Vegan-friendly Korean barbecue, aka “KBBQ”: Sounds like an oxymoron, no?
But check it out: There are a variety of vegan dishes you can eat at KBBQ restaurants! All you have to do is keep these tips in mind:
Banchan is your friend.
Usually. Banchan are the small side dishes that arrive at your table. They can vary from bean sprouts in sesame oil to pickled cucumbers to spicy daikon. Just steer clear of items that seem creamy—like dressed cabbage shreds and potato salad—and you’ll be off to a great start.
Get lit … with veggies!
Ditch roasting meat on that sizzling plate, because there’s now proof that eating meat is linked to cancer—like, it could literally kill you. Instead, depending on the restaurant’s availability, you can request an array of vegetables. Season with a dipping mixture of soy sauce, vinegar, and chili powder, and you’re good to go.
Get your vegains on with tofu.
There are many plant-based food items that contain tons of protein. If you’re hungry for more after the veggies, reach for some tofu. Some places carry “tofu steak,” which is slabs of tofu that come out on a sizzling plate. Yum! Other versions include tofu sundubu, which is a spicy tofu stew. Make it vegan by requesting a water-based broth and ask for no egg in your piping-hot bowl.
Rice will fill you up.
If you’re looking for an all-in-one bowl, go for bibimbap, which is warm rice served in a stone pot (be careful—it comes out super-hot!) with a mix of fresh sautéed vegetables. Get yours without beef and ask the server to hold the fried egg—because humans aren’t designed to eat meat anyway, duh. Then stir up the ingredients with gochujang (a spicy sauce), and enjoy!
KBBQ is so easy that you can even buy THIS at the store!
So don’t sweat it—eating out as a vegan is easy. Check out our dining tips for eating out at other nonvegan restaurants! We’ve also got you covered with specific tips for eating Vietnamese food, Middle Eastern food, and Chinese food.