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.
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.
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.