How to Make Vegan Kimchi

Vegan kimchi in a bowl, with a jar of kimchi behind on a wooden suface

Is Kimchi vegan?

Can vegans eat kimchi?

Does Kimchi have meat or shellfish?

Normally, kimchi is not vegan.  But this recipe for how to make vegan kimchi is going to show you an easy way to make authentic kimchi, with a simple, traditional method, slightly altered to be vegan.

I LOVE throwing kimchi into a number of other recipes.  It’s so versatile that it is just as home in a kale salad as it is in a sandwich with raw bread.

This kimchi is from our Raw Fermentation at Home online course.  It’s the newest version of this recipe, and when Amy made it for me, I couldn’t keep it to myself.

Does Kimchi Have Probiotics?

Not only is kimchi absolutely delicious, it’s full of healthy bacteria.  This means it’s super healthy for the gut.  When you consider that 85% of your immune system is located in your gut, you can see why eating any fermented foods is a really good idea.

The other great thing about fermented foods, and kimchi in particular, is that they are so easy to make (with some initial guidance) and you can make them in batches that will last months!  They’re kind of like the perfect food in that way; long lasting, tasty, go well with your other meals, so it’s easy to throw some in, and provide a huge amount of nutrition.  Oh, and they’re cheap to make too!

Making kimchi at home is definitely the way to go, as you can make so much for such a small cost.  And in my humble opinion, this is the best recipes for vegan kimchi.  It’s very much a vegan version of a Korean kimchi recipe.

But if you do want to try other kimchi brands from the store, always make sure they’re unpasteurised and in refrigerated section.  Adding heat to fermented foods kills a lot of the beneficial bacteria, which is why they’re so great from a raw food perspective too!

Have you heard enough yet?  Let’s get into it.

Overhead shot of vegan kimchi in a glass jar on a wooden surface

Want to learn more about Fermented Foods? Check out our online course, Raw Fermentation at Home, where we take you through everything from chutneys, to nut cheeses and drinks!

Click here to learn more about Raw Fermentation at Home

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4.85 from 19 votes

Vegan Kimchi

How to make raw vegan kimchi.  This recipe is simple and versatile and mostly importantly, it’s tasty!

Nutrition (For one serving)

Calories: 30kcalCarbohydrates: 6gProtein: 1gPotassium: 282mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 310IUVitamin C: 27.1mgCalcium: 79mgIron: 0.4mg


  • 1 Chinese leaf / napa cabbage cut into 1’-2’ chunks
  • 2 tbsp sea salt large grain
  • 2 white onions use sweet white if possible
  • 2 spring onions cut on a bias
  • 2 oz ginger peeled and roughly chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1/4 cup Korean Chili powder / Kimchi Chili Powder


  • Place the chopped cabbage into a bowl and sprinkle with the salt. Toss the cabbage to evenly distribute the salt. Allow to sit for 6 hours or overnight, covered.
  • Once that time has elapsed, rinse the cabbage and then squeeze it of all excess water, and place into a mixing bowl.
  • Blend the remaining ingredients into a thick paste, add a touch of water if needed just to blend.
  • Put on a pair of washing up or latex gloves so you don’t burn your hands. Mix this paste into your vegetables well, being sure to coat each piece.
  • Finally, pack the kimchi into your prepared jar(s). Make sure to leave a 2’ gap at the top of the jar for the kimchi to expand. Leave at room temperature for about a 4-8 days, checking after 4 days for required ‘sourness’.
  • When the desired flavour is reached, transfer the jars to the fridge. This will keep for months if refrigerated.


Rate This Recipe
4.85 from 19 votes
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Russell James

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January 30th, 2019

13 thoughts on “How to Make Vegan Kimchi”

  1. Just made this kimchee, smells delicious! Can’t wait to eat it. Thanks for the easy to follow recipe.

  2. For those who don’t like spice there is a spring Kim chi that has no chili powder. It’s fresh and delicious.
    I also think this recipe would be nicely rounded out with an Asian pear or apple blended with the ginger and onion.

    Your recipes are fantastic!

  3. Thank you for this great recipe …
    I will quickly test this kimchi, but also with curry, because everyone does not like spicy!
    Great, I’m delighted …
    Beautiful day

  4. Is it possible that there are actually 1405 mg of sodium per serving????? Seems awfully high.

    • No, actually there’s not because the salt for wilting in the first stage gets washed off, but the recipe calculator is taking it as still in the recipe. I’ll get that changed, thanks.

    • Hey Rose, Kimchi is typically made with chilis, yes. We did have a question about using curry powder, which sounds great. It’s not kimchi as such, but you can make something interesting like this and have it not be spicy.

  5. do you actually close the fermenting jar ‘air tightly’ as in the video for the 4 – 8 day fermentation?

  6. You mean one whole head of Chinese leaves don’t you…just to be clear.
    I will blend the coating ingredients ( onion ginger garlic etc) in a viamix, is it therefore not necessary to chop, would chunks be ok or would it require too much water to blend?
    Thank you Russell.

    • Yes, it’s one whole head of cabbage.

      You don’t want to be using water to blend, otherwise the kimchi will end up too wet. We used a Vitamix in the video. Even when using a VM, roughly chopping the onion helps it to blend.


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