Vegan Kimchi Jjigae (Spicy Korean Stew)

December 31, 2020
As the days are getting colder I was craving one of my favorite Korean soups, kimchi jjigae. Due to the second lockdown I can't visit any restaurants and ordering delivery is not an option from this particular Korean restaurant, so I attempted to make a copycat version of it.

I used my homemade kimchi recipe, to make sure the kimchi is vegan (I found quite a few brands that sell vegan kimchi, but making your own is not a big fuss either. We have a recipe here on PD, too.).

Kimchi is beloved for its unique flavor profile—garlicky, savory, slightly spicy, sour, and a little bit sweet. It's considered an acquired taste, but it's definitely worth a try. The soup also is nutrient packed with veggies, mushrooms, and tofu.
vegan kimchi jigae

Vegan Kimchi Jjigae (Spicy Korean Stew)

Recipe Type: Soups and Stews
utensils YIELDS 2-3 servings
herb graphic for recipe card
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 3 cups vegan kimchi
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tbsp gochujang (chili paste)
  • 1/4 cup kimchi brine
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 tsp maple syrup
  • 3-4 dried shiitake mushroom caps
  • 1 piece dried seaweed
  • 1 cup zucchini sliced
  • 1 medium daikon radish peeled and sliced into thin rounds
  • 3 large green onions, sliced diagonally
  • 1 pack medium-firm tofu, sliced into 0.5 cm thick bite-sized pieces
  • 1-2 tbsp soy sauce
  • Freshly toasted sesame seeds
  • 1/2 tsp gochugaru (chili flakes)
        graphic for recipe card


1. Thinly slice the scallions, separating the white and the green parts. Mince the garlic.

2. Heat oil in a large skillet or pan over medium heat. Add the white parts of the scallions and garlic. Add the gochujang, and gochugaru. Stir until the pastes are well mixed with the onion and garlic, about 2 minutes.

3. Add the kimchi brine, vegetable stock, maple syrup, dried shiitake mushrooms, daikon radish and kombu. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook until radish is slightly softened (I like to leave a little crunch in the radish), about 10 minutes.

4. 10 minutes before serving, add the zucchini and tofu. Cover and allow to simmer until the mushrooms and zucchini are cooked through, about 10 minutes.

5. Stir in kimchi and tofu. Taste and add soy sauce as needed, for saltiness.

6. Garnish with green onion and sesame seeds (if using) and serve immediately with rice.

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Photo: Imola Toth

Imola is a Hatha and Ashtanga yoga teacher, tree planter and writer and editor of Raised by the Wolf, an online magazine for Wild Women, with a passion for exploring and life outdoors. Originally from Hungary but currently planting trees and rewilding the enchanting forests of France. Hop over to RBTW magazine, and blog and follow her on Instagram @yogiraisedbythewolf


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