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flying vegan with Asiana airline | Jee Soo Shin

flying vegan with Asiana airline

WHY are airplane vegetarian meals so bland?  They think, because we don’t eat meat, we don’t need any sauce to spice things up?

I decided to vent by doing a blog post before going to late-night(afternoon in the UK time, so ideal timing, in a way..) work-mode.  Fingers crossed.

I’ve been booking vegetarian meal options when going on a long-distance airplane since 2008.  The pro of doing this is that you get your meal before everyone else.  Ha!

The downside is that I am yet to have an entirely satisfactory result regarding two things: 1. taste and 2. portion size.  They either consist of the blandest treatment of whole-foods or there isn’t enough stuff to eat in general (or both!). Last time on Korean Air was alright when I ordered fruit meals. I throughly enjoyed it- all fruit was fresh and tasty.  The problem was that there just wasn’t enough of those tiny little slices of fruits to munch on.  I gobbled up everything before they even started serving others their omni meals and ended up being VERY hungry at “sleep time”  I stopped a stewardess and expressed my hunger, which must have won her sympathy big time, because she not only gave me 3 packets of salted peanuts, but served me a bibimbap meal and suggested that I just scoop away the minced beef.  For breakfast, the same thing happened and I had finished the whole fruit meal well before the usual trolley came by, when I asked if I could have a bread.  The steward did present me a loaf, and kindly gave me another plate of vegetarian breakfast which was actually very nice.  I ended up eating about 3 times more than others.  Oink!

This time, I was on board Asiana, the second largest airline in Korea, and chose the vegan option (“entirely vegetarian(완전채식)”, as they called it) and was a bit disappointed to get a piece of cheese.  I don’t mind too much though, it’s only the real vegans who are sensitive to what is animal-based and what isn’t, and I myself wasn’t that entirely strict anyway (to the extent that I actually had the cheese).  They served two portions of salad with one packet of vinaigrette, one fruit dish, some salsa-like sauce with vegetables and rice with a piece of broccoli and carrots on the left.  The bread roll had to be eaten by itself because the margarine spread was runny and pretty disgusting looking.  I don’t like fake-butter anyway, so that was easily neglected.  There were a couple of crackers and a piece of cheddar cheese which were quite enjoyable.

Bibimbap – other than minced beef, egg rolls and fish soup, it is superbly vegan.  I could’ve ordered this instead!

Kimchi and eggrolls from the bibimbap meal.

After sleeping for a little while, I got up at what would’ve been 3am in London time for some composing frenzy.  There are these occasional panic attacks that sustain the basis of my career.

Brunch, the vegan version was served – the same salad, bread combi and a main dish of 2 samosas, 4 hash browns, a tomato slice and a few mushrooms.  Ian helped out by lending me his hot pepper paste, so I had some sort of flavoured dip to rely on.  The whole thing was quite bland but the samosas were quite tasty despite their sogginess.

I wonder if I would ever find a good airline that serves excellent vegan meals?

I’ve come home to serve myself (unfortunately, my parents were out) some nice rice with grains mixed in, with miso-spinach soup and some vegan banchans(side-dishes), all from the fridge!  Home sweet home :)

When Dad came home he brought lots of fruit- grapes, nectarines and Korean yellow melons from the store to make sure I won’t go hungry!  Aren’t I spoilt in my little home?

Ok, back to work nowwwww…


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