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This vegan kimchi noodle soup is infused with a wonderful blend of spiciness, sweetness, and richness. The broth is flavored with kimchi, ginger, and garlic, and paired with tender tofu, mushrooms, and greens. It’s a delicious and warming soup that will leave you craving for a second round!

Vegan Kimchi Noodle Soup

Having traveled many times through Asia, I’m a huge fan of noodle soups. My top favorites usually combine sweet and sour flavors, like Bún Thái or Tom Yum.

During a recent trip, I discovered another soup with a similar flavor profile inspired by Korean cuisine: a rich broth infused with plenty of kimchi and served with mushrooms, greens, and chewy wheat noodles. After taking a sip, I instantly knew I had to come up with my own version to share with you all!

My kimchi soup is comfort at its best. Each spoonful packs irresistibly rich flavors – sweet, spicy, savory, and loaded with umami. On top of that, the chewy noodles, meaty mushrooms, and crisp greens add an extra layer of texture. If you are like me and love any sweet and sour dish, I promise you will be ADDICTED to this soup!

⭐️ Why You Should Try It

Warming, filling, and so flavorful.

If you are looking for a soup that will warm your soul from the inside, your quest ends here! It’s one of our favorite dishes to enjoy for dinner during the colder days.

Just a sip of this soup will transport you to a small Korean village. Picture this: you are sitting in a cabin in the mountains, it’s pouring rain outside, and you are enjoying a piping hot broth infused with salty and tangy kimchi. While all of this is in my imagination, it perfectly resumes the coziness of this soup.

With a harmonious blend of spiciness, tanginess, and saltiness, this soup packs bold flavors that rival even the best takeout options!

One pot and 10 minutes of prep time.

The broth of this soup is made in one pot in just a few minutes. The rest consists of letting the broth simmer gently for about 40 minutes (the secret to getting a rich flavor), leaving you enough time to cook the noodles and prepare the add-ins.

Loved by readers.

The reviews speak for themselves. Andrea, a reader, said: “★★★★★ I have made this recipe about 10 times in the last month. It’s so delicious!! It’s got the perfect amount of spice but not too spicy. It’s my ideal cold-weather comfort food. Thank you!!”

Vegan Kimchi Noodle Soup

🌶️ Ingredient Notes

Here are the ingredients you will need to prepare this noodle soup:

Kimchi

The star ingredient of this recipe! It’s responsible for the spiciness, tanginess, and flavor of the broth.

Recommendations: I have tried this soup with both store-bought and homemade kimchi, and I can assure you that if you have time to make your own, homemade kimchi yields a much superior flavor. If using store-bought, ensure it is vegan. Unless it is stated as “vegan” on the package, it is usually not, as it contains fish sauce or shrimp. For brand recommendations, I like the vegan kimchi from Bibigo. Be careful, as they have vegan and non-vegan versions. I have also tried the brand Wang, but I didn’t really like it.

What is kimchi: Kimchi (김치) is a popular Korean fermented condiment made with Napa cabbage, green onions, chili powder, garlic, and ginger. It is spicy and quite salty with a tangy flavor due to the fermentation. Kimchi is a staple in Korean cuisine. It is used in the preparation of many dishes such as stir-fries, savory pancakes, kimchi dumplings, and more.

Shallots, garlic, and ginger

To give the soup a greater depth of flavor, I rely on a combination of three aromatics. First, shallots and garlic bring a sharp and pungent aroma. Note that you can replace the shallot with half of an onion.

Then, fresh ginger brings a citrusy flavor to the broth. For optimal flavor, use very fresh ginger – it should have smooth skin and be firm. Do not substitute ground ginger for fresh ginger, it won’t work in this recipe.

Mushrooms

Mushrooms are added toward the beginning of cooking the broth to create earthier notes. I went with cremini mushrooms but white button, shiitakes, portobello, or even Shimeji mushrooms will also work.

Sugar

To balance the spiciness of the kimchi and to make the broth sweet/salty/sour. I went with granulated sugar, but you can use coconut sugar or maple syrup if you want to keep it refined sugar-free.

Soy sauce

For saltiness and plenty of umami. I went with regular soy sauce, so if you are using low-sodium soy sauce, you might have to add a bit more salt.

Gluten-free option: Replace the soy sauce with tamari or coconut aminos.

Chili flakes

To add extra spiciness, I like to add a pinch of gochugaru, also called Korean chili flakes. You can omit it if you don’t want the soup to be too spicy.

Substitute: Use red pepper flakes or add a teaspoon of your favorite chili sauce.

🥣 How to Make It

1. Sauté the vegetables

  1. Sauté the aromatics. Heat the oil in a deep pot over medium heat. Once hot, add the shallots, garlic, and ginger. Sauté for 2-3 minutes or until fragrant.
  1. Add the vegetables. Next, add the chopped kimchi, mushrooms, and your plant-based protein of choice, if using. Sauté for 2-3 minutes, stirring regularly until the mushrooms are cooked.
  2. Add the seasonings. Add the sugar, salt, and Gochugaru. Pour in the soy sauce and the water.

2. Let simmer

  1. Cover and simmer. Bring the broth to a simmer. Once simmering, cover the pot with the lid and let it simmer over low-medium heat for 35-40 minutes.
  2. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Taste the broth to see if it’s salty enough. At this point, you can adjust the saltiness, spiciness, or sweetness to your liking. Remember that it’s best if the broth is slightly over salted as the noodles will absorb some of the saltiness.

🥬 How to Serve It

Once the broth is cooked, it’s time to serve! Here is what I like to include in my soup:

Noodles

Obviously, for a noodle soup, you will need…noodles! I generally use my homemade ramen noodles (a must-try recipe if you haven’t already), but any long and thin noodles will work. Feel free to use spaghetti, soba, or even fettuccine.

A quick tip: Do not cook the noodles directly in the broth, they will suck it up, and you will end up with less broth. Instead, bring a large pot of water to a boil and boil the noodles until al dente. Then, drain them and transfer them to serving bowls before pouring the kimchi broth over them.

Plant-based protein

To make the soup heartier, I like to include either vegan sausages or vegan chicken that I thinly slice. You can also add fried tofu or tofu puffs! Add your protein of choice toward the beginning of cooking so it has time to absorb the flavors of the broth.

Greens

Incorporate greens such as pak choi, water spinach (Morning Glory), bean sprouts, or baby spinach to give your noodle soup a pop of color and extra nutrients. I advise adding them toward the end of cooking to keep their crispy texture.

A few personal favorites are lettuce, chopped cilantro, and a sprinkle of chopped green onions!

📔 Tips

Adjust the seasonings.

Depending on the brand of kimchi used, the spiciness of the broth can differ. Give it a taste after simmering, and add more Gochugaru if needed. On the other hand, if the soup is too spicy to your liking, you can dilute it with more water and adjust the saltiness accordingly.

Just like the spiciness, the broth’s saltiness will differ depending on the kimchi. Start with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and add more if needed at the end of cooking. You can also add a pinch of glutamate or mushroom seasoning to round up the flavors.

Go heavy on the toppings.

Do not hesitate to add many toppings to make the soup more exciting! A few examples: Add a drizzle of toasted sesame oil for a delicate nuttiness, chopped aromatic herbs for freshness, or edamame or corn for some crunch.

For kimchi lovers, top your bowl of soup with more kimchi just before serving for extra texture and flavor!

Double the recipe.

This recipe serves two large bowls, so I highly recommend doubling it if you want leftovers. The broth tastes even better the next day!

❄️ Storing and Freezing

  • To store: This vegan kimchi soup can be stored for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.
  • To freeze: You can freeze the broth for up to 2 months. Once cooled, transfer it to a freezer-safe container or bag. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
  • To reheat: Reheat the soup in a saucepan over medium-high heat for a few minutes or until it is simmering.
Vegan Kimchi Noodle Soup

💬 FAQ

Can I add the kimchi toward the end of cooking to preserve the probiotics?

I do not recommend it, as the kimchi must be simmered with the other ingredients in order to infuse the broth.

Where can I find vegan kimchi?

It is very easy to find vegan kimchi in Asian stores or buy kimchi online. It is often sold in jars or in small packets in the refrigerated section.

This vegan kimchi noodle soup is SO comforting! It packs the perfect amount of spiciness with a hint of sweetness and tanginess. Plus, it’s super easy to prepare!

⭐️ Did you like this recipe? Let us know in the comments below, and tag us on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest!

Note: This recipe was first released in October 2020 and was updated in September 2023 with new photos and process shots.

Vegan Kimchi Noodle Soup
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Recipe
Vegan Kimchi Noodle Soup

Vegan Kimchi Noodle Soup

4.72 from 21 votes
Author: Thomas Pagot
This vegan kimchi noodle soup is infused with a wonderful blend of spiciness, sweetness, and richness. The broth is flavored with kimchi, ginger, and garlic, and paired with tender tofu, mushrooms, and greens.
Prep Time : 10 minutes
Cook Time : 50 minutes
Total Time : 1 hour
Servings 2 servings
Calories 449 kcal

Ingredients
 

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 shallot or 1/2 onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 inch ginger grated
  • 1/2 cup kimchi roughly chopped
  • 1 cup cremini mushrooms diced or sliced
  • 1 cup sliced plant-based protein of your choice such as fried tofu, vegan chicken, seitan, etc
  • 1 and 1/2 tbsp sugar
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp Gochugaru (Korean chili flakes)
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 pak choy sliced in half (or your favorite greens)
  • 3.5 ounces dry noodles (can use gluten-free noodles)
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, green onions for topping

Instructions
 

  • Sauté the aromatics. Heat the oil in a deep pot over medium heat. Once hot, add the shallots, garlic, ginger, and sauté for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the vegetables. Next, add the chopped kimchi, mushrooms, and your plant-based protein of choice, if using. Sauté for 2-3 minutes, stirring regularly until the mushrooms are cooked.
  • Add the seasonings. Add the sugar, salt, and Gochugaru. Pour in the soy sauce and the water.
  • Cover and simmer. Bring the broth to a simmer. Once simmering, cover the pot with the lid and let it simmer for 35-40 minutes.
  • Taste and adjust the seasonings. Taste the broth to see if it’s salty enough. At this point, you can adjust the saltiness, spiciness, or sweetness to your liking. Remember that it’s best if the broth is slightly over salted as the noodles will absorb some of the saltiness.
  • Add the greens. If you want to add pak choi or other greens, add them toward the end of cooking and simmer for another 3-5 minutes. This will prevent the vegetables from overcooking.
  • Cook the noodles. In another pot, cook the noodles according to the package instructions. Drain them and divide them between two serving bowls.
  • Assemble. Pour the piping hot kimchi broth into each bowl and add some mushrooms, kimchi, plant-based protein, and greens. You can then garnish with chopped green onions or cilantro for freshness!
  • This soup will keep for up to 3 days in the refrigerator. Reheat gently over medium heat.

Notes

Adjust the seasonings.

Depending on the brand of kimchi used, the spiciness of the broth can differ. Give it a taste after simmering, and add more Gochugaru if needed. On the other hand, if the soup is too spicy to your liking, you can dilute it with more water and adjust the saltiness accordingly.
Just like the spiciness, the broth’s saltiness will differ depending on the kimchi. Start with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and add more if needed at the end of cooking. You can also add a pinch of glutamate or mushroom seasoning to round up the flavors.

Go heavy on the toppings.

Do not hesitate to add many toppings to make the soup more exciting! A few examples: Add a drizzle of toasted sesame oil for a delicate nuttiness, chopped aromatic herbs for freshness, or edamame or corn for some crunch.
For kimchi lovers, top your bowl of soup with more kimchi just before serving for extra texture and flavor!

Double the recipe.

This recipe serves two large bowls, so I highly recommend doubling it if you want leftovers. The broth tastes even better the next day!

Nutrition

Serving: 1 serving (with noodles, tofu, and mushrooms) | Calories: 449 kcal | Carbohydrates: 69.9 g | Protein: 14.6 g | Fat: 12.6 g | Fiber: 3.1 g | Sugar: 21.4 g
Course : Soup
Cuisine : Korean
Did you make this recipe? Tag @fullofplants on Instagram and hashtag it #fullofplants
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About the Author

Thomas Pagot is the founder, photographer, and recipe developer behind Full of Plants. He created the blog in 2016 as a personal cookbook for vegan recipes. Through years of recipe development, Thomas has successfully grown Full of Plants into a trusted resource for plant-based recipes.

Learn more ➜

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5 stars
Doubled this recipe. It is sooo goood! I used zucchini noodles for my portion, trouble with wheat and rice, used regular rice noodles for husband. This is a keeper!
Thank you once again for lovely dinner.

Omg this is an excellent idea, I make Kimchi but never thought of using it for a soup. Thank you Thomas for sharing this with us.

5 stars
Wonder flavor. Very satisfying without being heavy. Also perfect soup for not feeling quite well.days.

I’ve read that the probiotics are destroyed above 115 degrees fahrenheit. I suggest making the soup without the kimchi, letting it cool slightly when finished, then adding it right before serving. It works fine and is delicious.

Likewise, don’t add the garlic that soon. Garlic becomes bitter if sauteed this way. I generally wait to add the garlic until there is liquid in something. I’d do the same with the kimchi.

Hi
This is my first time i will taste kimchi. I made a mistake by putting tofu marinated in liquid smoke and soya sauce into the soup. The smell of liquid smoke is very strong… i wish I didn’t ruin this meal for me. So I’m preparing the soup to have for lunch tomorrow.. i hope it tastes good tomorrow.
How did you get your soups to be red in color?
Mine doesn’t have a specific color.
I’ll leave a rating after I try the proper recipe

[…] 25. Kimchi Noodle Soup […]

4 stars
The taste was lovely, although I think I would have liked it a little hotter. The only thing I felt I would change in future is the cooking time – the simmering left the bok choi and kimchi a bit too soft for my liking – I would have preferred a bit more crunch in the texture.

4 stars
Just made this tonight. Vegan version for me and then put some in a seperate pot for DH without tofu and added shrimp. Found the kimchi I used not to be as strong as other brands but it did the job. Will make again.

5 stars
I barely leave comments on anything on the internet. But god damn, had to do it now as I’ve never had a meal so full of different tastes, my tummy is still smiling 🙂 Thank you so much for this amazing recipe!

5 stars
I have made this recipe about 10 times in the last month. It’s so delicious!! It’s got the perfect amount of spice, but not too spicy. It’s my ideal cold weather comfort food. Thank you!!

4 stars
Will make again delicious

5 stars
Made this tonight and it was DELICIOUS!

This is amazing! I actually just made your Okara tempeh so I had a bunch of fresh soy milk on hand. I did 2 cups soy milk and 1 water for the broth and it was great!
Also, I only had purple kale and portobello mushrooms and, again, they were fab.

Great recipe love kimchi tofu soup reminds me of my childhood!

Excited to make this recipe tomorrow! Just wondering why the cuisine is Vietnamese when Kimchi is Korean?

5 stars
Loved this recipe. Super flavoursome. I added loads of veg and crispy tofu & mint and corriander at the end. Thank you.

Hi! What kind of mixed mushrooms do you suggest?

3 stars
I thought this was quite bland. I added garlic powder, even though I used a lot of fresh garlic. I added, onion powder, sriracha, more soy sauce and some rice wine vinegar. This made the broth more intense.
I also did not add the tofu to the pot. It would have just fallen apart if boiled, then simmered for 40 minutes. I put it in the bottom of my bowl, and it was fine.
I’d make this again, but it certainly needs help.

4 stars
Amazing broth 10 out of 10!! I did reduce the cooking time for the broth with the veggies by 20 minutes and I still found the greens were really overcooked. I recommend adding greens in the last 5 to 10 minutes of cooking. If using enoki mushrooms then also add in the last 5 minutes as they will become to overcooked. Overall I highly recommend this recipe with a few minor adjustments

5 stars
Thomas,you must be Vietnamese.

5 stars
My husband loves this. We use a vegan kimchee and it is delicious. It has made it into our regular rotation.

5 stars
Hello from Nashville, TN!! This was AMAZING, having some leftovers now which reminded me that I needed to rate this recipe!! I followed everything except I used vegetable broth in lieu of water. Would not change a thing!! Using great Kimchi, like you said, is a MUST.

5 stars
This is my first time eating Kimchi noodle soup so I have nothing to compare it to, but this was so delicious!

My bowl ended up coming out nothing like yours. Very milky and cloudy like a miso soup. I wonder if my tofu broke down too much during the simmer. It also wasn’t as flavorful as I was expecting (perhaps my kimchi was weak? I was using Nasoya Vegan Kimchi) but this wasn’t a bad thing. This is still a hearty and heart warming soup and I think this will be my go to for cold/sick days.

I’m definitely gonna try to punch it up next time. More spice, adding in extra kimchi at the end (to preserve probiotics as one user suggested) And adding in my tofu and greens a little more towards the end of the simmer.

Thank you so much for this recipe!

5 stars
My 8yr old son has fallen in love with this vegan food recipe blog. It’s his new, go to place, to find a fantastic variety of vegan recipes to try. Thanks for all the time and effort you’ve put into this. 🙂

5 stars
Ginger and garlic are always good for your health.

HI – I have a question about the pak choy. Do you add one whole bunch, cut into two halves? It hardly fits into the soup pot that way!

5 stars
When a friend brought me some homemade kimchi, I knew what’d be using it for! And it was delicious- and especially satisfying for a sore throat!

I’m making this for dinner tonight. It smells wonderful simmering on the stovetop! This is my first time having kimchi and I thought this recipe would be a great introduction.

5 stars
Really great!!! As a celiac and vegan, this was my first ever ramen meal!!!! I just used GF soy sauce and rice ramen noodles. Thank you!! Will make again!! 🙂

My choices at Walmart for bok choy were between 2.25 pounds to 5.38 pounds heads. How big a head are you using?

I don’t know what I was thinking. For some reason I confused Napa cabbage for bok choy. Please forgive me.