Korean cuisine is absolutely delicious and there’s no denying it. But most of the savory dishes are eaten with some form of meat, whether it’s pork, beef, chicken or even fish. Even packaged ramen is often enjoyed with pork belly or strips of beef. However, it would be wrong to think that there aren’t a lot of vegan options in Korean cuisine. There are a wide variety of dishes made from lentils and beans that can be enjoyed by vegetarians and vegans. Here are some examples.


Jajangmyeon is a delicious black bean noodle dish. Its origins date back to the early 1900s, but it remains popular to this day. Even though it is often served with some kind of meat, this can easily be omitted to make it a more vegan-friendly dish. The main ingredient of this dish is a black bean sauce, which is made from pulverized mung-beans. The sauce is widely available at Korean grocery stores like ours, so preparing this at home is very easy.

Vegan Bulgogi:

Three different kinds of lentils in spoons.

Bulgogi is a popular beef or pork-based dish in Korea, but there are lentil-based vegan substitutes for this dish as well. Bulgogi sauce that is used to season the meat is available in markets, so making this dish is also simple.

Lentils and mushrooms are used as a substitute for the meat and are cooked in the bulgogi sauce for maximum flavor. This can be served with noodles or even rice, if you’re trying to be gluten-free as well. If you opt for store-bought bulgogi sauce instead of making your own, you can have this dish ready in no time!

Doenjang Jjigae

This is a stew in which the main ingredient is soybean paste, making it vegan-friendly. Of course, one can dress their Doenjang Jjigae up however they’d like, so some people do like to add meat or fish. You can omit those and add mushrooms, tofu, or your favorite vegetables to have a wholesome and filling stew.

If you’re looking for places to find lentils and beans to prepare your favorite vegan Korean dishes, visit our store at SFMart.com. Our online Korean grocery store has everything you may need to prepare amazing Korean food, as well as great Asian snacks! Check out our weekly deals for discounts.