From colorful bibimbap to sweet potato pancakes, these Korean vegetarian recipes are so scrumptious, you won’t even miss the meat.
Korean recipes are full of flavor in general, but these vegetarian meals really take the cuisine over the top.
If you’ve ever tried it, then you know just how addicted it can be! It might not be as mainstream as other Asian takeout food, but it’s right up there at the top for me.
I’m so excited to feature 20 Korean recipes that will get you even more hooked on Korean food.
These dishes are vegetarian, which means everyone can get in on the fun!
Ready? Let’s get started.
Bibimbap is a colorful Korean rice bowl topped with colorful vegetables, kimchi (fermented cabbage), gochujang (red pepper paste), nori, and a bright sunny-side-up egg in the center.
A traditional bibimbap bowl typically also contains sliced meat, such as bulgogi, but this recipe tweaks it a bit to make it vegetarian-friendly.
Crispy on the outside, soft on the inside pan-fried tofu is added to replace the meat.
I had trouble liking kimchi before. But its constant presence at the dinner table (thanks to my dad) made me fall in love with it, eventually.
If you also dig this strangely delicious fermented cabbage, you have to give these pancakes a try.
Called kimchi-jeon, these crispy pancakes have a wonderful combination of salty, tart, and spicy. Scallions add an earthy flavor as well.
This Korean BBQ tofu is sweet, savory, smoky, and surprisingly meaty! It’ll definitely satisfy your meat cravings.
Crispy tofu is seasoned with the amazing gochujang, giving it all the delicious flavors of a traditional Korean BBQ.
Top this BBQ tofu on a bed of rice and sprinkle with sesame seeds and scallions and voila.
Whenever I go to a Korean restaurant, one of the things I look forward to are the side dishes.
Korean cuisine has a wide array of side dishes, and they’re all delicious.
One of my favorites is called gamja jorim – a scrumptious dish of braised baby potatoes.
The spuds are cooked to soft and chewy perfection in a sweet and salty sauce.
Goguma latte is a lip-smacking beverage made of steamed sweet potatoes, milk, and sugar.
The base alone is already epic! It’s wonderfully sweet and creamy. The sweet potatoes give it such a distinct flavor and color, too.
As if it couldn’t get any more amazing, it’s even topped off with frothed milk, ground cinnamon, and chopped walnuts. How awesome is that?
Korean coleslaw is just as crunchy as refreshing, but its flavor is much more unique compared to the mayo-based slaw we all know and love.
A combination of soy sauce, garlic, sesame oil, and vinegar, the dressing gives carrots, cabbage, and onions a delicious, kimchi-like flavor.
Korean cucumber salad is crunchy, spicy, tangy, and mildly sweet. Its texture and flavor combinations make it an excellent side dish.
Pro-tip: after slicing the cucumbers, marinate them in salt for a few minutes.
This will draw out the water in the cucumbers, making them extra crunchy.
Crispy fried mushrooms are coated with a sweet, sour, and spicy glaze.
For best results, use dried shiitake mushrooms. They have an earthy and umami flavor that goes really well with the glaze.
The chewy and meaty texture makes them an excellent meat alternative, too.
Spinach alone isn’t really exciting. But with the right seasonings, you can transform it from meh to marvelous.
Sigumchi namul is a side dish of blanched spinach coated with a mixture of soy sauce, sesame oil, sesame salt, garlic, sugar, and sesame seeds.
Musaengchae – this Korean side dish doesn’t look too interesting, but it’s surprisingly good.
It’s made with julienned radish seasoned with sugar, salt, and vinegar. It has a lovely crunch and a nice balance between sweet and sour.
Battered and fried zucchini is just as golden, crunchy, and scrumptious as you’d imagine, especially when dipped in umami-rich soy sauce!
With this spectacular recipe, you’ll never have trouble feeding broccoli to your kids again.
The combination of sesame oil, garlic, salt, and roasted sesame seeds will do the trick.
If you’ve never had tteokbokki, you have got to try this recipe. Trust me, it’s a game-changer.
Korean rice cakes are a popular street food with a chewy consistency. A sweet and spicy red sauce makes them even more to die for.
14. Gochujang Sauce
It’s the famous fermented chili paste that gives Korean dishes a wonderfully sweet, salty, spicy flavor! It’s used to season meats, vegetables, rice – you name it!
The flavor can be quite intense, though, so if you want to dial it down, turn it into a sauce. This recipe teaches you how.
Transform the humble eggplant into a restaurant-quality dish! Stir-fry it with gochujang and you’re golden.
Gamja-jeon is a Korean-style pancake that features shredded potatoes.
You can also add scallions, carrots, onions, or chives to the batter to add color and flavor.
These crispy golden treats taste even more delightful dipped in soy sauce and vinegar or topped with gochujang.
It’s time for dessert! This sweet mini-bundt cake is made of milled sweet rice flour, which gives it a crunchy outer crust and a cornbread-like texture.
Sweet, fluffy pancakes are made even sweeter with a filling of brown sugar, walnuts, and cinnamon.
Enjoy it for breakfast or dessert! Personally, I won’t mind snacking on it all day long.
In Korea, rice isn’t just eaten, it’s also drunk!
Sikyhe is a refreshing beverage made of rice, malted barley, and sugar. It’s not too sweet, which makes it a perfect palate cleanser.
20. Dalgona Coffee
Popularized on TikTok, this Korean treat is known all over the world for its fantastic flavor and frothiness.
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