Kimchi Jjigae – Korean Kimchi Stew (Vegan)

Kimchi jjigae

I love watching K-drama and every time I see Korean food presented there, I drool and crave the same dish that they are having. This recipe is my take on the beloved Kimchi Jjigae – with all plant-based ingredients (cabbage, tofu & shiitake mushroom) and classic Gochujang and kimchi sauce.

What is Kimchi Jjigae?

Kimchi Jjigae is a very popular Korean dish and was one of the first dishes that introduce me to Korean cuisine. It’s a comforting, savory and hearty Korean stew using kimchi, tofu and other ingredients. It’s a bit spicy, so if you cannot handle the heat, feel free to reduce the amount of gochujang sauce. With complex flavors yet so easy to make, this Kimchi Jjigae will for sure impress just about anyone and keep you coming back for more!

This recipe is quite authentic and made vegan by omitting the tuna and pork belly commonly used. Also make sure to check that your kimchi is vegan, as traditional kimchi has fish sauce in it. Kimchi Jjigae is commonly served best warm and with a bowl of rice!

Ingredients and Substitutions

The ingredients used in this recipe are:

Kimchi Jjigae ingredients

Base ingredients:

  • Cooking oil: to stir fry and bloom the aromatics
  • Sesame oil: for the added flavors
  • Onion & garlic: aromatics
  • Kimchi: the kimchi and kimchi juice are used in the recipe,
  • Kombu stock: Kombu is a type of seaweed that adds a rich and umami flavor to the stew. I make the kombu stock by adding a piece of kombu to hot water and letting it steep for at least 30 minutes. As an alternative to kombu, you can also use dried shiitake mushrooms.
    • Alternatively, you can use rice water, which is water from washing the rice.

Sauces & Condiments:

  • Gochujang: a classic Korean hot sauce that adds the signature spice to the dish. Add more or less gochujang depending on how spicy you want the stew to be.
  • Soy sauce: soy sauce adds to the savory, complex flavors of the dish.

Veggies & protein:

  • Cabbage: add some veggies and freshness to the stews. The cabbage softens while being cooked in the stew and absorbs the flavor really well. Alternatively, you can use zucchini, spinach, eggplant, or other veggies you have on hand.
  • Shiitake mushroom: the shiitake mushroom has a meaty and chewy texture that works well in the stew. You can use one or two types of mushroom of choice in the stew. I absolutely love shiitake mushroom or enoki mushroom in my Kimchi Jjigae! They can be found in most Asian supermarkets. If you cannot access those, use cremini or oyster mushrooms.
  • Tofu: you can use firm or soft tofu in this recipe.
  • Green onions: adds a more vibrant and fresh taste and look to the Kimchi Jjigae.

If you have tried my recipe, please let me know what you think by leaving me a review on this page or tagging me on Instagram @veggieanh. I would love to see your creations!

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Kimchi stew 2

Kimchi Jjigae – Vegan

  • Author: Veggie Anh
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 3 1x


Warm and spicy kimchi jjigae is a beloved Korean dish. This version uses 100% plant-based ingredients, and is so yummy and flavorful!


Units Scale
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup kimchi
  • 60 ml kimchi juice
  • 500 ml kombu stock (combine the hot water and a piece of kombu or the dried shiitake mushrooms)
    • OR 500 ml rice water (water from cooking your rice)
  • 1 tbsp gochujang (Korean hot sauce)
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 head of cabbage
  • 67 shiitake mushrooms (dried or fresh)
  • 200 g tofu (medium firm or soft)
  • green onions for toppings
  • Rice to enjoy with


  1. Boiled the water, then pour the boiled water into a big bowl. Add the kombu and let sit for 15 minutes.
  2. Slice the onion into chunks and mince the garlic cloves.
  3. On a pot on medium heat, add the cooking oil and sesame oil. Add in the onion and garlic and stir for 1-2 minutes until the onion becomes transparent.
  4. Add in 1 tbsp gochujang, 1 tbsp soy sauce, the kimchi and stir for 3 minutes.
  5. Add in kimchi juice and kombu stock. Bring to a boil
  6. Meanwhile, thinly slice the cabbage, mushroom and tofu.
  7. Add the cabbage and mushroom to the pot and simmer for 7-10 minutes until softened.
  8. Add in the tofu and sprinkle with some green onions and sesame seeds.
  9. Serve the kimchi jjigae with a warm bowl of rice and enjoy!


Make sure to check if your kimchi is vegan.

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Main Course
  • Cuisine: Korean

Keywords: 20-minute meal, comfort food, easy to make, fall recipes, kimchi stew, Korean recipes, vegan, winter recipes

If you enjoy this recipe, also check out some of my other recipes:

Recommended Articles

1 Comment

  1. Such a comfort food! I love the spice 🌶

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating