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Are vegetarian options readily available in North Korean cuisine?

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The prevalence of vegetarianism in North Korea

Vegetarianism is not common in North Korea. According to the Korean Central News Agency, the country’s official news agency, North Koreans consume an average of 120 grams of meat per day, which is higher than the daily recommended intake. However, vegetarianism is not completely unheard of in the country, as some people follow plant-based diets for religious or personal reasons.

Vegetarian options in traditional North Korean dishes

Traditional North Korean cuisine is heavily meat-based, with dishes like bulgogi (barbecue beef), galbi (barbecue pork), and naengmyeon (cold noodles with beef or pork) being popular. However, there are some vegetarian options available. One example is kimchi, a spicy fermented vegetable dish that is a staple in Korean cuisine. Other vegetarian dishes include bibimbap (mixed rice with vegetables) and japchae (stir-fried glass noodles with vegetables).

Availability of vegetarian meals in North Korean restaurants

Vegetarian options are not readily available in most North Korean restaurants, particularly outside of major cities. However, some restaurants do offer vegetarian dishes upon request. For example, in Pyongyang, the capital city, there are a few vegetarian restaurants that cater to tourists. Additionally, some hotels and guesthouses may be able to accommodate vegetarian requests with advance notice. However, it is important to note that the availability of vegetarian options may be limited in North Korea due to factors such as a lack of resources and a focus on meat-based dishes.

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Written by John Myers

Professional Chef with 25 years of industry experience at the highest levels. Restaurant owner. Beverage Director with experience creating world-class nationally recognized cocktail programs. Food writer with a distinctive Chef-driven voice and point of view.

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