Vegan Kimchi Brands can be hard to come upon. The traditional recipe includes fermenting salted napa cabbage or radish with an assortment of seasonings, including chili, garlic, ginger, fish sauce, and minced shrimp. It’s these last two ingredients that give the kimchi its umami flavor, but also that make it non-vegan.
Kimchi is a staple in Korean cuisine, with a spicy, sharp, umami flavor that is impossible to replicate. It’s a fermented food, so it’s filled with probiotic bacteria and plenty of vitamins and minerals. Luckily, there are plenty of other ingredients that can impart that all-important flavor, and lots of companies are taking on the task of making vegan kimchi that tastes just as good as the traditional.
Making kimchi involves fermenting vegetables at stable temperatures for a month or more. Because of this, it’s a delicate product that can be hard to transport long distances without it becoming ruined. Finding kimchi online can be hard; finding vegan kimchi is even harder. We could only find two types of kimchi that are advertised as vegan, though it is likely that some other commercial kimchi brands are likely to be accidentally vegan.
The first of these products is Gold Mine Organic Fresh Raw Kimchi, which can be found in 34 oz or 16 oz. This is made in the US from all-organic ingredients. It’s a less-spicy version of traditional kimchi, with a softer flavor that may make it more palatable for you if you haven’t experimented much with full-flavored kimchi.
Then there’s Mother in Law’s, which is probably one of the most popular kimchi brands. This brand has two vegan options: their Vegan Table Cut Napa Cabbage Kimchi and Vegan White Napa Cabbage Kimchi. This brand specializes in artisan products, and their kimchi is hand-made and hand-packaged to give you the best product possible.
Click any of the links above to check prices and customer reviews on Amazon.
As far as we could find, Whole Foods is one of the only places that carry vegan kimchi. Other supermarkets are just starting to get kimchi in at all, so finding commercial vegan kimchi there is unlikely to happen soon. An exception to this is if you have an Asian supermarket near you, but not everyone is going to have that luxury.
If you’re around a Whole Foods, look out for these three brands. Simply Seoul makes all-natural, vegan white napa kimchi with incredible care and attention to detail. They’re Atlanta-based, so finding them far from that city may be difficult, especially in summer when they suspend some operations to maintain the quality of their product.
Sinto Gourmet makes four different types of vegan kimchi: ‘Plenty Roots’, radish, mild white, and spicy red. They’re based in San Francisco, so if you’re around that area they’ll be easier to find. They specialize in natural, locally-sourced ingredients to make their kimchi taste as authentic as possible.
Mother in Law’s is based in New York, and makes four types of kimchi, of which two are vegan: their Vegan Table Cut Napa Cabbage Kimchi and Vegan White Napa Cabbage Kimchi.
Kimchi is a very easy product to make – once you get the hang of it, it’s much easier to make your own kimchi at home than it is to have to buy it online. Since vegan kimchi is just as delicious as traditional kimchi, there’s no need to worry that you’re getting a sub-tier product, either. And since you’re making your own, you can adjust the flavors and spice to exactly how you like – so if the kimchi you’re buying is too intense or not intense enough, you can easily change it!
Check out this recipe to make your own vegan kimchi.
If you do decide to go down the route of making your own, the container below will be a big help for the fermentation and storage process.
Whether you decide to buy or begin making your own, vegan kimchi is just as delicious as the original!
Hey! I’m Michelle and I write product reviews for ThriveCuisine.com. I’m always preparing healthy / plant based foods and I’ve developed a knack for helping people get the best bang for their buck.