Vegan's Chronicles + [online shopping]

Finding Flaxseeds

In Korea, everyone and their mother seems to know about the importance of Omega-3 fatty acids. This had led to everyone taking fish oil supplements, which is bad news for fish. Sadly, it's very rare for Koreans to have heard of flaxseeds as being an equally good source of Omega-3s. I take at least one tablespoon of ground flaxseeds every day, usually in my breakfast oatmeal. Sometimes I add it to thicken smoothies, and sometimes I just sprinkle them on top of some chocolate banana pudding. :) Since it's not well-known in Korea, you will not find flaxseeds in any average supermarket. So what should vegetarians in Korea do to meet this nutritional need?

In the past, I just brought packages of flaxseed with me from the US. But recently, when my supply was running low, I had to find a quick and affordable way to refill my stock. An online search resulted in several suppliers, mainly on sites like GMarket or Auction. The Korean translation is '아마씨' (pronounced: "Ah-Mah-Shi"). You can find both dark and golden flaxseeds, as well as flaxseed oil. I particularly looove the nutty flavor of the golden flaxseeds, so that was my choice. The flaxseed oil is much pricier, but maybe one day I will invest in a bottle... :) The only downside about ordering things online is that it might be difficult for a foreigner to navigate the Korean site...

Here is the link for the supplier where I got these organic flaxseeds, 600g on sale for 9,900 won.

I have also seen flaxseeds occasionally sold at high end department stores, but they are very pricey and not always in stock. Another in-store supplier is the Itaewon Foreign Food Mart. They only have the dark kind though, and I can't help but question the quality of the product. But if you're unable to order from online, the FFM might be your best bet.

Since most suppliers in Korea only sell the whole seeds, it helps to have a food processor to grind them yourself. I actually prefer it this anyway, because then I can grind only a portion of the bag, and keep things fresher for longer.