Korean Vegan Recipes for Delicious Plant-Based Meals

If you’re looking to explore new flavors and dishes in your vegan diet, why not try Korean vegan recipes? Korean cuisine is known for its complex combination of spices, fermented foods, and fresh vegetables, making it a perfect fit for those who love adventurous and varied vegan meals. In this article, we’ll introduce some tasty and easy-to-make Korean vegan recipes that will satisfy your cravings, whether you’re in the mood for something sweet, savory, or spicy.

What Are Korean Vegan Recipes?

Korean cuisine is known for its bold flavors, vibrant colors, and use of a plethora of vegetables and ingredients. Korean vegan recipes are plant-based dishes that use traditional Korean cooking techniques and ingredients without any animal products. These dishes are healthy, flavorful, and come with a wide variety of options for vegans and vegetarians to explore.

The Basics of Korean Vegan Cooking

The foundation of Korean vegan cooking is rice, vegetables, and grains such as barley. Korean vegan dishes are generally low in fat and high in fiber, making them an excellent choice for those looking to cut down on their cholesterol levels and improve their digestion.

  • Rice: Rice is the main staple food in Korea, and it is consumed at almost every meal. The preferred variety is short-grain white rice, which is sticky and fragrant.
  • Vegetables: Vegetables are an essential part of Korean vegan recipes. The most commonly used vegetables are cabbage, radish, bean sprouts, spinach, garlic, onion, and chili pepper. Vegetables are used in many ways in Korean cuisine, including pickling, stir-frying, and boiling.
  • Grains: Grains like barley and beans are often added to rice to create the iconic Korean dish, bibimbap. Other grains like soba noodles are also used in Korean vegan cooking, adding texture and flavor to the dishes.

Why Try Korean Vegan Recipes?

Korean vegan recipes are an excellent choice for anyone looking for delicious and healthy food options. These recipes are packed with flavor and nutrition, making them not only a tasty but also a satisfying and nutritious meal option. Additionally, trying new recipes can be a great way to explore Korean culture and cuisine.

Benefits of Vegan Food

Vegan food is becoming increasingly popular in recent years. Many people have switched to this lifestyle to improve their health, reduce their environmental footprint and support animal welfare. Vegan food is free from animal products, such as meat, dairy, and eggs; instead, vegans eat a wide variety of nutritious plant-based foods such as fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds.

  • Improved Health: Eating a plant-based diet has been shown to reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Research has found that vegans have lower blood pressure, lower BMI, and lower cholesterol levels.
  • Environmental Impact: Environmentalists and climate change activists also promote veganism as it reduces the carbon footprint as animal agriculture is a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Animal Welfare: Vegans avoid eating animals as part of their ethos of avoiding the unnecessary exploitation of animals for food. Most of the animals used in the food industry live in cramped spaces and end up slaughtered in inhumane ways.

Korean Vegan Recipes

If you are looking to experiment with vegan food, Korean cuisine offers a wide variety of vegan-friendly recipes that are both tasty and healthy. Korean food is all about using fresh, whole ingredients that are packed with flavor and nutrition. Here are some Korean vegan recipes to try:

Recipe Ingredients Description
Bibimbap Rice, carrots, zucchini, spinach, mushrooms, bean sprouts, tofu, gochujang sauce A classic Korean dish that combines rice with colorful vegetables, various toppings, and a sweet and spicy sauce.
Bok Choy Kimchi Bok choy, garlic, ginger, scallions, chili flakes, soy sauce, honey A vegan version of the classic Korean ferment sauerkraut. It is spicy, tangy, and packed with gut-healthy probiotics.
Japchae Sweet potato noodles, carrots, mushrooms, spinach, onions, garlic, soy sauce, sesame oil A sweet and savory Korean stir-fry dish made with glassy sweet potato noodles and fresh vegetables.
Tofu Kimchi Tofu, kimchi, garlic, soy sauce, sesame oil, scallions A simple and healthy one-pan dish featuring tofu, a delicious and tangy kimchi, and sautéed garlic and onions.

Popular Korean Vegan Recipes

Korean cuisine is known for its diverse and flavorful dishes, and with more and more people embracing a vegan lifestyle, there is a growing demand for vegan Korean recipes. Here are some popular Korean vegan recipes that you can try.


Bibimbap is one of the most popular Korean dishes, and it can easily be made vegan. The dish consists of a bowl of rice topped with sautéed and seasoned vegetables, tofu, and a spicy sauce made with gochujang (Korean chili paste). To make vegan bibimbap, simply omit the meat and eggs that are typically included in the dish. Some popular vegan toppings include mushrooms, bell peppers, spinach, bean sprouts, and carrots.


Japchae is a delicious and healthy Korean noodle dish that is perfect for vegans. The dish features stir-fried glass noodles made from sweet potato starch, mixed with a variety of vegetables such as carrots, spinach, and onions. Japchae also includes a delicious and flavorful sauce made with soy sauce, sesame oil, and sugar. You can easily make this dish vegan by omitting the beef that is sometimes added to the recipe.

Kimchi Stew

Kimchi stew is a spicy and savory Korean soup that is traditionally made with pork or beef, but it can easily be made vegan. The stew features kimchi (fermented cabbage) as the main ingredient, along with various vegetables such as mushrooms, onions, and tofu. The dish is often spiced up with gochugaru (Korean chili powder) and gochujang (Korean chili paste). To make vegan kimchi stew, you simply need to substitute the meat with tofu or another protein source of your choice, and use vegetable broth instead of beef broth.

Vegetable Pancakes

Korean vegetable pancakes, also known as pajeon, are a simple and tasty dish that can be served as a snack or a meal. The pancakes are made with a batter of flour, water, and eggs (or egg substitute for vegans), mixed with a variety of vegetables such as green onions, mushrooms, and carrots. The pancakes are fried in oil until they are crispy and golden brown. To make vegan vegetable pancakes, simply omit the eggs and use a vegan egg substitute.

How to Make Korean Vegan Recipes

Korean cuisine is known for its bold flavors and unique ingredients that make it stand out from other Asian cuisines. While many Korean dishes contain meat or fish as a main ingredient, there are also plenty of delicious vegan Korean recipes that are easy to make at home. Here’s how to do it:

Stock up on Korean ingredients

To make Korean vegan recipes, you’ll need to have some key ingredients on hand. Some of the most important ones are:

  • Gochujang paste: This fermented chili paste is a staple in Korean cooking and adds a spicy, sweet, and savory flavor to dishes like stews, soups, and marinades. Look for vegan versions that don’t contain fish sauce.
  • Sesame oil: Another essential ingredient, sesame oil is used both as a cooking oil and a finishing oil. It adds a nutty flavor to dishes and is especially good in stir-fries.
  • Soy sauce: Many Korean recipes call for soy sauce as a seasoning, so it’s important to have a good-quality, vegan version on hand. You can also use tamari or liquid aminos instead.
  • Mirin: This sweet rice wine is often used in marinades and sauces and adds a subtle sweetness to dishes. Look for a vegan version that doesn’t contain added MSG or fish products.
  • Rice vinegar: Used in salads, marinades, and dipping sauces, rice vinegar has a more delicate flavor than other vinegars and is a must-have in any Korean kitchen.

Learn traditional Korean cooking techniques

Just like any cuisine, Korean cooking has its own set of techniques and methods that are used to create the unique flavors and textures that are characteristic of the cuisine. Here are a few of the most common ones:

  • Stir-frying: This quick cooking method involves stirring and tossing ingredients in a hot wok or frying pan with a small amount of oil. It’s great for cooking vegetables, tofu, and noodles.
  • Braising: Braising involves cooking ingredients in a flavorful liquid over a low heat for a long period of time. This technique is often used for tougher cuts of meat, but can also be used for vegetables.
  • Fermentation: Many traditional Korean ingredients, like kimchi and gochujang, are fermented. This process not only gives them their signature flavor, but also makes them easier to digest and more nutritious.
  • Seasoning: Korean cuisine is all about balancing flavors, so it’s important to season your dishes carefully. Common seasonings include soy sauce, mirin, sesame oil, rice vinegar, and garlic.

Experiment with Korean vegan recipes

Once you have your ingredients and techniques down, it’s time to start cooking! There are plenty of vegan Korean recipes out there to choose from, whether you’re in the mood for a hearty stew, a spicy stir-fry, or a savory pancake. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Recipe Description Link
Kimchi Fried Rice A twist on the classic Korean dish, this vegan version uses brown rice, tofu, and homemade kimchi https://www.rabbitandwolves.com/vegan-kimchi-fried-rice/
Tofu Japchae This colorful dish is made with sweet potato noodles, colorful vegetables, and tofu, all stir-fried together with a savory sauce https://www.veganricha.com/vegan-japchae-korean-stir-fry-noodles/
Vegan Korean BBQ A vegan take on the popular Korean BBQ dish, featuring marinated seitan, grilled vegetables, and sticky rice https://www.sincerelytori.com/vegan-korean-bbq/
Vegan Kimchi Pancake This savory pancake is made with kimchi, scallions, and a crispy batter https://www.lazycatkitchen.com/vegan-kimchi-pancake/

Don’t be afraid to get creative and experiment with your own twists on classic Korean dishes. With the right ingredients and techniques, you can easily make delicious and satisfying vegan meals that are packed with Korean flavor.

Korean Vegan Recipe Resources

If you’re looking for delicious and healthy Korean vegan recipes, there are plenty of resources available to help you get started. Here are some great options to explore:


One of the best ways to find authentic and tasty Korean vegan recipes is by checking out cookbooks that specialize in vegan cooking. Many popular cookbooks include Korean-inspired dishes, such as “Vegan Korean Cooking” by Joanne Lee Molinaro and “Cook Korean!: A Comic Book with Recipes” by Robin Ha. These cookbooks not only offer recipes but also provide helpful information about traditional Korean ingredients and cooking methods.


There are many bloggers and websites dedicated to vegan cooking, and some of them specialize in Korean recipes. For example, “My Korean Kitchen” is a popular blog that features a wide range of Korean vegan dishes, including kimchi stew, bibimbap, and tofu soup. The website “Peaceful Dumpling” is another great resource for vegan Korean recipes, with dishes like sweet potato noodles and spicy tofu rice cakes.

YouTube Channels

YouTube is an excellent place to find tutorials and demos of vegan Korean recipes. Some of the most popular channels include “Cheap Lazy Vegan,” which offers a variety of vegan recipes with a fun and interactive approach. “Maangchi” is another popular channel that includes vegan variations of popular Korean dishes like bibimbap and bulgogi.

Korean Vegan Recipe Apps

There are a variety of smartphone apps that contain vegan Korean recipes and other helpful information. “Veganized” is an app that offers a diverse range of Korean-inspired dishes, including Korean barbecue tofu skewers and Korean sea mustard soup. It also provides detailed nutritional information for each recipe, making it easy to maintain a balanced diet.

Social Media Accounts

Social media sites like Instagram and Pinterest are great places to find vegan Korean recipes and get inspiration. By searching for hashtags like #koreanveganrecipes or #vegankoreanfood, you can find a variety of dishes created by home cooks and professional chefs. Some social media accounts worth following include “The Korean Vegan” and “Eating Korean.”


Here are some frequently asked questions about Korean vegan recipes:

Are Korean vegan recipes spicy?

Korean cuisine is popular for its spicy flavors. However, not all Korean vegan recipes are necessarily spicy. There are many mild vegan dishes that are flavorful and delicious. If you are not a fan of spicy food, you can always use less or no chili peppers in your recipe.

Can I make Korean vegan recipes if I’m not familiar with Korean ingredients?

It may seem daunting to try out Korean vegan recipes if you’re not familiar with the cuisine’s ingredients. However, with a little bit of research and substitution, you can easily find alternatives to the non-vegan or unfamiliar ingredients. For instance, instead of traditional fish sauce, you can use soy sauce in your vegan recipe. Also, many Korean vegetables and ingredients, like sesame oil, garlic, and ginger, are common in other international cuisines.

Are there Korean vegan desserts?

Yes, there are plenty of Korean vegan dessert options, and they are just as decadent and delicious as non-vegan options. Traditional Korean desserts, like rice cake (tteok) and sweet glutinous rice balls (chapssal), do not contain animal products by default and can easily be made vegan. Modernized Korean desserts, like vegan banana-cream-filled pastries (cream pan) or vegan green tea cake, are also gaining popularity among vegan and non-vegan foodies alike.

What are some easy Korean vegan recipes to try at home?

Here are some simple, yet delicious Korean vegan recipe ideas:

  • Vegan Bibimbap: A rice bowl dish packed with veggies and marinated tofu.
  • Vegan Kimchi Fried Rice: A flavorful fried rice dish with vegan kimchi and veggies.
  • Vegan Japchae: A stir-fried glass noodle dish with mushrooms, bell peppers, and spinach.
  • Vegan Tteokbokki: A spicy rice cake dish with a sweet and spicy sauce made with gochujang (Korean chili paste).

Where can I find more Korean vegan recipes?

You can find more Korean vegan recipes by exploring online blogs and recipe aggregators that specialize in vegan cuisine. Pinterest and Instagram are excellent resources for discovering vegan food bloggers who create unique and delicious Korean-inspired vegan dishes.

Thanks for Reading our Korean Vegan Recipes

We hope you found inspiration in our collection of Korean vegan recipes. It’s amazing how this once exotic cuisine can be transformed into a vegan-friendly dish that can satisfy any palate. We’ll keep bringing you more exciting vegan food ideas that you can try at home. Thanks for reading and make sure to come back!

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