The Best Korean Dishes Every Vegetarian/Vegan Should Try

Love Korean food? Check out this list of the best dishes to try as a vegetarian. 

Katie Anderton
Katie Anderton

Updated: 29 October 2018

It can be super hard to enjoy Korean dishes on a plant-based diet. Koreans have a love for meat and fish dishes, but it isn’t impossible to find vegetarian and vegan dishes.


Your diet does not limit how many amazing things you can taste, in fact, Korean food is bursting with loads of veggie or vegan dishes, or easy ways to transform them into a veggie dish. We’ve listed the best vegetarian and vegan Korean foods you can make at home or find in traditional restaurants.

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Kimbap is basically seaweed rice rolls, but that doesn’t make it sound exciting or tasty…trust us, it is both of those things.


Basically, if you’re a love of sushi, Kimbap is the Korean version of that, and you can easily get it in vegetarian or vegan form. Yatze kimbap is vegetable rice rolls, and it tastes absolutely unreal. We can’t recommend it enough.

Photo Credit: Gilded Gingerbread

This translates to “pumpkin porridge” and it is so comforting. You can obviously make this yourself – it’s made with pumpkin and glutinous rice flour. It’s sweet, smooth, nutritious and often gets served with rice cake balls.


It is an incredibly popular dish in Korea, so, if you are visiting, make sure to give it a try. You won’t regret it.

Photo Credit: Maangchi

We can’t make a list of Korean food without adding kimchi, can we? We know that the thought of pickled cabbage might actually make you feel a bit queasy but, it really shouldn’t.


You can even find Baechu Kimchi as a vegan dish, the most popular is made with hot chilis and cabbage, it’s a really distinctive taste that you won’t be able to forget, forever.

Photo Credit: Omnittite

The literal translation of Joomuk-bap is “fist rice”, but don’t let that put you off…they’re still vegan.


They’re literally just seasoned rice balls, enhanced with chopped vegetables. The perfect little snack to keep you going all day.

Photo Credit: The Vegan 8 Korean

Tofu is a popular ingredient in meat-free Korean dishes. Tofu dishes, like Dubu Jorim, can be made vegan and gluten-free…and can be created in a matter of minutes.


Basically, this delicious dish is braised tofu, pan fried and braised in soy sauce. It’s very often used as a side dish, and weirdly enough, has a very meaty feel to it.

Photo Credit: One Green Planet

If you really want to get creative with your Korean dishes, swap the meat for tofu and make it your own plant-based dish. You’ll love it.

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