Recipes Ultra healthy

30 Vegan Korean Food Recipes To Try

Last Updated on

By Lora O’Brien

From catchy K-Pop tunes (Boys With Luv by BTS is pretty much my summer jam) to complex skincare products, it seems the world is going wild for Korean culture at the moment, and a love of vegan Korean food is no exception.

Ok, admittedly, a lot of Korean dishes are pretty damn meaty – that is, unless you count staples like soondubu (spicy tofu stew) or hotteok (sweet pancakes) and many other meat free Korean dishes.

There are plenty of health benefits to this cuisine, too: no matter if meat’s involved or not, every meal usually includes some form of vegetables (mostly kimchi) which contain important vitamins and minerals that we all need to look and feel healthy. Yep, from cabbage and radishes to spinach and peppers, you can rely on Korean dishes to be rich in veggies.

Korean foods also have gut-friendly benefits, thanks to their use of fermented foods such as kimchi and doenjang, which contain healthy bacteria known as probiotics which work hard to aid digestion, break down lactose, clear up your skin and even assist in weight loss.

Actually, meat is usually treated as a side dish or condiment in Korean cuisine, with lean cuts of pork or chicken being favoured over red meat, which contains saturated fats and can potentially raise cholesterol. Of course, when you keep the dishes vegan-friendly, they’re even better for the body, animals and the planet. Many of the most traditional dishes can be made without meat and still be just as delicious!

But you will need some special ingredients to make these recipes authentic. Here’s what you should stock up on to make great vegan Korean food:

Korean Shopping List

  1. Gochujang (Korean chile paste) – used in loads of recipes
  2. Non GMO soy sauce – not just for Korean dishes, of course!
  3. Sesame oil – for frying mainly
  4. Rice vinegar – for sauces
  5. Sesame seeds – for garnishing
  6. Non GMO soybean paste – use miso if you can’t find it
  7. Hot pepper paste – if you like it hot!
  8. Hot pepper flakes – as above
  9. Agave syrup
  10. A good rice cooker (for short grain white rice)

All set? Let’s get cooking!

30 Vegan Korean Food Recipes

1. Korean Mung Bean Pancakes

Sure, sweet pancakes are nice – but these savoury Korean mung bean pancakes are insane! Dense and chewy in the middle, lacy and crisp on the edges, these work as the perfect starter served with a soy dipping sauce. They’re also gluten-free, so great to serve anyone with food sensitivities.

Get the recipe here.

 

Vegan Korean Food

2. Matang (Candied Sweet Potatoes)

Sweet potatoes are pretty delicious on their own, but this recipe is next level! The spuds become crispy sweet on the outside, and tender on the inside. It’s a great side dish, or serve these up in a poke bowl alongside some spinach, rice and tofu.

Get the recipe here.

3. Soondubu Jjigae (Soft Tofu Stew)

This is a spicy Korean comfort food that you’ll love if you’re into red hot spices! It’s got garlic, ginger, red pepper paste and kimchi juice – all are guaranteed to take your tastebuds on a Korean journey. They pair perfectly with the soft blandness of the tofu. To make it purely vegan, remove the egg – it’s optional!

Get the recipe here.

4. Korean Red Sauce For Pasta, Etc

Bored of your Italian pasta sauce? This one is similar, but is packed with Korean flavour! Pour it over pasta, rice, tofu…whatever you like, really. A great sauce to have on hand when all you have is dried foods in the cupboard.

Get the recipe here.

Vegan Korean Food

5. Vegan BBQ ‘Ribs’ (Seitan) with Spicy Korean Sauce

If there’s someone in your life that thinks vegan food is boring and leaves you wanting more, serve up these vegan ‘ribs’ with some rice and salad and ask them again. This is a pungent, hearty recipe that’s perfect for anyone weaning themselves off the tastes and textures of meat.

Get the recipe here.

6. Kimchi Mac & Cheese

Take vegan mac ‘n’ cheese up a level with this gut-friendly version! Pungent and spicy, creamy and chewy, this may not be a 100% trad Korean dish, but it is comfort food at its best.

Get the recipe here.

7. Vegan Japchae

Looking for a stir-fry with a difference? Try these glass noodles with veggies! It’s a healthy dish that has mild, non-spicy flavours for those just becoming initiated into Korean food.

Get the recipe here.

8. Sweet Korean Lentils

Whether you have limited time in the kitchen or just need a quick and easy recipe to whip up in a nanosecond, these sweet Korean lentils take just 15 minutes to make and they’re packed with fibre and protein, making them super filling. They’re sweet and salty with a hint of soy sauce, garlic and ginger. Delish!

Get the recipe here.

9. Vegan Joomuk-bap (Fist Rice)

I like to think of these as little Korean risotto balls. They’re also kind of like a deconstructed kimbap. And due to their mild flavour and snackable size, these are guaranteed to be a hit with kids and adults alike.

Get the recipe here.

10. Korean Kimchi Fried Rice

I love this recipe because it’s a proper, filling meal! It’s got everything you need: protein, carbs and loads of veggies. And did I mention that it tastes even better the next day? IF you manage to have leftovers, that is!

Get the recipe here.

11. Superfood Bibimap

Broccoli. Tofu. Mushrooms. Avocado. Quinoa. And more. It’s all your body needs in a bowl! Eat this delicious superfood bibimap every day, and you may just live to be 100. And yes, I see the egg here: to make this vegan, just eliminate it!

Get the recipe here.

Vegan Korean Food

12. Crispy Zucchini Pancakes

How good do these look? You can make these pancakes with zucchini alone, but they’re even better with some sweet onion and hot chili peppers if you like a bit of a kick to your meals. They’re easy to make, and are the perfect side dish, or light lunch. Bonus: they freeze really well, too!

Get the recipe here.

Vegan Korean Food

13. Kongguksu (Chilled Soy Milk Noodle Soup)

Wondering how this milky soup could be vegan? It’s easy – the ‘milk’ is actually soy milk! The recipe provides instructions for making your own, but you could easily use store-bought, too – just ensure there’s no added sugar!

Get the recipe here.

14. Tofu Gimbap

Nope, it’s not sushi! It’s Korean gimbap, and it’s full of flavour! These little wheels of tastiness are like a poke bowl wrapped up in seaweed: there’s tofu, seasoned veggies, stir fried roots and rice. Yum! Perfect for packing for lunch.

Get the recipe here.

15. Crispy Korean Poke Bowl

This Korean tofu noodle bowl couldn’t be easier to make – or more delicious! It combines basic soba noodles with crispy pan-fried tofu drenched in gochujang sauce, and is best served up with some pineapple chunks and kimchi, for an array of flavours.

Get the recipe here.

16. Hobak Mandu

How could I make a list of vegan Korean food without adding dumplings? These simple zucchini dumplings are a summer favorite at temples in Korea, where the food is mainly vegan. They’re pretty easy to make, and are great with a soy dipping sauce.

Get the recipe here.

17. Vegan Rabokki

It may look pretty fancy, but if you can make pot noodles, you can make this rabokki dish! All you need is a few Korean ingredients from the list in the introduction, and you’re on your way. This may soon be your new favourite comfort food!

Get the recipe here.

18. Vegan Bibimbap

This recipe is a vegan take on the popular Korean Bibimbap dish. The original dish usually consists of rice topped with sautéed vegetables, chilli paste, meat and sometimes either a raw or a fried egg. This recipe uses tofu in place of beef, and pickled Daikon gives it a tangy bite.

Get the recipe here.

19. Sesame Crusted Tofu Tacos with Korean Slaw

The key to Korean cooking is all in the seasonings. Salt, pepper, light and dark soy sauce, sesame oil, rice wine, dried chilli powder, chilli powder, garlic and ginger and just some of the staple flavours. And these tofu tacos are bursting with yumminess! The vegan aioli is so creamy, and pairs really well with the tangy, yet sweet, slaw.

Get the recipe here.

Vegan Korean Food

20. Vegan Crispy Korean BBQ Tofu

The secret to this super savoury recipe is, of course, in the sauce! It’s garlicky, spicy, and a little bit sweet, transforming bland old tofu into something with a delicious kick!

Get the recipe here.

Vegan Korean Food

21. Gamja Jorim (Korean Braised Potatoes)

This is an easy recipe that features vegan Korean food ingredients that you can find in your local grocery store, no matter where you live. It’s the perfect side dish to almost any meal, and the flavours are sweet, not spicy.

Get the recipe here.

22. Vegan Korean Cauliflower Wings

This Korean twist on the classic cauliflower wing is tangy deliciousness, thanks to the exotic gochujang glaze. These bad boys are perfect paired with a cooling, zingy scallion dipping sauce. If you can’t find gochujang sauce, don’t worry – you can sub in some chili paste.

Get the recipe here.

23. Vegan Tteokbokki

Treokbokki, otherwise known at stir-fried rice cakes, is a popular Korean food that commonly used boiled eggs and scallions are the added ingredients. You may have to hit the Korean grocery store to get the rice cakes, but once you try them, you’ll fall in love: they’re kind of like big, fat noodles, served here in a tangy, spicy sauce.

Get the recipe here.

Vegan Korean Food

24. Sweet and Spicy Korean Noodles

Sometimes, simplistic dishes taste the best, and these flavorful noodles paired with crunchy veggies and tossed in a sweet, spicy and tangy Korean sauce is a real winner. It can also be served cold for a delicious noodle salad making it perfect to take as leftovers the next day. Yay!

Get the recipe here.

25. Vegan Korean BBQ Cauliflower

Who needs meat when you have cauliflower? Cauliflower makes THE best sub for chicken as, when roasted, they become super tender and meat-life in texture, while the sweet and tangy seasoning makes it crisp in texture. Serve alongside some rice for a wholesome, satisfying meal.

Get the recipe here.

Vegan Korean Food

26. Vegan Hotteok

You’ll find these Korean pancakes everywhere in Korea. In cafes, the frozen sections of supermarkets served at food vendors.. they’re a super popular treat! Not sure what to expect? Think of them as a fluffy, jelly-filled donut that is crispy and crunchy on the outside.

Get the recipe here.

27. Beoseot Jeongol (Mushroom Hot Pot)

Possibly one of the most popular vegan Korean foods, veggie hot pots are actually pretty easy to make at home, too. You don’t need any fancy equipment, just fresh ingredients and hot water. Perfect for when you’re feeling a cold coming on!

Get the recipe here.

Vegan Korean Food

28. Hobakjuk (Pumpkin Porridge)

If you’re thinking this is an oat-based dish, think again: use any pumpkin and rice to complete this recipe, which is much more like a rich, savoury, creamy soup than what you’d think is an oaty breakfast porridge!

Get the recipe here.

29. Nabak Kimchi (Water Kimchi)

Kimchi goes with many Korean dishes (as you can see above) – but how do you make it? Normally, with shrimp paste, but this recipe is much less pungent and 100% vegan. It’s a staple vegan Korean food any Asian food lover needs to know how to make, and it’s easier than you think!

Get the recipe here.

30. Matcha Green Tea and Omija Cookies (Dasik)

Koreans are generally pretty slim, and one reason for that is the lack of sugary desserts in their cuisine. But if you’re the kind of person who can’t imagine finishing a meal off without something sweet, you may want to try these green tea and omija tea biscuits. If you can’t find omija tea, regular black will do!

Get the recipe here.

Vegan Korean Food

Lora O'Brien

This site uses affiliate links with brands we trust, and if you make a purchase using a link, we may receive a commission.

Did you enjoy this post? Want to show your gratitude? Please support us on Patreon!

Patreon logo Become a Patron

This site uses affiliate links with brands we trust, and if you make a purchase using a link, we may receive a commission.

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

2 Comments

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.