November Empties & Finish 16 by 2016 Update

The Face Shop Chia Seed Watery Lotion

I really liked it, possibly the best lotion I've ever used. I'd repurchase it if it was cruelty-free :(

A'pieu Essential Source Salt Cream

Not rich enough for winter. WNR

Nivea Essential Care

Probably my favorite cheap, widely-available lip balm. Too bad it's not cruelty free.

Mamonde Eye Cream

It was meh, didn't do much for my eye area and ended up going to my neck like any other products that I don't like on my face.

Clean & Clear Oil Blotting Sheets

It gets the job done.

Hi Pitch Cleansing Oil - not photographed

It was nice, it pulls out gunks you didn't know existed. WNR since I don't think it's cruelty free.

Hatomugi Skin Conditioner

I did like it, really good price too. It probably isn't cruelty free though.

  • Bath & Body Works Strawberry Cosmo Liplicious Lip Gloss - 50% used? I swear this thing regenerates overnight
  • Etude House Proof 10 Auto Pencil BR402 - emptied!
  • KissMe Heavy Rotation Coloring Eyebrow in N02 - didn't use much TBH. My hair is black now :(
  • Etude House Dr. Mascara Fixer for Perfect Lash - 5%-10% left
  • KissMe Heroine Make Long & Curl Mascara - on its last legs
  • Innisfree Eye Primer - on its last legs
  • Etude House Face Color Corset 4 Light Shading Corset - Huge pan!! Repressed
  • Himalaya Herbals Lip Balm - 20% left
  • Nivea Essential CareEmptied!!
  • one depotted eye shadow Rimmel Glam Eyes Quad in Sun Safari - Hit pan
  • Innisfree No-Sebum Mineral Primer - 50% left?
  • Orbis forgot the name powder - Not much left but I haven't used it that much. I guess I don't get that oily during winter
  • A'pieu Essential Source Salt Cream - Emptied!!
  • Innisfree Apple Juicy Lip & Eye Remover - 15%-20% left
  • The Saem Iceland Hydrating Essence - Emptied!
  • A'pieu Kissable Tint Stick in OR01 - 30% left
  • 2015/11/23

    Eating Out as A Vegan in South Korea

    Eating out as a vegan (or even vegetarian) in South Korea can be very frustrating.

    First, check out Happy Cow and my Vegan Resources page, there are lists of veg restaurants in Korea.

    Telling them you're vegan isn't enough.

    They most likely don't know what 'vegan' is, and Korean term '채식주의' is quite vague as there is no distinction between vegetarian(lacto-ovo) and vegan.

    Keep in mind that many western food franchise aren't likely to offer all the veg options they have in homeland.

    Localization is a bitch. French fries are usually vegan though.

    You are still going to have better luck getting veg food at non-Korean places.

    If you cross off meat-based and broth-based menu there is not much left in Korean restaurant menu but with many non-Korean food it's easier to 'leave out' nonvegan ingredient.

    Stay away from any soup/soupy noodles unless you are at a veg restaurant.

    They are usually made from fish broth, meat broth, or other nonvegan seasonings such as 다시다. Yes, that dramatically limits your choices as Korean meals heavily relies on soup (which is why I said it's easier at non-Korean places), but you gotta do what you gotta do.

    Avoid kimchi (and anything that has kimchi in it) unless you are at a veg restaurant.

    Whaaatttt? How can you avoid kimchi when you live in Korea? I know, I know. Kimchi just looks like vegetables drenched in red pepper, but vast majority of commercial kimchi (and vast majority of homemade kimchi made by nonvegans) contain seafood extract, especially cabbage kimchi and radish kimchi(깍두기), the most common kimchi provided at restaurants. Sure, vegan kimchi exists, but it is very unlikely that non-veg*n restaurants will go out of their way to get vegan kimchi. You will be given free kimchi no matter what you order, so send them back before they lay them on your table because they don't reuse food once it's served so if you don't eat it the kimchi will eventually be thrown to trash, so end-result will be the same as if you had eaten it, plus more waste :(

    Vegetable(야채, Yachae) kimbap with no eggs or hams or mayonnaise

    Isn't it weird that there is egg and ham in 'vegetable' kimbap? It depends on where you are buying kimbap from but they usually do have egg, ham and mayo in them. Just ask them to make one without it. They might refuse to make changes for you but it's worth trying.

    Vegetable bibimbap

    Usually they have fried egg on top so ask them not to put egg. This is a really easy change so they most likely will do it for you. However, many bibimbap gochujang(red pepper paste) has meat in them (gochujang with meat are called yakgochujang) so ask them if there is meat and if there is, ask for soy sauce and sesame oil. Fortunately many diners will cheap out and won't use special gochujang with meat in them but the fancier ones and places that specialize in bibimbap will.

    The all-you-can-eats

    Buffets like VIPS have salad bars where you can eat all the fruits and veggies you want. They are overpriced especially since you won't be eating anything that contain animal products (which tend to be more expensive) but it's a good way to please both vegans and meat eaters.

    Subway and Quiznos

    My fave sub at Subway:

    • Hearty bread (sourdough and Italian is not available in Korea so this is the only vegan bread)
    • Veggie Delite with no cheese
    • Added avocado (extra 900 won but totally worth it)
    • Sweet onion sauce
    Unfortunately Subway isn't very reliable (at least my nearest one isn't) as hearty bread is out of stock quite often.

    At Quiznos: White or wheat bread, Veggie Lite with no cheese, no red wine vinaigrette.
    Make sure to tell them to take off both cheese. Quiznos Veggie Lite has two types (mozzarella and cheddar) of cheese and I've had only either one of them left out when I told them just to leave out cheese.

    Don't trust curry even if there are no meat pieces in it.

    Many Korean brand curry mix (eg 오뚜기) contain beef or milk as you may have noticed at grocery stores. Many diners use industrial size version of those. Same ingredients, just bought in bulk. Restaurants that specialize in Indian food most likely don't use them, but still gotta ask to make sure.

    Koreanized Chinese food vs. authentic Chinese food.

    Well this is kind of hard to explain but there are Korean-Chinese diners (that sells jajangmyeon and jjampong and such) and then there are authentic Chinese diners (usually ran by Chinese people).  I have always had better luck getting veggie food at the latter than the former (stir-fried eggplants ftw). Unfortunately most 'Chinese' places in Korea are Korean-Chinese, except in Chinatowns.

    Useful Korean terms, phrases and pronunciations.

    Vegeterian: 채식주의자(chae sick joo yee ja)
    Meat: 고기(gogi)
    Dairy: 유제품(yoojepoom)
    (Cow) milk: 우유(ooh-yoo)
    Seafood: 해산물(hae san mool) or 해물(hae-mool)
    Fish: 생선(saeng-sun)
    (Chicken's) egg: 달걀(dalgyal) or 계란(gyeran)
    Leave ____ out, please: ____ 빼주세요(Bbae joo say yo)

    Or just show them this and take it from there.

    I am veg(etari)an, I do not eat animal products like meat, fish, seafood, dairy(butter, cheese, mayonnaise), egg, or honey so please leave them out.
    저는 채식주의자입니다. 고기, 생선, 해물, 유제품(버터 치즈 마요네즈), 꿀, 계란/메추리알 등 동물성 식품은 먹지 않으니 빼주세요.

    However this will likely overwhelm them so I suggest just picking something most easily veganizable and asking them to leave out animal ingredient.


    New Shoes: Victoria Slip-on Lona Tintada in Rosa

    I needed another pair of sneakers so I bought Victoria Slip-on Lona Tintada in Rosa. I have read somewhere that these slip-ons are South Korea exclusive, I'm not sure. Anyway these are pretty and comfortable! Victoria is my favorite shoe brand but the Korean branch stopped importing my size. *sobs* But with sneakers I feel like going one size bigger doesn't make that much difference.

    I like slip-ons, they are convenient. And I love this Rosa color, it's pretty but subtle.


    Vegan Restaurant/Cafe in Busan, South Korea: Dajeon

    I went to Busan for G-STAR but we stayed at a hotel near Seomyeon Station because the ones near BEXCO either didn't have any vacancy or were ridiculously expensive. Eating out as a vegan in South Korea is quite stressful. So I searched for veg restaurant and I was thrilled to find that there was a vegan restaurant!!! They have delicious meals and lots of lovely tea. They even sell soy ice cream during summer.

    Deulkae (perilla seed) Kalguksu noodles! :D

    Steamed Mandu (dumplings)

    Also everything they have are pretty inexpensive. I'll list the meals here in case anyone is interested. (Can't remember all the tea they have ahhh)
    • Lotus leaf rice + wheat "bulgogi" + buckwheat tea - 11000 won (can only be ordered for 2 people or more)
    • Char-grilled bibimbap - 6000 won
    • Wheat "bulgogi" - 7000 won
    • Bean "steak" - 7000 won
    • Steamed Mandu - 5000 won
    • Deulkae (perilla seed) kalguksu - 7000 won
    • Spicy bean "chicken"- 7000 won
    If you eat the meal there you get 20% discount on non-latte tea. They have wide variety of leaf teas, non-leaf teas, soy latte, fruit juice/smoothie.

    This is the location. I wish I had taken the picture of their sign because it's kind of hard to find. It's in the same building as WA BAR, which is easier to spot. It is on the 4th floor and the building isn't wheelchair accessible though :(


    Vegan Recipe: Veganized Mapo Tofu

    Now Mapo Tofu conventionally has meat but for vegan recipe I'm just going to skip that.


    • 5 Tbsp Toban Djan*
    • 1 block Tofu chopped
    • 1 Green Onion diced
    • 1 cup diced Onion
    • 2 cups of water
    • 1/3 cup water + 3 Tbsp starch powder
    • 1 Tbsp Sesame oil
    • More veggies and stuff**
    * If you don't have one, mix 3 Tbsp red pepper paste, 1 Tbsp soy bean paste, 1~2 Tbsp minced garlic, 2 Tbsp (or more depending on how salty you want) soy sauce, 1 Tbsp sugar
    **Use whatever you have, I like to use eggplant and mushroom

    Medium heat, oil in pan, cook green onion and onion (and additional veggies).

    Add Toban Djan or the alternative mixture and stir.

    Pour 2 cups of water and wait until it boils.

    When it's boiling add tofu, and boil for a while so water evaporates.

    Add the water+starch mixture slowly, adjust the amount depending on how viscous you want it.

    Finally add sesame oil.

    It's great when paired with rice or noodles! :D


    Pepero Day the Vegan Way

    Now, I know that Pepero is pretty much a Pocky knockoff and Pepero Day is just corporate agenda to push their products. But if there is an excuse to munch on sweets I will take it! The Problem: There are tons of varieties of Pepero (and the like) in the market but none of the ones I have found so far are vegan. (Oh dear delicious sweets why must you contain milk) So I decided to make something close enough to Pepero (I don't know how to bake that crispy thin stick cookie thingy :P) for my boyfie. Making them myself just adds more love, right?

    ~making breadsticks with this recipe (minus the topping, since I was going to add chocolate)~

    ~melting them chocolates~

    *If you are not sure where to find vegan chocolate in South Korea, Loving Hut Korea has Vivani and Weinlich chocolates on their online store. Vivani chocolates are also available at many department stores' food departments, and Home Plus carries Weinlich. At Home Plus you can find Tesco brand chocolates that are marked "suitable for vegetarians". It says vegetarian not vegan so I checked the ingredients label, they are pland based. (Milk chocolates are labeled as vegetarian but obviously they contain milk so read the label when you buy them)

    ~coating them breadsticks with chocolate~

    ~sprinkled some coconut chips and almond slices and let it cool~

    ~wrapped it with pretty things and added a lovely card~

    Heart-printed plastic wrapper from Daiso

    I ate one to make sure it tasted good and it was delicious!! :D


    Vegan Mini Haul: iHerb

    I love iHerb. I can get so many vegan things for reasonable price and they shipnto South Korea for just $4, free shipping with orders over $40.

    Deva Vegan B12 with Folic Acid & B6

    It is well known that B12 is not easy to get in vegan diet these days. I thought I should make sure I get enough by taking supplements.

    Now Real Food Xanthan Gum and Simply Organic Madagascar Pure Vanilla Extract

    I need these to bake Peanut Butter Cookies!

    Ecotools Six Piece Essential Eye Set & Fresh & Flawless Five Piece Complexion Set

    Much needed addition to my makeup brush collection. I only have cheap dollar store brushes and I need more in numbers. I don't know why I didn't get more until now.

    Surf Sweets Watermelon Rings

    Vegan jellys are not easy to find, jelly normally contain gelatin. But iHerb has a ton! I wanted to see if I can eat watermelon flavored jelly when I have watermelon allergy. I know, it's weird but if I can taste watermelon without allergic reaction that is nice, right? And it turns out this doesn't trigger allergic reaction yay! It tastes too sugary though.


    Vegan Recipe: Simmered Seasoned Tofu

    *Disclaimer: This isn't the healthiest food. As you can tell from the ingredients it's oily and salty. I usually eat pretty healthy but I'm not the type of person that has to eat 100% healthy all the time so...


    • Tofu (duh)
    • Green Onion
    • Sesame salt (optional)
    • Cooking oil
    • Soy sauce
    • Sesame oil
    • Red pepper Powder
    • Oligosaccharide syrup (or just sugar)
    • Minced Garlic
    • Water
    1. Cut tofu and chop green onion. Whatever size you want really.
    2. Mix soy sauce, red pepper powder, oligo syrup, sesame oil, minced garlic, and water. ratio - soy sauce 3 : red pepper powder 1: oligo syrup 1 : sesame oil 1 : minced garlic 0.5 : water 5. Using regular spoon that will be enough for 1 block (around 300g)  
    3. Medium heat, oil in pan. Cook tofu in pan until both sides are yellowy
    4. Pour mixture on them
    5. Throw green onion on them and simmer until mixture isn't very watery anymore
    6. use some sesame salt to liking

    Done! Super simple, right?
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