17+ Vegan Recipes Using Kimchi (+ DIY Kimchi Recipe) (2024)

Here are a dozen delicious vegan recipes using kimchi, plus a bonus recipe for making your own. Korean cuisine has made a big splash in the West in recent years, and kimchi (aka kimchee) has been embraced along with it.

17+ Vegan Recipes Using Kimchi (+ DIY Kimchi Recipe) (1)

Kimchi is often used straight up as a condiment on the plate, but its zesty tartness can be incorporated all manner of dishes, as you’ll see following — noodle dishes, soups, tacos, noodle and rice dishes, bowls, and savory pancakes.

What is kimchi?

In brief, kimchi is a fermented condiment based most often on cabbage and can include other vegetables. Think of kimchi as a spicier form of sauerkraut. It can be mild or spicy, depending on how it’s made. Originating in Korea, of course, rarely is a meal considered complete without it. Learn about the fascinating history of kimchi here.

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Is kimchi good for you?

The fermentation process results in a plethora of beneficial nutrients, especially probiotics. Dieticians and other experts believe that eating 2 to 3 servings of fermented foods per day for gut health is optimal; the sad truth is that in American and other Western diets, that number is closer to zero.

Rich in vitamins C and K, kimchi has a moderate amount of fiber, iron, and potassium, and is quite low in calories. Here’s a complete nutritional profile of kimchi.

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What’s in kimchi?

In Korean cuisine, there are hundreds of varieties combining all manner of vegetables, herbs, and spices. In western markets, there isn’t nearly that much variety.

You’ll most likely find prepared kimchi mainly based on napa cabbage, embellished with onion, garlic, ginger, and a spice made from hot chile peppers.

Kimchi’s fiery kick comes from a seasoning made from hot chile peppers called gochugaru, though for most palates, it’s not too hot to handle. You can get it from Asian markets or online sources. An easy substitute is dried hot red pepper flakes, a seasoning available in every supermarket.

Occasionally, readymade kimchi, which comes in jars, may include carrot and some form of radish. It can sometimes contain fish ingredients, so make sure to read labels to find a vegan brand.

Thanks to the talented bloggers who participated in this roundup and gave permission to use their photos and link to their creative recipes.

Make your own kimchi – 2 DIY recipes

17+ Vegan Recipes Using Kimchi (+ DIY Kimchi Recipe) (4)Photo: Live Eat Learn

How to Make Kimchi: From Live Eat Learn, are you a kimchi lover who’s wondered how to make kimchi at home? Here’s how to make your own easy, fermented kimchi with this authentic Korean recipe (without the fish sauce!)

17+ Vegan Recipes Using Kimchi (+ DIY Kimchi Recipe) (5)Photo: Attainable Sustainable

Easy Green Cabbage Kimchi (with Bok Choy): From Attainable Sustainable, fermenting cabbage, bok choy, carrots, and daikon creates a probiotic kimchi that can be served alongside various dishes. Make it spicy or mild.

Delicious Recipes Using Kimchi

Kimchi tacos

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Kimchi Tempeh Tacos: From Live Eat Learn — looking for an easy, Asian-inspired taco recipe sure to please your tastebuds and leave your stomach feeling nice and full? These Kimchi Tempeh Tacos will do just that. They’re totally delicious and require just 20 minutes!

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Soy Curl and Kimchi Tacos: From Dianne’s Vegan Kitchen, made with savory Soy Curls and spicy kimchi, these easy-to-make Soy Curl and Kimchi Tacos are perfect for busy weeknights, and they’re sure to become a Taco Tuesday favorite!

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Vegan Korean BBQ Tacos (with Seitan and Kimchi): Who was it that first thought to mash up Korean BBQ with tacos? I have no idea, but the idea behind vegan Korean BBQ tacos made with plant protein and kimchi is pure genius.

Kimchi salads

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Napa Cabbage and Kimchi Coleslaw: Agreat choice for serving as a side dish with Korean specialities and other Asian-style dishes. Naturally vegan and gluten-free, it’s a slaw with a spicy kick.

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Cucumber and Kimchi Salad is a fantastic addition to the plate when served with Asian noodle dishes, stir-fries, rice dishes, and Korean specialties.

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Kimchee Noodle Salad: From Rachael Hartley Nutrition, Kimchi Noodle Salad is a delicious way to sneak in mood boosting probiotics, and it takes less than 30 minutes to make. Vegan and gluten free too!

Kimchi-embellished bowls and rice dishes

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Vegan Korean Beef-Less Rice Bowls: This classic is an easy recipe to convert to a completely meatless version. It’s a great rice bowl to make for an easy weeknight meal.

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Vegan Korean Mushroom Bulgogi Bowls: Another from Rachael Hartley Nutrition, this veggie packed vegan Korean mushroom bulgogi bowl uses meaty portobello mushrooms in lieu of beef! It’s easy for meal prep, and topped with a spicy sriracha mayo sauce.

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BBQ Jackfruit Bowls with Kimchi & Sriracha Mayo: From The Cook Report, these BBQ jackfruit bowls are so easy to make and are full of wholesome ingredients. Top with kimchi, avocado and a big drizzle of sriracha mayo for a delicious vegan dinner.

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Kimchi Bowl with Red Curry Almond Sauce: From Spabettie,Kimchi Bowl with Red Curry Almond Sauce is the ultimate vegan rice bowl recipe! bright, vibrant and packed with flavor and probiotic goodness!

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Vegan Kimchi Fried Rice: From Dianne’s Vegan Kitchen, loaded with vegetables, flavorful vegan Kimchi Fried Rice comes together quickly, making it a great dinner option for busy weeknights! This easy Korean inspired recipe is vegan and gluten-free.

Kimchi in soups

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Vegan Kimchi Soup: Even with all the spices and bold flavors, kimchi soup somehow qualifies as comfort food! It’s a classic in Korean cuisine, easy to make in a plant-based version.

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Kimchi Ramen Noodle Soup: From Soup Addict, a soup that’s easy to make, especially for when winter chills us to the bone. Kimchi ramen noodle soup is full of mouth-watering, health-supporting ingredients like miso, kimchee, mushrooms, and dark leafy greens.

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Instant Kimchi Noodle Soup: From Spabettie, this rich, fragrant ten-minute recipe is a big bowl of comfort to blanket you in warm nourishment. Lift noodles!

More recipes using kimchi

17+ Vegan Recipes Using Kimchi (+ DIY Kimchi Recipe) (20)

Korean-Inspired Scallion and Kimchi Pancakes: What’s even better than scallion pancakes are scallion and kimchi pancakes. Easy to make and delicious, these vegan pancakes go well with Asian-style soups and stir-fries.

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Cucumber and Kimchi Avocado Toast: This easy avocado toast recipe teams up a set of tasty ingredients that will send you straight to sandwich heaven!

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17+ Vegan Recipes Using Kimchi (+ DIY Kimchi Recipe) (22)

Timothy Pakron’s recipe for Sunshine Kimchi

17+ Vegan Recipes Using Kimchi (+ DIY Kimchi Recipe) (2024)


What is the difference between regular kimchi and vegan kimchi? ›

In vegan kimchi, producers swap in things like miso, which is a fermented soybean paste, in place of the seafood components,” explained Michelle Zabat, an undergraduate at Brown University and lead author of the study.

Is vegan kimchi as healthy? ›

The health benefits of traditional and vegan kimchi are … the same. Yes, there is almost no difference.

What vegetables can you use for kimchi? ›

*The beauty of kimchi is you can use any vegetables you have on hand. They can be either fresh or on the softer side. Here are some of our favourites: nappa cabbage, carrots, green onions, cauliflower and bok choy.

What does vegan kimchi taste like? ›

It's spicy, tangy, slightly sweet with lots of umami taste. My vegan kimchi is just as delicious as the authentic Korean kimchi but made 100 % vegan. *Total Time doesn't include fermentation period which is 7-10 days.

Is kimchi still probiotic if you cook it? ›

Although individuals can cook kimchi, keep in mind that heating any fermented foods can start to kill off the healthy probiotics. So, to retain the health benefits, it is best to add kimchi in at the end of the cooking process.

Can I eat kimchi without fermenting? ›

Geotjeori (겉절이) is a traditional Korean side dish known as Fresh Kimchi. Unlike Fermented Kimchi, Geotjeori is normally made to consume within 1-2 days without any necessary fermentation.

Is it OK to eat kimchi everyday? ›

Overall, eating up to three servings of kimchi daily was associated with an 11% lower odds for obesity, compared to folks who ate less than one serving daily, Shin's group found. Results varied somewhat based on gender: Women who ate two to three servings daily saw their odds for obesity fall by 8%, the study found.

Should kimchi be served hot or cold? ›

So do you eat kimchi hot or cold? If you are eating kimchi because of the amazing live cultures and nutrient availability it offers, we recommend eating it cold. Try some of our own favorite cold kimchi recipes to get started: Cold noodles with kimchi.

Why does kimchi taste fishy? ›

Traditional kimchi is often made with Korean fish sauce and salted fermented shrimp, which is why it has a fishy taste. However, there are also vegetarian and vegan versions of kimchi that do not use fish sauce, which means they don't have that fishy flavor.

Why does my kimchi not taste good? ›

Kimchi spoilage and over-fermentation

It will continue to ferment at a cool temperature. If kimchi over-ferments, it will have a very vinegary odor and taste. It is not pleasant to eat raw, so it is often used for soups and stews. If any fermentation gets soft and slimy, then it is a sign of spoilage.

Is rice flour necessary for kimchi? ›

This sweet rice porridge isn't crucial, though it's recommended by many — it just helps to spread the flavor better, and helps the cabbage to better absorb it. If you don't have mochiko flour handy, just use water instead, with a few added tablespoons of sugar to make up for the sweetness. Nice tasty, indeed.

What's in kimchi that makes it not vegan? ›

Is it vegan? Traditionally, kimchi is not vegan. This is because it is typically seasoned and fermented in a seafood paste to deepen the flavour. This means that lots of kimchi bought that is made by Korean brands are not vegan-friendly.

What are the two types of kimchi? ›

There are over 180 recognized varieties of kimchi. The most common kimchi variations are: Baechu-kimchi (배추김치) spicy napa cabbage kimchi, made from whole cabbage leaves. Baechu-geotjeori (배추겉절이) unfermented napa cabbage kimchi.

Does vegan kimchi smell? ›

When you open a jar of wildbrine Korean vegan kimchi, you'll notice a preponderance of pieces of Napa cabbage in a briny liquid, turned red from the spicy chili peppers that deliver a robust kick. Set the open jar on the table and lean over to take a good whiff.

What is the difference between white kimchi and regular kimchi? ›

Baek kimchi (백김치) is a variety of kimchi that's made without gochugaru (red chili pepper flakes). Baek means white. Kimchi is obviously much more popular in its red spicy form, but we enjoy white kimchi for its mild, refreshing taste. It's child-friendly and great for people who have issues with spicy food!


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