The Vegetarian Traveller: What I Eat During My Trips + AirAsia's Farm-to-Air Inflight Meals & Vegetarian Options!
I usually get questions on what I (as a vegetarian) eat during my trips, most especially in countries where most of their main dishes are heavy on meat. Since I usually travel in Japan and Korea, I listed some of my usual orders whenever I visit two of my favorites countries in the world!
My Favorite Vegetarian Foods in Korea:
1) Bibimbap, no meat
2) Vegetable Gimbap
3) Vegetable Mandou (Dumplings)
4) Spicy Cheese Ramyeun
5) Sweet Pancakes (street food)
6) Strawberry Mochi (street food)
My Favorite Vegetarian Foods in Japan:
1) Tamago sushi or sashimi
3) Vegetable or Cheese Tempura
4) Tofu dishes (agedashi, fried, etc.)
5) Soba (noodles)
6) Shabu Shabu
Here are some tips for fellow vegetarian travellers:
1) Download the Happy Cow App
I love that this app is available (so far) everywhere that I went to. With Happy Cow app, you can easily locate nearby and recommended vegan, vegetarian, or veg-options while you're travelling!
2) Groceries / Convenience Stores
I think it's pretty obvious that every time I go to Korea or Japan, you'll see my Instagram stories of daily CU or Lawson visits! Haha! Most of my meals are in their convenience stores, other than for budget reasons, they always offer fresh produce selections--from fruits, vegetables, corns, and egg or cheese sandwiches!
I super love this tray of grapes and cherry tomatoes in a CU store in Daegu! Iba yun cherry tomatoes nila super sweet, and their fruits are so juicy!
Sometimes, if you're lucky, you'll find vegetable kimbap in convenience stores in Korea!
3) Coffee Shops
My next alternative to convenience stores, or whenever I want to dine in a quiet and solo-traveler friendly place, I always enter a cafe. Most coffee shops have sandwiches in their menu. If you're lucky, they will even have pasta or solo pizza!! If not, eat a slice of cake first and if you're still hungry, take out something from the nearest convenience store from your accommodation.
When left with no choice, I dine in cafes whenever I'm in Korea. My favorite is Paris Baguette because they have wide selections, hot meals, and a cute cup of good coffee.
4) Look for Italian, Indian, or Mexican restaurants, Subway (sandwich place), or if you have the budget and big appetite, a buffet!
These cuisines usually have vegetarian and even vegan options. I also love buffets in group tours because there will always be a salad and fruits bar, vegetable viands, and lots of carbs options from rice, potatoes, or salads.
A last option for me is ordering side dishes in fast food chains (mashed potatoes, fries, corn and carrots, etc).
5) Pre-Order Your Meals Before Your Flight
Whenever I book for flights that already have inclusive meals, I make sure to indicate that I am a vegetarian with all the specific details of my food restrictions (lacto ovo, I don't eat any meat nor seafoods, but I still consume animal by-products including eggs and dairies). I am always fascinated by what food they will serve to me, and most of the time I get my tray before everyone else on the plane! 😁
Vegetarian Sandwich from an AirAsia domestic flight. A tip is if you're sure to eat during your flight, make sure to prebook your vegetarian meal para hindi maubusan.
Vegan Tofu meal from one of my flights with AirAsia:
Yesterday, I went to Discovery Country Suites in Tagaytay for the launch of the newest "Santan" inflight menu. Named after the much-loved coconut milk, AirAsia's Santan menu offers a wide selection of Asean, international and even VEGETARIAN options for everyone.
We first went to a farm tour and discovered that Salad Time! brand that I love buying in groceries is actually a local brand and their farm is just in Tagaytay!
This is in-line with AirAsia's farm-to-air campaign, a commitment to offer a variety of inflight meals using only fresh harvests and ingredients directly sourced from farmers across the country. This makes me so happy!
After that, we went back to Discovery Country Suites Tagaytay to try the new AirAsia Santan menu food selections.
My face when I finally see vegetarian options in menus! Hallelujah!
For the vegetarians, AirAsia is now offering Caesar Salad (Php 120) on all AirAsia flights with Z2 code to and from the Philippines in partnership Discovery Country Suites Tagaytay!
Here are some of the other vegetarian options included in AirAsia's new Santan menu are:
Vegetable Stew with Rice Pilaf
Cheesy Pesto and Tomato Bun
Creamy Spinach Sandwich
Vegetable Rice Bowl with Sunset Bursts drink (a two-layered strawberry and lychee drink with coconut jelly sinkers):
Brazo de Mercedes
Cookies and Cream Parfait
Check out AirAsia's Santan menu HERE.
Just a little side kwento, I've been a vegetarian since 2005, and although it's a bit of a challenge especially since I am always away from home, I still have no regrets on becoming one! Ever since I was a kid, my heart was already telling me that someday I won't be eating animals. In my many years of traveling as a vegetarian, I have learned that it is difficult BUT doable. I had moments when left with no choice and had to eat pepperoni pizza after meticulously taking out the meat, or burgers stuffed with fries and minus the patty (and still paying for same price!). I learned from experience that to some, a vegetarian might mean I still eat seafoods or even chicken!--so be clear about what you can and cannot eat whenever you order. Ang daming beses ko na nag chew ng vegetable lumpia before realizing na hala may meat sya! 😣 And lastly, be respectful! We all have different preferences, cultures, and beliefs.
Narealize ko lang na my favorite food destination as a vegetarian is Europe. I never felt deprived! They always have a vegetarian or vegan option on their menu--side by side with their best-seller is its alternative meatless version!
Most of my eating photos with Ate during this trip makikita mo na we're eating almost same food, but mine's just meatless. ❤
My conversion into having a meatless diet is a long story, so maybe I'll save it for another blog post! Let me know if you're interested on how I started to become one and why.
Follow the AirAsia Santan journey through the hashtag #AirAsiaSantan and get the latest AirAsia news, activities and promotions on Twitter and Facebook.