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Soon tofu

JennaBean Dec 30, 2010 06:51 AM

Do you think it is possible that the vegetable version of the Soon Tofu found in local Korean resto's is actually made from vegetable broth or would it be more likely that it is a fish or meat broth? Thoughts?

I'd like to take a vegan friend but I'm reluctant to do so without knowing in advance.


  1. jlunar Dec 30, 2010 07:01 AM

    I'm going to guess that the base is likely a meat/fish broth. Unless there are a lot of Korean vegetarians...

    5 Replies
    1. re: jlunar
      JennaBean Dec 30, 2010 07:12 AM

      That's kinda what I figured as well but I thought it doesn't hurt to ask those that may be more familiar with Korean food than I am.

      1. re: JennaBean
        piccola Dec 30, 2010 07:44 AM

        Call the individual restaurant because some specifically list "vegetarian soon dubu" on the menu. That doesn't mean it's actually veg, but worth checking.

        1. re: piccola
          trane Jan 1, 2011 02:48 PM

          Kind of like how pretty much every chinese restaurant serves vegetable and tofu based dishes with "no meat". Of course, that never counts oyster sauce, hoisin, chicken stock, pork stock, etc.

          1. re: trane
            mrsleny Jan 1, 2011 03:32 PM

            Yikes, isn't hoisin sauce vegetarian?

            1. re: trane
              piccola Jan 1, 2011 04:46 PM

              Exactly. That's why I'd always ask about specific ingredients (ie, stock, sauce, etc).

      2. t
        trane Jan 1, 2011 02:46 PM

        Like was mentioned before, it depends on where you go. I'm pretty sure that the broth is made with just water and soybean paste, but it's possible that other places use a meat or fish broth like jlunar mentioned.

        Also, how vegan is your friend? Will they avoid eating there if the kitchen uses the same spoons to stir soups with meat/seafood added as the vegetable one? How about the fact that kimchi, which is served at every Korean restaurant is usually made with dried oysters or fish sauce? And in a vegetable soon dobu, you'll probably find kimchi in it.

        If you're looking for as close to vegetarian as you can get, the restaurant Mot Na Son near yonge and finch has vegetarian soon dobu, in that there's no meat / fish stock used. They have several kinds as well, with either traditional bean paste, modified bean paste or both. To be honest though, I've never asked whether his kimchi has seafood in it. My girlfriend is a pescatarian so it has never been an issue for us.

        Mot Na Son Restaurant
        5374 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M2N5R5, CA

        3 Replies
        1. re: trane
          JennaBean Jan 5, 2011 06:43 AM

          She is serious vegan so I think we need to just skip this attempt at a new meal choice for her. I'm in no way a vegan and would really like to find a place where we both can get good quality food but the options are few.

          1. re: JennaBean
            1sweetpea Jan 5, 2011 01:34 PM

            Couldn't you pick a Korean restaurant that offers sushi and Japanese food? This way, you can have whatever Korean dishes you desire and your friend can pick from a variety of veggie maki, seaweed salad, tofu appetizers, etc. My husband and I used to go to Seoul House or Il Bun Ji back when we first got together and I was still counting calories and fat grams. He'd order whatever his heart desired and I'd stick to kappa maki and oshinko maki (cucumber and pickled radish rolls). Fortunately, he was patient with my nonsense and I eventually became more interested in the Korean offerings, such as hwe dup bap or saengsun chigae/maewoontang (all contain fish).

            All this said, you'll have to gauge whether your friend is militantly vegan, in which case she might not be cool with any restaurant that handles meat, fish and seafood of all kinds in the same kitchen with her veggies, grains and soy products. If that's the case, I'd suggest sticking to Chinese veggie places that do interesting food. Take a peek at this thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6072...

            Good luck. It's tough being a vegan in restaurants. It's also tough dining with a vegan when you're an omnivore. I've been on both sides, at one time or another.

            Il Bun Ji Restaurant
            668 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M6G1L2, CA

            1. re: 1sweetpea
              JennaBean Jan 6, 2011 11:32 AM

              I wish that was an option Sweetpea but she doesn't eat sushi at all - even the pure veggie ones as she doesn't like the flavour for seaweed.

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