Looking for the best vegan kimchi brands to buy? Or wondering if kimchi is vegan or not? This guide is for you.
Below you’ll find…
- List of vegan kimchi brands you can buy in-store or online
- Whether kimchi or not is normally vegan
- A bit about kimchi and what it is
Don’t have time to read? Here’s a quick summary of the products we recommend.
|Mother in Law’s Kimchi (certain varieties)||B|
|Wang Korea Stir-Fried Kimchi||B+|
|Madge’s Vegan Kimchi||A|
|Sinto Gourmet Kimchi||A+|
Best Vegan Kimchi Brands to Buy
Here’s the list of the best vegan kimchi brands we could find. All of these work great as vegan condiments. As always, be sure to double-check ingredients for anchovy paste, shrimp paste, or other non-vegan products because they’re subject to change.
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.
1. Mother In Law’s Kimchi (certain varieties)
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.
They specialize in artisan products, and their kimchi is hand-made and hand-packaged to give you the best product possible.
2. Wang Korea Stir-Fried Kimchi
Wang Kimchi is imported directly from Korea and comes in a can. It’s convenient if you’re living with someone who doesn’t like the smell of kimchi (crazy, right?), and it’s suitable for traveling.
The only downside of canned kimchi is that it tends to be slightly less crispy than the jarred stuff. The canning process involves high heat, which tends to soften ingredients and make them a bit mushier.
Check out this vegan starter kit
Either way, this brand is affordable and worth trying.
3. Madge’s Vegan Kimchi
Madge’s vegan kimchi prides itself in having zero added sugar.
While some sugar is necessary for the fermentation process, this brand appears to use “sweet rice flour” as a replacement, judging by the ingredients, but I’m not 100% sure.
Sugar aside, this brand packs a ton of umami flavor by using shiitake mushrooms and kelp rather than anchovies. Try it out!
4. Sinto Gourmet Kimchi
Sinto Gourmet makes four different types of vegan kimchi: ‘Plenty Roots’, radish, mild white, and spicy red. They’re based in San Francisco, so they’ll be easier to find if you’re around that area. But they’ve recently been made available online. They specialize in natural, locally-sourced ingredients to make their kimchi taste as authentic as possible.
5. Simply Seoul
Look out for these three brands if you’re around Whole Foods. Simply Seoul makes all-natural, vegan white napa kimchi with great 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.
Is Kimchi Vegan (normally)?
Unfortunately, most Kimchi brands or homemade recipes are not vegan.
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.
Need help finding vegan foods? Check out our free vegan shopping list.
What is Kimchi Anyway?
Kimchi is a staple in Korean cuisine, with a spicy, sharp, umami flavor that is impossible to replicate. It’s mainly fermented cabbage, so it’s filled with probiotic bacteria and plenty of vitamins and minerals.
Luckily, plenty of other ingredients can impart that all-important flavor. Many companies are taking on the task of making vegan kimchi that tastes just as good as the traditional.
Once opened, kimchi should be refrigerated so that it lasts longer. It’s not considered shelf-stable because of its numerous healthy bacteria, so you shouldn’t keep it at room temperature. You also wouldn’t want your fridge to smell of kimchi since it has a powerful odor, so check out our options for the best container for kimchi.
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.
If you’re new to raw diets and want to level up your raw food recipes, check out our list of the best raw food cookbooks for vegans.
Want to take all of the guess-work around going vegan?
Click here to check out the Vegan Starter Kit.