary range of vegan options that I discovered in this historic Southeast Asian country. I’m talkin’ about veggie versions of pho (traditional rice noodle soup—the national dish), banh mi (baguette sandwiches, stuffed with tofu, cilantro, jalapeños, and veggies), and more exotic fruits than you can shake a stick at, including dragon fruit, jackfruit, and durian.

Getting hungry but not able to travel 10,000 miles away? Well, you’re in luck because vegan versions of pho, banh mi, and spring rolls are also widely available here in the West. Check around at local Vietnamese restaurants in your area (here’s a listing for many major cities) to see what they can offer. Homemade vegan Vietnamese recipes can also be found online here.

Chúc m?i ng??i ?n ngon mi?ng! Enjoy!




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