Easy Vegan Kimchi 채식주의자 김치 ベジタリアンキムチ
This easy Kimchi is 100% vegan, gluten free and dairy free and of course, 100% delicious! Made without fish sauce, it tastes lighter and much more refreshing than regular easy kimchi.
Watch my Easy Vegan Kimchi Recipe Video (4m 46s)
My daughter’s winter vacation has been longer than it usually is. She only went back to school on Tuesday. The weather hasn’t been nice. It has been cold, wet and windy so we haven’t been able to get outside much. There are only so many times you can take them to the local indoor soft play centre, so I have been racking my brain trying to think of places to take them.
My husband and I decided to take them to Paradise Island, an indoor mini golf centre in the Trafford Centre (a big shopping mall in Manchester; one of my favourite places ^^). My boy, who is nearly 3 years old, loved playing crazy golf this time. When I took him last time, he had just started walking, so, it wasn’t much fun for him. My 7 year old daughter loved teaching him how to play and how to hold the golf club. She loved bossing him around. We had a great time. It is quite reasonable and if you are lucky you can win a free round if you get a hole in one on the last hole. We weren’t lucky this time.
As much as I love having my daughter around during the holidays, I am also quite happy with a bit of quietness. ^^
I have a meetup with two of my friends every other Saturday morning for a meditation class. We watch a famous Korean monk, Bupryoon’s YouTube videos about how to be happy and how to do mind training to have positive energy.
You may think, ‘Is she a Buddhist?’ Well… I don’t know. I was baptised a catholic as a baby and went to church until I went to university. My friend took me to a temple in Busan where they specialize in people’s happiness, meditation, counselling and creating positive energy. That was around 10 years ago already!
There are lots of Buddhist temples in the mountains and cities in South Korea. But, I never went somewhere like the one where my friend took me. The temple was in the middle of a residential area. It took me a couple of hours to get there from my house by train. But, I loved it. I felt sooo happy and felt totally purified and positive whenever I went there.
I missed it when I came to the UK. I was thinking about moving back to Korea since I want to do my mind training in the temple with my friend. But, last year, a friend of mine who I have known since moving here, was looking for people to do it together. I went and I love it!
This friend has recently become a vegan. She is sooooo lovely that I want to get more vegan recipes out on my blog (of course, more Korean vegan recipes as well!) for her. Also, I have a lot of requests for Korean vegan recipes from my social media followers and YouTube subscribers.
My mum is not a vegetarian, but, she loves eating vegetables more than meat. She often cooked vegetarian meals when I was a kid. My dad loves meat so much that he needs meat on the table. Whenever my dad was out or away for work, we would all eat vegetarian dishes. I love them!
The first time I made vegan Kimchi was about 16 years ago. My husband doesn’t eat a lot of seafood, so, he asked me to make kimchi without fish sauce. I thought I would try it. I was a bit suspicious whether the outcome would be edible for me or not. It turned out fantastic!
You may think, ‘Is vegan kimchi traditional? The answer is definitely Yes! ’. Traditionally, kimchi was just vegetables mixed with salt. We didn’t have chilli powder (Gochugaru) in Korea until Portuguese sailors introduced it to us. But, chillies were too expensive for people to buy. Only rich people could afford to buy them. One year, there was a very bad shortage of salt. People still had to preserve their vegetables for the winter so they improvised and topped up the salt with chilli powder. Gradually they added garlic, ginger, fish sauce etc… So, vegan Kimchi was invented first!
Kimchi tastes better one day after it is made. Leave the freshly made kimchi at room temperature for one day in summer and a couple of days in winter before you keep it in the fridge. This kicks off the fermentation process. My readers often ask how long kimchi can be kept in a fridge. I recommend no longer than 2 months. To be honest with you, it runs out well before that in my house, but, there isn’t really any expiry date for kimchi as it is a fermented food. In Korea, 1-2 year old kimchi is a delicacy!
Enjoy your vegan kimchi with a bowl of freshly cooked rice and lots of side dishes like Koreans do!
- 2 Chinese Cabbages/Napa Cabbages (2kg)
- Salt Water Marinade
- 1.5L Water
- ½ Cup Sea Salt
- Thickening Sauce Ingredients
- 2 Cups Water
- 1 Piece Kelp (3cm square)
- 1 tbsp Glutinous Rice Flour (It can be replaced with flour)
- Kimchi Sauce
- 1 Pear
- 1 Piece Ginger (5g), Mashed
- 6 Cloves of Garlic, Mashed
- 2 tbsp Sea Salt
- 2 ½ tbsp Sugar
- 1 ⅓ Cups Korean Red Pepper Powder (Gochugaru)
- 9 Spring Onions/Scallions (125g) finely shredded
- 1 Carrot (70g) cut into matchsticks
- Makes 3.4 litres of Vegan Kimchi
- Wash the chinese cabbages (napa cabbages) and chop them into small bite size pieces and put them in a big bowl or pan.
- Mix the sea salt and water until the salt has dissolved and add to the chinese cabbages. Cover the bowl with food wrap for four hours to marinate taking the cover off and giving it a stir every hour. When four hours are up, drain all the salty water from the chinese cabbages using a colander. Leave the colander on a plate or a bowl for around half an hour to drain all the salty water from the cabbage.
- To make the thickening sauce, put the water and kelp in a pan over a high heat until it boils and then simmer over a low heat for around 10 minutes.
- Remove the kelp and add the sticky rice flour to the pan over a low heat, stirring until it thickens. Don't worry if it is a little lumpy. Leave to cool.
- Peel the pear and cut into small pieces. Puree the pear with a mortar and pestle.
- Put the thickening sauce in a bowl. Add the Korean red pepper powder, mashed garlic, ginger, pear, sugar and sea salt and mix them well. Add the chopped carrots and the spring onions to the sauce and mix them.
- Once mixed, pour the sauce into the drained chinese cabbage in a big bowl or pan and mix well. Now, your vegan kimchi is ready to eat! Enjoy it with a bowl of freshly cooked rice and side dishes like Koreans do.