Warm-up to this comforting spicy Vegan Kimchi Soup. This Kimchi Soup is so simple and easy to make yet has such a heavenly depth of flavor, you would think it’s been cooking for hours. Made with my homemade vegan seafood stock, the flavor profile of this cozy soup is just what you will need to keep you healthy on those cold winter days.
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Fermented foods like Kimchi are so good for you but often neglected in Western society. Maybe you heard of this spicy and sour fermented phenomenon, but probably never thought it would fit into a soup. Well, friends, Kimchi Soup has been around for decades and is super comforting. Now you know how much I love my Asain inspired soups, much like my Vegan Pho recipe so I had to add another one to the collection. In making this Vegan Kimichi Soup, you will discover how simple and easy this recipe is to create. Thanks to the addition of my Vegan Seafood Stock, you will also discover flavors that will expand and please your palate.
WHAT IS KIMICHI AND WHAT IT DOES IT TASTE LIKE?
Kimchi is a traditional Koren fermented vegetable dish typically made from salted napa cabbage (as well as other vegetables like radishes or cucumbers, etc) and spices like chill powder, red pepper flakes, ginger, etc. It is made through fermentation much like sauerkraut. Veggies and spices are packed tightly in a sterilized jar and sits at room temperature for 1 to 5 days.
Of course, this process is very time consuming and can go wrong if you are not used to fermenting food. So for this recipe, I use store-bought Kimchi which can be found in the refrigerator section of your store next to fresh produce where the tofu is located. You can also easily find it cheaply at your local Asian market. Be sure to read the ingredients as some Asian markets carry Kimchi that uses anchovies.
Kimchi is slightly crunchy in texture and has a flavor profile of sour, spicy, and salty. Because it is fermented food it’s main flavor profile is sour. Not as sour as sauerkraut, but still sour nonetheless.
WHAT IS VEGAN KIMICHI SOUP?
Kimchi soup or in Korea it’s known as “Kimchi-jjigae” is a stew made with well Kimchi lol. As well as other traditional ingredients like onions, scallions, pork, tofu, and/or seafood (sea animals). In fact, eating Kimchi in a soup is the most common way to enjoy this fermented vegetable.
I obviously did not use any pork or sea animals to make this Vegan Kimichi Soup recipe. However, I wanted to still get a seafood flavor in this soup and thanks to my Homemade Vegan Seafood Stock, that goal was reached.
WHAT IS VEGAN SEAFOOD STOCK MADE OUT OF?
Real seafood is sea vegetables. You can see an example of this in my delicious Vegan Cajun Seafood Boil recipe.
So vegan seafood stock isn’t such an oxymoron. I make my seafood stock out Wakame, kombu, shiitake mushrooms, onions, and a variety of spices.
Wakame is a type of edible seaweed with umami and salty taste. It is based on this stock and gives this stock its seafood flavor. Kombu is edible kelp (another seaweed ingredient) that adds that additional umami flavor and this seaweed is commonly used to make broths and stocks.
So you see? Vegan Kimchi Soup made in my Vegan Seafood Stock is the perfect marriage
Kimchi is rich in vitamins A and C, and also rich in probiotics such as lactobacilli bacteria due to its fermentation process. Remember our gut houses around 85 percent of our immune system so it’s super important to get fermented foods in your diet daily.
Seaweeds like wakame are high in Iodine which is important for proper thyroid functioning. Iodine is an essential and often neglected mineral that your body uses to produce thyroid hormones, which supports having a healthy metabolism.
***NOTE: This blog is not intended to replace the advice of a qualified healthcare practitioner. All information contained in this blog is the opinion of Monique and is not to be interpreted as medical advice.
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Vegan Kimchi Soup + Vegan Seafood Stock
This Vegan Kimchi Soup is so simple and easy to make yet has such a heavenly depth of flavor, you would think it’s been cooking for hours. Made with my homemade Vegan Seafood Stock, the flavor profile of this soup is just what you will need to keep you healthy those cold winter days.
Vegan Kimchi Soup
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon agave nectar
- 2 ½ tablespoons gochujang Korean red pepper paste
- 1 ½ tablespoons coconut aminos or soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons water
- 4 cups vegan seafood stock or store-bought vegetable stock
- 1 14 ounce jar store-bought kimchi
- 1 ½ cups mung bean sprouts
Homemade Vegan Seafood Stock (makes 6-7 cups of stock)
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 package dried seaweed sometimes labeled Wakame
- 1 medium yellow onion cut in half
- 1 ½ tablespoons granulated garlic or garlic powder
- 4 tablespoons mushroom seasoning
- 3 pieces kombu
- 8 dried shiitake mushrooms rinsed
- ¼ cup coconut aminos or soy sauce
- 10 cups water
For the Vegan Seafood Stock:
Place the dried seaweed in a large mixing bowl and add water. Let the seaweed soak for about 15 to 20 minutes, until it becomes soft. Drain the seaweed and set aside.
Place a large pressure cooker or large pot on medium heat. Once hot, add the sesame oil and soaked seaweed.
Stir and cook the seaweed for about 4-5 minutes. This step makes a difference in the taste of the stock, giving it a richer flavor, so don’t skip it.
Add the rest of the ingredients to the pot. If using a stovetop pressure cooker, place the lid on and once up to pressure, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 45 minutes. Turn off the heat, release the pressure, and remove the lid. If using an electric pressure cooker, place it on low pressure and cook for 45 minutes. Release
the pressure and remove the lid. If using a regular pot, place the lid on, bring the stock to a simmer, once at a simmer, reduce the heat to low and cook for about 1 ½ hours. Turn off heat when done.
Once the stock is done, drain it immediately otherwise the seaweed will soak up all of the broth and nothing will be left. This has happened to me SO many times! I wait an hour or so to drain it and end up with 1 cup of stock.
Now your stock is done.
For the Kimchi Soup:
In a small bowl, mix the first 5 ingredients to make a sauce.
Place a large pot on medium heat. Add the vegan seafood stock, or vegetable stock, and bring to a simmer. Add the kimchi, along with all of the kimchi juice, and gochujang sauce mixture. Stir, place a lid on the pot, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.
Remove the lid, add the mung bean sprouts and cook until the sprouts are just wilted, about 2-3 minutes. Turn off the heat and serve.
If you are not soy intolerant, try adding some soft tofu to this!
You can use 1 head of fresh garlic, cut in half, instead of granulated garlic when making the seafood stock. I just personally prefer the taste when using granulated garlic.