Vegetarian kimchi

Chaesik-kimchi 채식김치

Hello everybody!
I am so excited to show you how to make vegetarian or vegan kimchi today. It’s from my new cookbook! How long have you been waiting for this recipe? Or maybe you made your own adaptation of my traditional kimchi recipe or my easy kimchi recipe? When people asked me how to make vegetarian kimchi in comments I always suggested to use soy sauce but I wasn’t totally satisfied with my own answer because soy sauce alone couldn’t replace the deep savoriness of fish sauce or salty fermented shrimp that I use in my kimchi.

So I developed this recipe for my cookbook, the secret is in the vegetarian stock I created. It works perfectly. It gives the kimchi a delicious savoriness. Even if you are not a vegetarian you should try this for a change, you will be surprised how delicious it is. Even though I’m not a vegetarian, I love to make vegetarian kimchi because I never miss much of the taste from my traditional kimchi made with fish sauce and fermented shrimp.


It’s also a small portion of kimchi! You need only 1 head of napa cabbage (3 pounds), and then you can modify this recipe to adapt to how much you want to make. Enjoy the recipe! Let me know how your kimchi turns out!


Makes about 4 pounds



Salt the cabbage:

  1. Cut the cabbage lengthwise into quarters. Cut away the core of each quarter.kimchi making
  2. Cut the leaves crosswise into 1-to-1½ inch bite size pieces. Transfer to a large bowl.
  3. Toss with 6 tablespoons of the salt and 1 cup water.
  4. Let stand for 2 hours, tossing the cabbage every 30 minutes to salt evenly.

Make the kimchi paste:

  1. Combine the glutinous rice flour and 1 cup of the vegetable stock in a small saucepan and place over medium high heat.
  2. Stir until the mixture begins to bubble, 2 to 3 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of the sugar and stir until the mixture is slightly translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool thoroughly.
  3. Put the cooled porridge, the remaining ⅓ cup vegetable stock, the remaining 3 tablespoons salt, the remaining 1 teaspoon sugar, garlic, ginger, and onion in a food processor and process to a puree.
  4. Transfer the puree to a medium bowl.
  5. Add the gochu-garu (hot pepper flakes) and mix it well. Set aside.

Wash the salted cabbage:

  1. Rinse the cabbage 3 to 4 times with cold running water to remove any dirt and excess salt. Drain well.kimchi making

Mix it all together and make kimchi:

  1. Well dry a large bowl with kitchen cloth.
  2. Add the cabbage, radish matchsticks, green onion, chives (if used), and carrot. Add the kimchi paste and mix all together by hand (wear disposable gloves if you like).vegan kimchi (vegetarian kimchi)kimchi making
  3. Transfer to an airtight container or glass jars. Press down the on the kimchi so it’s well packed and no air can get inside, then put the lid on the container.vegan kimchi (vegetarian kimchi)

Ferment the kimchi:

  1. You can serve the kimchi right away, sprinkled with sesame seeds. Or you can let the kimchi ferment. It takes about 2 weeks to ferment in the refrigerator; for faster fermenting, leave it at room temperature for 1 to 2 days, depending on the warmth of your kitchen, until the kimchi smells and tastes sour.
  2. Once the kimchi is fermented, store in the refrigerator until it runs out. After 2 weeks, the kimchi will have fermented nicely, and it will continue to ferment and become more sour as time goes one. It never goes bad and you can enjoy it at every stage.
  3. Whenever you take some kimchi out of the container, be sure to press down on the remaining kimchi with a spoon to prevent it from being exposed to air.


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  1. Can I use this same recipe for vegan kkadugi kimchi?

  2. xxyuunaxx Mexico joined 12/20 & has 1 comment

    Hi maangchi i just made vegetarian stock and this vegetarian kimchi

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  3. FlexCorgi California joined 9/20 & has 2 comments

    Hi Maangchi! I’ve made this recipe 3 times now. First with 1/2c gochugaru, second with 3/4c gochugaru, and this time I have graduated to a full cup! So spicy and delicious. Thank you!!!

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  4. chewsy Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia joined 8/20 & has 1 comment

    hi Madam…first time looking at your kinchi recipe. Try it out. The kimchi turns up quite salty prior to fermenting. Is there a way to control the saltiness of the kimchi. Can i cut down the use of salt? Thank you

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,047 comments

      Don’t worry much about salty kimchi because it’s supposed to be salty. Bland kimchi will easily go soggy or bad. When kimchi is fermented, it will taste better.

    • helenhelen Toronto joined 10/12 & has 2 comments

      I made this recently replacing the kosher salt with regular salt and it turned out too salty as well. This time when I made it, I reduced the salt and it tastes very good! I learned that you cannot replace kosher salt (which Maangchi uses) with regular salt because the latter is A LOT saltier. So you actually have to halve the salt she calls for if you are not using kosher salt. Not sure if this is where you erred too?

  5. Ratomir Berlin joined 8/20 & has 1 comment

    Hello Maangchi, thanks for the recipe, keep doing the awesome work you do! Here’s how my first time kimchi turned out, will do it again for sure. It tastes great!

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  6. lucyccifer Alton Illinois joined 7/20 & has 1 comment

    Thanks to you and following your steps I was able to make my first batch and it turned out excellent! All the flavor was was in the right place and it fermented well !! I will continue to explore and make many of your wonderful recipes!!Thank You!!! Lucy

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  7. Dogukan Turkey Antalya joined 7/20 & has 1 comment

    Hi everyone I want to make this recipe but I ran out of rice flour recently. Are there any substitutes for rice flour??

  8. Expresso South Africa joined 7/20 & has 1 comment

    Hi Maangchi

    I’m very excited to make this kimchi recipe. Are there any substitutes for glutinous rice flour? I am having trouble finding it.

  9. Db326 Los Angeles joined 7/20 & has 1 comment

    I made this for the first time a month ago. Leaps and bounds beyond store-bought and even better than what I’ve had in Korean restaurants in LA. Thanks so much for this recipe! Will be making again very soon!

    I will say it did come out a little more pasty than watery as I was expecting, which was perfectly fine except that it left me with almost no brine for cooking other things with it. Is that normal for the vegetarian recipe?

  10. VoidPrincess Daytona Beach, Florida joined 7/20 & has 1 comment

    This was my first time making any kind of Korean food! I’m so excited to try this kimchi as it ferments. Thank you so much for teaching me, Maangchi!! I found you from YouTube :) much love

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  11. Lucia Minnesota joined 6/20 & has 2 comments

    Thank you! Just made this last night. Had some fresh with dinner. Going to ferment in the counter for a few days then taste. The kimchi in the jar is so beautiful it makes me emotional every time I look at it!

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  12. Bhavana BUNDABERG joined 4/20 & has 4 comments

    Hi Maangchi, I have been following you on YouTube and finally got around to cooking your amazing recipes… I am vegetarian. So it is the season for the Wombok Cabbage here in Australia… I made the vegetarian stock, especially so I could make this Kimchi. It is tasty! Thank you so much for explaining everything clearly. :) Next dish will be your Kimchi Pancake!! :D

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  13. vishnusa Boston, USA joined 5/20 & has 3 comments

    Hi Ms. Maangchi,

    I cannot wait to try out this vegetarian kimchi recipe of yours! However, is it possible to substitute ready-made Gochujang paste for the kimchi paste mentioned here? If so, do I modify that into the recipe in any way? Thanks!

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