More and more people are choosing to become vegan, or make regular vegan choices. This is often a decision based on health, environmental or animal welfare reasons, or a combination of these.
If you’ve made the decision to make more vegan choices, or perhaps even go completely vegan, it’s becoming easier and easier to do so. There are more vegan cafes, restaurants and other vegan food options popping up around the place to provide you with more delicious plant based choices.
If you live in Thailand, it’s relatively easy to find vegan dishes because tofu is commonly used as a protein source. Walking through the hawker centers of Malaysia, your options are somewhat more limited, and if you live somewhere like Korea there are considerably more meat centered dishes lurking around. Your options for eating out as a vegan may be more limited in places like these.
Dairy isn’t a commonly consumed food group in Asia, so this is often one less thing to be concerned about. However, be aware that dairy consumption is on the rise in many Asian countries, so it pays to check if you are unsure whether it’s in the dish you’re eating.
Simple vegan swaps for your home made meals
Rather than thinking about eliminating meat, eggs and dairy, think about the healthy swaps you can make:
- Eggs can be replaced with tofu or a mix of chia seeds and water, which creates an egg-like consistency
- Alternatives to meat and seafood include tofu, tempeh, nuts, seeds, legumes and pulses. These types of foods supply you with an alternative source of protein. You do need to ensure you eat a variety of them to get all the amino acids your body needs.
- There are a number of dairy alternatives, if this is currently something that features in your diet. Swap cow’s milk for soy milk or nut milk, and swap cheese for nut based cheeses (which won’t be easy to buy but you can learn how to make them yourself). Nutritional yeast flakes are great to use in dishes where you want to create a cheesy flavor. Ask for them at your local health food store.
Other tips for making more vegan choices
- Don’t be hard on yourself if you find it too hard to go completely vegan. Make one small change at a time, based on where you’re at now. If you’re eating meat every day, that small change might be to start with ‘meat free Mondays’
- Choose a wide variety of plant based foods to help cover your nutritional bases. If you are going completely vegan, get your vitamin and mineral levels checked to begin with, and then say six months later. That way you can tweak your diet if required, and choose appropriate supplements if needed
- If you like eating out, do a search for vegan eateries near you, and then mark them on google maps so you’ve got a good idea of how to find them. If you prefer making dishes at home, get yourself a healthy vegan cookbook, or bookmark some delicious sounding meals on your phone or laptop. This is the first step towards getting prepared to cook them!
Check out our ‘feed your body’ listings to find vegan cafes, restaurants and food stores in Bangkok.