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Kimchi Stew

Kimchi Stew

This vegan recipe is super simple to make and the flavour is outstanding. We love kimchi so it was just a matter of time for us to bring a Kimchi stew recipe to, the most hearty and delicious soup found in Korean cuisine. 

Soup is usually reserved for colder days but kimchi stew is different. In Korea, they have it no matter what month you're in and no matter what the weather is like. Kimchi stew is not only popular it is an absolute staple for Korean families.

Think of that dish your mom or grandma make when the whole family comes to visit. That's exactly the kind of comfort food Kimchi stew is. It's made in a big pot that goes on the table so everyone can fill their own bowls with as little or as much soup as they want. 

kimchi stew ingredients

In Korea and in many Korean restaurants kimchi stew is made with pork broth and it is usually quite spicy. I modified the recipe to make it vegan-friendly and Julia-friendly (kid-friendly too). Kimchi has a bit of a kick to it but I added just enough so I can actually manage the level of spiciness (which is not much). If you're a bit more adventurous than I am you can add more spice of course.   

The original kimchi stew recipe recommends using aged kimchi. Since kimchi is a fermented food its taste will change over time. The older it is the more vinegary it turns and the stronger it becomes. So, using aged kimchi will make your kimchi stew incredibly flavourful. 

If you can't get ahold of aged kimchi don't worry. You still get a lot of flavour from kimchi you just bought at the store. And I added some nutritional yeast to the recipe which will add to that fermented flavour we are after.

sliced kimchi and tofu

Also, nutritional yeast is packed with nutrients and is a great source of plant-based protein. We already had a bit of protein from the tofu but I wanted to bump it up a little bit more. We get 26g of protein from a single serving of this delicious stew! Pretty good considering how few calories you are adding to your daily intake. 

Kimchi stew has a few vegetables in it. I added a few more to make it even more filling, nurturing and fun. Spinach, shiitake mushrooms and mung bean sprouts are enough to take our stew to the next level. 

Kimchi stew is a very light soup that will fill your belly quite well. You don't pack on calories but you get a lot of nutrients and protein out of it. And you will be smiling long after you finish your meal. Serve it alongside some brown rice to make it even more of a meal and you are set!

This recipe is a great dinner option that you can have ready in 30 minutes or less. I love making it for dinner through out the week since it is so easy and practical. I always make a big batch since everyone usually comes back for seconds. 

kimchi stew top down

Prep time
15 minutes
Total time
Category: Lunch, Dinner
Serves: 2
Allergens: Mushrooms, Soy


For the stew

  • 2 dashes dried smoked paprika (optional)
  • 8 oz extra firm tofu (sliced)
  • 1 cup frozen spinach (unthaw)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 cup kimchi (thinly sliced)
  • ¼ cup kimchi juice
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • ½ cup mung bean sprouts (washed)
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 medium shallot (thinly sliced)
  • 2 tbsps soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

For the shiitake

  • 4 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 2½ cups water

For the topping

  • 1 tsp roasted sesame seeds (optional)
  • 1 medium scallion (thinly sliced)


  1. rehydrate the shiitake mushroom in water while you prepare the other ingredients.
  2. Keep the shiitake stock for the soup, take out the shiitake and squeeze them before you slice them.
  3. Use a pot and heat up half the oil, sauté the shallots for about 2-3 minutes and add the garlic for another 30 seconds.
  4. Add the kimchi and sauté for about 5 minutes until soft.
  5. Add the liquids and give it a good stir until everything is heated up properly.
  6. Heat up the other half of the oil and fry the tofu slices from both sides until golden brown for about 5-10 minutes.
  7. Add the spinach to the broth to heat it up for about 1 minute.
  8. Pour the broth into a bowl and add the shiitake, tofu, spinach and fresh sprouts on top.
  9. Sprinkle with topping before serving, enjoy!

Did you make this recipe? Please take a photo, share it on Instagram and tag it with #veganio. We love to see your photos.

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