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Vegan kimchi

Recipe for Instant vegetarian Kimchi

Totally adjustable and vegan compatible of the ever infamous Korean Kimchi, ready in 30-40 minutes include soaking brine and ferment. No shrimp, fish or any seafood being used.
Course Garnish
Cuisine Korean
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 43 minutes
Servings 2 lb
Author Victoria


  • 1 large napa cabbage about 2 lbs
  • 1/2 lb daikon radish or turnip
  • 1/4 lb carrot
  • 4 stems green onion/scallion


  • 7 cups water
  • 1/2 cup salt + 1 Tbsp salt

Vegan fishy sauce

  • 1/4 pineapple or 1/4 cup raw pineapple juice no sugar added, no dilute
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • A 2"x2" piece of kelp optional

Vegan Kimchi sauce

  • Vegan fishy sauce above
  • 1/2 white onion
  • A nickle size piece of ginger
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider or rice vinegar
  • 1 pear or apple peeled and cored
  • 1 plum peeled and seeded
  • 1 Tbsp roasted sesame

Spicy mixture - adjust to your tolerant level

  • 2 Tbsp Gochujang or 3 Tbsp Sriracha + 1 Tbsp miso paste
  • 2 Tbsp chili pepper flake or cayene pepper please adjust base on you spice tolerant
  • 1/2 Tbsp chili powder


  • Cut off the root and hardening stem part of napa cabbage, then cut it into 1 1/2 inch - 2 inches sections.
  • Use your hand to separate all the layers and wash them clean. Place them in a large container.


  • Boil 5 cups of water with 1/3 cup salt.
  • When all salt dissolved, remove from heat, let cool down to 122 F (about 5 minutes).
  • Pour the warm brine into cabbage container, use a spatula or some thing to stir around so that all pieces are loosen and in contact with the brine.
  • Apply some pressure to make sure the cabbage stayed down. (I used a heavy water bowl over a crossed skewers).
  • After soaking with brine for 10 minutes, stir to flip the cabbage upside down, again, keep them down and soak for another 5 minutes or so.
    Soaking napa cabbage
  • The napa cabbage should now be more bendable without breaking but still preserving their crispiness.
    Bendable napa cabbage
  • Fill the container with water, and rinse off all the brine once, or twice if you feel them too salty.
  • Drain off all excess water, you probably have to squeeze them a little, and place them on a basket or cooling rack to drip off excess water.
  • Shred all other accompany veggies like turnip/daikon radish, carrot. Cut off the white stem, and chop the green scallion.

Making Kimchi sauce, the vegan way

  • If you have a juicer, just throw the pineapple into it for the juice. If not, puree it and squeeze with a cheesecloth to extract as much juice as you can. You would need about 1/4 cup of pineapple juice.
  • In a small sauce pan, add a small piece of kelp into simmered pineapple juice with 1 Tbsp sugar, 1 Tbsp salt, and 1 Tbsp soy sauce. Stir to make sure all sugar/salt are dissolving. Reduce to about 1/4 cup. Remove sauce pan from heat and let cool off naturally.
  • In
    your blender, add 4 garlic cloves, a nickle size piece of peeled ginger, 1/2 onion, 1 plum's flesh, 1 pear or apple 's flesh, 2 Tbsp apple cider or rice vinegar, 2 tsp honey ad 1 Tbsp sugar. Blend them real good, like a smoothie.


  • Now you need a good pair of food gloves, find the longest pair that you could find.
  • Add all the drained cabbage into a (large) mixing bowl, the pour the kimchi smoothie *^.^* all over them.
  • Add the vegan fish sauce (the reduced pineapple juice mixture) and all your spicy mixture: chili flakes, powder, Gochujang, etc.
  • Don't forget the extra side veggies like shredded daikon radish/turnip, carrot, scallion, toss them all in as well.
    Kimchi mixing bowl
  • Use your hands (w/ gloves or you'll be in nightmare with burnt hands lol) to mix them good. Make sure the reddish sauce mixture touch every bits and pieces of cabbage.
    Mix kimchi
  • Taste test and adjust to your liking (more salt/sugar/vinegar etc. to your need). Think they're good, sprinkling some roasted sesame, and mix them well again.
  • Cover and let sit for 20 minutes for ingredients fully soaked before serving.
  • Store in airtight container in fridge with a vegan mark ^.^