There is a Huge Downside For Vegetarians Who Love Kimchi

Some Korean food-loving vegetarians might already know this, but for those who do not, your kimchi cravings may need to stop right now.

Given than kimchi is made up of vegetables, some may not know that the salty component of this Korean staple comes from some special ingredients from the sea — and they aren’t plants. If you look at the ingredients list on the jar, kimchi contains fish sauce, anchovy sauce, and shrimp paste, all of which gives it the salty flavor.

Image via Flickr / USAG- Humphreys (CC BY 2.0)

A recently published cookbook with a title “Cook Korean!” reveals that the best kimchi flavor enhancers are baby octopus, raw squid and sardines. And thanks to the fermented seafoods, consumers can enjoy this “umami sensation” from every kimchi bottle — given they aren’t strict vegetarians.

But this doesn’t mean that you have to completely scrap kimchi from your diet. Unless you find a vegan-friendly kimchi, the best option for you is to just make your own vegetarian kimchi, according to Huffington Post.

Image via Flickr / Craig Nagy (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Instead of using seafood as flavorings, you can substitute these ingredients with chili, salt, ginger, onion, pineapple juice, and coconut sugar.

There are various vegetarian kimchi recipes that you can find in the internet, so not all hope is lost for the vegans out there.

Support our Journalism with a Contribution

Many people might not know this, but despite our large and loyal following which we are immensely grateful for, NextShark is still a small bootstrapped startup that runs on no outside funding or loans.

Everything you see today is built on the backs of warriors who have sacrificed opportunities to help give Asians all over the world a bigger voice.

However, we still face many trials and tribulations in our industry, from figuring out the most sustainable business model for independent media companies to facing the current COVID-19 pandemic decimating advertising revenues across the board.

We hope you consider making a contribution so we can continue to provide you with quality content that informs, educates and inspires the Asian community. Even a $1 contribution goes a long way. Thank you for everyone’s support. We love you all and can’t appreciate you guys enough.

NextShark is a leading source covering Asian American News and Asian News including business, culture, entertainment, politics, tech and lifestyle.

For advertising and inquiries: