Kimchi is a popular Korean food that is made with pickled cabbage and other veggies. While it’s perfectly logical to assume pickled cabbage and veggies is a vegan-friendly food, you’d unfortunately be wrong. Kimchi – especially the store-bought kind – typically contains many animal-based ingredients, including seafood and beef broth. It’s not even vegetarian, let alone vegan. Just take a look at the ingredients from some of the most popular brands…
Note: Both of these brands now make vegan kimchis. Just make sure you buy the one that says vegan on the label.
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Napa cabbage, beef stock (water, beef), red pepper flakes, pears and/or apples, scallions, garlic, salted shrimp (shrimp, salt) cane sugar, anchovy sauce (anchovies, salt) sea salt, ginger.
Napa cabbage, yellow onion, green onion, salt, red chile pepper flakes, fresh ginger, fresh peeled garlic, organic sugar, beef bone broth, salted shrimp, fish sauce (anchovies, salt).
I used to be friends with a Korean girl who made vegan kimchi all the time. She would often give me some because she knew I didn’t eat meat or seafood. Making vegan kimchi is simple: just leave out the seafood and beef broth. The beef broth can easily be replaced with vegetable broth, and if you want a fishy favor, the seafood can be replaced with vegan fish sauce and/or nori.
Vegan Kimchi Recipe
Korean chef, Hyosun, makes a traditional-style kimchi without the animal ingredients. Get the recipe here.