33 Vegan and Gluten-Free Korean Recipes (2024)

Vegan and gluten-free Korean recipes that you can easily make at home, including salads, side dishes, rice and noodles, desserts, and even kimchi. So you can make a whole meal with these recipes and now everyone can enjoy Korean food!

33 Vegan and Gluten-Free Korean Recipes (1)

Just because you’re on a vegan and/or gluten-free diet doesn’t mean you should miss out on Korean food! Or if you have a friend or family member who’s on a vegan and gluten-free diet, let them know about these great vegan and gluten-free Korean recipes that can be done at home with simple ingredients.

How to VEGANIZE Korean Recipes

Unless it’s a meat-centric dish like Beef Bulgogi or Kalbi, Korean dishes are quite easy to make into a vegan dish.

  • Japchae, Soft Tofu Stew, Kimchi Jjigae are some recipes that have both meat and vegetables but just omit the meat and it can still be tasty. My one-pan Japchae is a great example. Traditionally, meat is added but I made this dish without meat and it tastes just as good if not better.
  • Meat substitutes – sh*take (especially dried) and King Oyster mushrooms are great meat substitutes. And so is protein-rich tofu of course.
  • Vegan Broth – make a broth by simmering kelp (dashima 다시마), dried sh*take mushrooms, onions and green onion roots. They will provide great umami-packed broth for any recipe where anchovy or beef broth is used.
  • Vegan Kimchi – many people think you can’t make vegan kimchi because fish sauce is a must. Fish sauce is NOT a must in kimchi making. You can use Korean soy sauce for soups (Guk Ganjang/Chosun Ganjang) instead of fish sauce along with some kelp broth. Check out my Know your Soy Sauce post to learn about more about Guk Ganjang and all other types of Korean soy sauces and what to buy. There are also some wonderfully authentic vegan kimchis (see below) that don’t even use Guk Ganjang but made with just salt and other aromatics (i.e. cucumber kimchi).

How to make Gluten-Free Korean Recipes

Many Korean recipes are naturally gluten-free. The areas where you will have gluten issues mostly will be the use of flour in making jeons and buchimgae (pancakes), noodles and dumpling wraps.

  • Use Rice Flour or Gluten Free Flour – for dishes that use flour, just substitute it with GF flour or a mix of rice or sweet rice flour.
  • Use Gluten Free Soy Sauces – if you are absolutely allergic to gluten then you need to watch out for Soy Sauces that contain gluten or wheat. Jin Ganjang or common soy sauces like Kikkoman can contain wheat. Note that Korean soup soy sauce (Guk Ganjang) is almost always gluten-free, but check the label to confirm. Look for the information on the label or in the list of ingredients. Tamari, though not Korean, it tastes similar and is usually gluten-free.
  • Hidden Gluten (if you are absolutely allergic to gluten or wheat)
    • Rice Cakes for soups (Tteokguk Tteok) and Tteokbokki are all supposed to be 100% rice but sometimes the cheaper versions will have a mix of wheat flour with the rice flour. Make sure you buy ones that have rice only.
    • Gochujang and Deonjang – made traditionally the right way, it should not contain any gluten but many of the storebought products may have ‘wheat extract’ in them. It doesn’t cause any issues for me (as I don’t have celiac but just sensitive) but you should be aware in case you are ultra sensitive to allergic to wheat products. Chungjungone Gochujang has a gluten-free bottle that you can buy from my store on Amazon.

Here, I have put together more than 33 vegan and gluten-free Korean recipes to get you started – from kimchi to desserts!

3 Vegan Kimchis

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As you know, Koreans can’t live without kimchi, so it’s no surprise that there are all sorts of recipes for kimchi (check out my kimchi recipe roundup), including vegan kimchi. In Korean temple food, for example, kimchi is made without fish sauce. These recipes show you how easy it is to make vegan and gluten-free kimchi at home:

  1. Cabbage Kimchi with Apples and Ginger– Inspired by Korean temple cooking. No fish sauce, garlic, or green onions.
  2. Cucumber Kimchi with Chives (pic above)– Light and refreshing, it’s the summer kimchi of all kimchis.
  3. Water Kimchi with Watermelon Radish (Mul Kimchi)– A kimchi you can “drink” for belly-cleansing deliciousness.

3 Salads

33 Vegan and Gluten-Free Korean Recipes (3)

Korean salads are easy to make with a few simple ingredients. These naturally vegan and gluten-free recipes require no cooking and can be done in minutes. Try them all today:

  1. Quick Asian Cucumber Salad without Soy Sauce – No soy sauce, garlic, or green onions. Ready in 5 minutes.
  2. Simple Korean Cucumber Salad (Oi Muchim) – A light seasoning allows the refreshing cucumber flavor to stand out.
  3. Korean Radish Salad (Moo Saeng Che)– Sweet, tangy, and slightly spicy. Best of all, beneficial to digestion.

8 Vegan Side Dishes

33 Vegan and Gluten-Free Korean Recipes (4)

Korean vegetable side dishes are a convenient way to add more vegetables to any meal. With these vegan and gluten-free recipes, you will have more options to satisfy different dietary needs at a dinner party. Check them out:

  1. Dried Zucchini Side Dish (Hobak Namul) – A uniquely Korean zucchini dish that uses dried zucchini slices.
  2. Three Color Vegetables – Three traditional Korean side dishes that add color and variety to a meal.
  3. 3 Quick Korean Side Dishes – Each dish takes only 5 to 10 minutes. Great for parties.
  4. Sweet and Salty Braised Lotus Roots (Yeonkeun Jorim)– A good way to enjoy the texture of lotus roots.
  5. Korean Bean Sprouts (Sukju Namul) – A classic Korean side dish. Great on bibimbap or simply with some rice. 🥔🥔And for Potato Lovers…

    33 Vegan and Gluten-Free Korean Recipes (5)

  6. Korean Potato Side Dish (Gamja Jorim) – Baby potatoes are recommended for this recipe to maximize the taste and texture.
  7. Easy Potato Fritters – A potato lover’s dream: crispy on the outside, and pillowy soft on the inside.
  8. Crispy Korean Potato Pancakes (Gamjajeon)– An excellent snack option made simply with grated potatoes.

4 Tofu and Soybean Side Dishes

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Tofu is a great source of protein that is naturally vegan and gluten-free. Favor organic and GMO-free options if possible. Try other soy products like whole soybeans and even soybean sprouts. Here are some classic soy-based Korean recipes that are anything but bland:

  1. Broccoli Dubu Muchim – Simple and light, this recipe allows the true goodness of tofu to shine.
  2. Tofu Braised in Soy Mirin Sauce – Tastes great both warm and cold. Can be made ahead and leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for days.
  3. Sweet and Salty Soybeans (Kongjaban) – Cooked correctly, the black soybeans should have just the right bite.
  4. Spicy Soy Bean Sprouts (Kongnamul Muchim)– This alternative to the popular bean sprout side dish is saucy and has a kick!

7 Rice and Noodles

33 Vegan and Gluten-Free Korean Recipes (7)

These vegan and gluten-free rice and noodle dishes get more flavor, texture, and nutrients from umami-packed mushrooms, fiber-rich beans, and healthy seeds and grains. Jazz up your normal rice and noodle routine with these recipes:

  1. Korean Four Mushroom Rice in Stone Pot (Beoseot Bap) – A one-pot rice dish that highlights the mushroom flavors in a wonderful way.
  2. Korean Purple or Black Rice (Heukmi Bap) – Besides giving normal rice a beautiful purple hue, black rice adds a nutty flavor and extra health benefits.
  3. Korean Multigrain Rice (Japgokbap) – Includes grains and beans like sorghum, millet, red or black beans, and chickpeas.
  4. One-Pan Korean Glass Noodles (Japchae) – Easier and faster to make than the traditional version but just as flavorful.
  5. Mini Kimbap with Carrot or Cucumber (Mayak Kimbap) – Korean seaweed roll is a convenient finger food that everyone loves. ➡️Rice cakes (Tteok) are naturally gluten free if properly made.
  6. Rice Cakes with Chili Oil (Gireum Tteokbokki) – Sauteed in chili oil and soy sauce. Simply addicting!
  7. Spicy Rice Cake (Tteokbokki) – The simplest and easiest Korean rice cake recipe ever.

3 Soup and Porridges

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Koreans love porridge and soup and often eat them when they are sick or during the recovery period. For that reason, they are made with simple ingredients that are light on digestion. Check out these nutrient-dense porridges and a simple cold soup for summer:

  1. Pumpkin Porridge (Hobakjuk) – Light on the stomach and full of nutrients, this is a yummy healing dish.
  2. Black Sesame Porridge (Heukimja Juk) – A belly-warming favorite full of fiber, calcium, and minerals.
  3. Korean Cold Cucumber Soup (Oi Naengguk)– Low in calories and loaded with minerals that will help you stay hydrated on a hot day.

5 Desserts

33 Vegan and Gluten-Free Korean Recipes (9)

Finally, of course, we have Korean desserts that are vegan and gluten-free. Since rice is a staple in Korean food, you will also see rice and sweet rice (sticky rice) being used extensively in sweet treats, resulting in naturally gluten-free desserts. These recipes are simply irresistible:

  1. Sweet Rice Cake Dumplings with Sweet Red Beans (Bukkumi) – Sweet Rice dumplings stuffed with sweet fillings and then pan-fried in oil to create a crispy crust with a soft chewy inside.
  2. Korean Tea Cookies (Dasik) – No-bake gluten-free cookies made with ingredients like black and white sesame seeds, green matcha, soybean and rice flour. Substitute maple syrup or corn syrup instead of honey to make it ultra vegan.
  3. Korean Sponge Candy (Dalgona) – Sugar, baking soda is all you need to make this childhood favorite.
  4. Korean Sweet Rice Dessert (Yaksik) – A dessert filled with health-promoting ingredients like jujube, chestnut, and pine nuts. Also get the Instant Pot Yaksik recipe.
  5. Cinnamon Ginger Punch (Sujeonggwa) – a wonderful cold dessert drink made from cinnamon and ginger water mixed with sugar that is not just yummy but also great for keeping the cold away!

Well, I hope these vegan and gluten-free Korean recipes will help make your life healthier and happier! And please share them with your vegan and gluten-free friends and family!!


Leave me a comment below and let me know if you try any of the recipes.I’d LOVE to hear from you! Feel free to tag me on Instagram @kimchimari so I can see your cooking. 😍

You can alsoFOLLOW MEonFACEBOOK,PINTEREST,andINSTAGRAM,or join myFACEBOOK GROUPto connect with other Korean food lovers.

33 Vegan and Gluten-Free Korean Recipes (2024)


What Korean dishes are gluten-free? ›

Japchae, Yaksik (Sweet Rice Dessert), Korean Fried Chicken and any Namuls like Mungbean Sprouts (Sukju Namul) are all gluten-free and a must-try!

What Korean food can vegans eat? ›

Korean street food is vegan-friendly

Zeigfinger recommends to start by seeking out the most traditional of dishes. “Look for gimbap (seaweed rice rolls), tteokbokki (spicy rice cakes), and japchae,” she says, which are either animal-free already, or can be made so with modifications.

Is Korean food gluten and dairy free? ›

Like most Asian cuisines, there are many ways to enjoy Korean food if you are eating gluten-free. Because wheat- and barley-based ingredients can be used in almost any Korean dish, make sure to check that noodles, sauces, and marinades are entirely gluten-free.

Is Kimchi gluten-free? ›

Does Kimchi Contain Gluten? As already mentioned, kimchi is generally gluten-free; however, this largely depends on the ingredients used in preparing it. Thus, your store-bought or homemade kimchi can have gluten in it.

Can celiacs eat Korean food? ›

Korean cuisine has long been celebrated for its vibrant flavors, unique cooking techniques, and diverse dishes. Moreover, it offers a delightful surprise for those with dietary restrictions, as many traditional Korean dishes are inherently gluten-free.

Does gochujang have gluten? ›

Confusingly, glutinous rice does not contain gluten, and is safe for someone with celiac disease. So gochujang that uses glutinous rice can be safe, but gochujang with barley malt is not. Some variations of gochujang may also use soy sauce or vinegar, which may or may not contain gluten.

Are there any vegan Koreans? ›

While just 4 percent of South Korean adults identify as vegetarians — many of them devout Buddhists, who avoid eating meat and strong-smelling plants as part of their practice — 12 percent say they are flexitarians who follow a plant-centric diet, according to a survey last year by Hankook Research, a Seoul-based ...

Can vegans go to Korean BBQ? ›

Depending on the restaurant's availability, you can request an array of fresh vegetables and mushrooms to grill up instead. Season them with a dipping mixture of soy sauce, vinegar, and Korean chili powder, and you're good to go.

What Korean celebrities are vegan? ›

Vegan K-pop and K-drama stars: 4 Korean celebrities who follow a plant-based diet (well, mostly) – Lee Hyori, Im Soo-jung, Claudia Kim and Lee Ha-nui.

Is bibimbap gluten-free? ›

The information on the internet about this particular dish is occasionally contradictory, but most posts agree that bibimbap is one of the two Korean foods that are naturally gluten-free.

Is Japchae gluten-free? ›

Japchae is made with Korean potato starch glass noodles, which are surprisingly light, and completely gluten-free!

Does miso soup have gluten? ›

Most miso paste—the main ingredient in miso soup—is gluten free because the koji used is made with rice. But some miso paste, such as mugi miso, uses koji made with barley. And some packaged miso soup may also contain wheat gluten to give it body.

Why is kimchi not vegan? ›

Is it vegan? Traditionally, kimchi is not vegan. This is because it is typically seasoned and fermented in a seafood paste to deepen the flavour. This means that lots of kimchi bought that is made by Korean brands are not vegan-friendly.

Can kimchi cause IBS flare up? ›

Kimchi intake helps alleviate IBS by increasing dietary fiber intake and reducing serum inflammatory cytokine levels and harmful fecal enzyme activities.

Does bulgogi have gluten? ›

Gluten free soy sauce options include reduced-sodium tamari sauce. or La Choy Lite Soy Sauce. The remaining ingredients in the bulgogi sauce are naturally gluten free and safe for celiac disease or a gluten free diet.

Does Korean white rice have gluten? ›

Yes, all rice (in its natural form) is gluten-free. Rice is one of the most popular gluten-free grains for people with celiac disease.

Are Korean spring rolls gluten-free? ›

Even though there still isn't such a thing as gluten free filo pastry (the go-to wrapper for normal spring rolls) there is an authentic alternative that's naturally gluten free… Rice paper! (aka rice pancakes/spring roll wrappers) Of course, they're 100% gluten free.


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