Easy Vegan Kimchi Recipe

This crispy crunchy Kimchi recipe is a flavor-packed vegan and gluten-free bowlful of immune system-boosting ingredients. Think heavy on the garlic and ginger vegan kimchi fermented in a spicy tangy red sauce that is a coleslaw-worthy substitute full of nutrients and crunchy textures. Top it over fried rice, noodles, soups, or even sandwiches. 

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A deliciously crispy and crunchy vegan Kimchi recipe that will warm your tastebuds

This easy vegan Kimchi recipe is a gluten-free nutritional powerhouse of goodness and flavors. It’s a great source of natural probiotics and contains large amounts of vitamin C and vitamin A. And it’s a crunchy, delicious dish that’s a slaw-worthy substitute. 

If you’ve never tried making this South Korean superfood then get ready for this super easy kimchi recipe that’s vegan and gluten-free.

In this post: everything you need to make Vegan Kimchi step-by-step

Traditional kimchi uses fish sauce, but as this is an all-vegetarian (and mostly vegan) blog of course this kimchi is all vegan. We have substituted the fish sauce with tamari sauce to also make it a delicious gluten-free dish. 

What is Kimchi?

Kimchi is a traditional Korean slaw-like dish made from Napa cabbage that’s been salted to soften it and fermented along with lots of spices like garlic and ginger. It’s a fully delicious spicy crunchy cabbage that’s tangy and spicy.

Ingredients for making vegan gluten-free kimchi 

Making gluten-free kimchi is incredibly easy and only requires a few simple main ingredients and a handful of seasoning. All you need is:

  • sea salt or kosher salt (iodine-free)
  • water
  • Napa Cabbage, cut into slices 
  • carrots, cut into slices or shredded 

Spice ingredients for vegan Kimchi 

  • water 
  • yellow onion, thinly sliced 
  • green onions, sliced 
  • cloves of garlic, finely chopped 
  • ginger, finely chopped or grated 
  • sriracha sauce, vegan
  • tamari sauce 

How to make vegan kimchi step-by-step 

  • The first step to making vegan kimchi is to soak the shredded or sliced Napa cabbage in salted water for 1-2 hours to soften the cabbage.
  • Now, to Step 2. The fun part. Now it’s time to make the spicy sauce so grab your blender or a food processor and add the spice ingredients; water, yellow onion, green onions, garlic, ginger, sriracha sauce, and tamari sauce (can be soy sauce if you don’t mind gluten). 
  • Blend until everything is a smooth spicy runny sauce.
  • Next, comes Step 3. Drain the salt water from the Napa cabbage and rinse the cabbage free of salt. 
  • Step 4. Step four is all about bringing the ingredients together in a clean sealed container (preferably a large glass container). Place the Napa cabbage in your container and top with sliced or shredded carrots. Drizzle the spicy sauce on top. Seal the container and shake it until the cabbage is coated in sauce, or use a spoon to mix everything. 
  • And lastly, Step 5. Place the sealed container with the cabbage at room temperature for 3-5 days or until it tastes fermented, shaking it once a day to make sure all the ingredients ferment properly.

What to serve with kimchi 

Kimchi goes well with just about everything. Here are my top 10 ways to eat kimchi:

How to serve Kimchi

You can serve kimchi as is as a substitute for regular salad, top it over noodles, or fried rice, or use it as a spicy crunchy sandwich filling. There’s no going wrong. The general rule is, that if you would eat it with coleslaw you can substitute the slaw with kimchi.

Frequently Asked Questions About Kimchi

What is the main ingredient in kimchi?

Napa cabbage is the main ingredient in kimchi. Other basic ingredients include carrots, onions, garlic, and ginger.

How long does it take for homemade kimchi to ferment?

Kimchi ferments in 2-5 days at room temperature, or 1-2 weeks if kept in the refrigerator. For me, I find the kimchi to be just as I like it after 2 days.

How long does kimchi keep?

If kept at room temperature kimchi lasts for around 7 days after opening. 
It will keep up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator after opening.

Does kimchi need rice flour?

No. This recipe doesn’t use rice flour and you can easily make kimchi without rice flour.

How do I know if kimchi is fermented?

You will clearly see little bubbles in the sauce when the kimchi ferment. Bubbles are a good thing as it means the fermentation is working. Just make sure to always keep the kimchi submerged in the liquid.

Does kimchi need to be refrigerated?

Yes. Once the kimchi is fermented (after 2-5 days) it should always be kept in a refrigerator to keep the fermentation level. Otherwise, the probiotics will develop too quickly and the kimchi won’t be as good for you.

Can you freeze kimchi?

The surprising answer is yes. Kimchi can be frozen as long as you transfer it to a sealed plastic container or a ziplock bag after it’s already fermented.

Why is kimchi good for you?

Kimchi contains lots of probiotics, beta carotene, and antioxidants that are believed to help prevent the risk of serious health concerns such as cancer, stroke, heart disease, diabetes, and more. It’s also a great source of vitamins and nutrients and contains large amounts of vitamin A and vitamin C.

Do you eat kimchi hot or cold?

Both. Kimchi can be eaten hot, cold, and straight out of the jar. Top it over rice or eat it as is. The options are endless.

Is kimchi vegan?

Not traditionally, but this easy kimchi recipe is completely vegan and gluten-free.

Easy Vegan Kimchi Recipe (gluten-free)

This crispy crunchy Kimchi recipe is a flavor-packed vegan and gluten-free bowlful of immune system-boosting ingredients. Think heavy on the garlic and ginger vegan kimchi fermented in a spicy tangy red sauce that is a coleslaw-worthy substitute full of nutrients and crunchy textures. Top it over fried rice, noodles, soups, or even sandwiches. 
Course Lunch, Side Dish
Cuisine Asian
Keyword vegan
Prep Time 2 hours
Resting/fermenting 2 days
Servings 1 large jar
Author Simone – Munchyesta.com

Ingredients

  • ½ cup Sea salt or Kosher Salt Iodine Free
  • 1 cup Water
  • 4 pounds Napa cabbage Cut into slices (small or large as you prefer)
  • 2 Carrots finely sliced or shredded

Spice Mix

  • ½ cup Water
  • 1 Yellow Onion Thinly sliced or shredded
  • 2 Green Onions Thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves Garlic Finely chopped
  • 1 inch (2,5cm) Fresh Ginger Grated or finely chopped
  • 2 tsp Sriracha Sauce Vegan and gluten-free
  • 2 tbsp Tamari Sauce

Instructions

  • Mix sea salt and 1 cup of water together in a large mixing bowl. Place the diced Napa cabbage in the salted water and let it soak for 1-2 hours until the cabbage is softened.
  • Now it’s time to make the spicy sauce so grab your blender or a food processor and add the spice ingredients; water, yellow onion, green onions, garlic, ginger, sriracha sauce, and tamari sauce (can be soy sauce if you don’t mind gluten). 
    Blend until everything is a smooth spicy runny sauce.
  • Drain the salt water from the Napa cabbage and rinse the cabbage free of salt.
  • Place the Napa cabbage in your container and top with sliced or shredded carrots. Drizzle the spicy sauce on top. Seal the container and shake it until the cabbage is coated in sauce, or use a spoon to mix everything. 
  • Place the sealed container with the cabbage at room temperature for 2-5 days, shaking it once a day to make sure all the ingredients ferment properly.

Notes

After 2-5 days of fermentation time, store the kimchi in a clean sealed container in the refrigerator.

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