Is Kimchi Vegan? (3 Tips For Weight Loss) 

Canva - Kimchi Cabbage in a Glass Jar. Korean Food, Probiotics Food..jpg

Kimchi is definitely the most popular dish in Korean cuisine and is the food that really defines it. It’s an extremely flavorful dish that contains spicy and savory flavors coming from many different seasonings and aromatics.

Many Korean dishes are fermented as Korea and its history relied on the preservation of food. Evidently, this is what makes Korean food so special and allows many of its dishes to shine throughout the world. Although Kimchi is delicious and is known for its amazing flavors, can you fit it within a vegan diet? 

Kimchi is a dish that might seem to fit into a Vegan diet but, due to certain ingredients such as raw shrimp and fish sauce, typical Kimchi does not fit into the vegan or vegetarian criteria. However, the removal of these two ingredients make Kimchi vegan so making a homemade product is how you can make your Kimchi vegan friendly. 

Let’s take a look at some steps we can take to eat Kimchi in a vegan diet and how we can lose weight while eating Kimchi. Here are the three steps to eat Kimchi in a vegan diet and how we can stay fit while eating Kimchi. 

  1. Understand What Goes Inside Kimchi 

  2. Understand How Many Calories Are In Kimchi 

  3. Understand How To Stay Fit While Eating Kimchi 

Now that we know the three steps to eating Kimchi in a vegan diet while staying fit, let’s take a deeper look at what we can do. 

Tip 1: Understand What Goes Inside Kimchi 

Kimchi is a fermented Korean dish that contains many seasonings coming from many different ingredients. The ingredients that season Kimchi are typically some rice powder, Korean chili flakes, sugar, minced shrimp, fish sauce, sugar, salt, garlic, kombu, ginger, and sesame seeds. 

All these different ingredients come together to form a savory, acidic, and spicy product that has grown in popularity worldwide. So, how can we take out the shrimp and the fish sauce while keeping the flavor and consistency? The answer is to add some aromatics such as minced shiitake mushrooms and dried seaweed. 

We found a recipe for Vegan Kimchi that uses Pineapple juice and onions but we find that an addition of the two mentioned ingredients would benefit the dish greatly. Here is a recipe you can follow if you’re looking to make Kimchi at home. 


For Seasoning Paste:

8-10 Cloves Garlic

5 Tbsp Dried Shiitake Mushrooms

½ Cup Gochugaru (Korean Chili Flakes) 

4 Tbsp Grated Ginger 

2 Tbsp Sesame Seed

3 Tbsp Sesame Oil 

¼ Cup Pineapple Juice 

4 Tbsp Soy Sauce 

3 Pinches Salt (Season to taste) 

2 Large Nappa Cabbage 

Step 1: Soak Napa Cabbage in solution of ½ Cup Salt with 5 Cups of Water, let sit for 4-6 hours. After soaking, rinse the cabbage and squeeze water out.

Step 2: Season cabbage leaves with salt, generously & rinse with water one more time. 

Step 3: Combine ingredients to make the paste and thoroughly coat the cabbage within the paste. Make sure every part of it is covered in the paste. 

Step 4: Add additional vegetables such as carrots, radish, or pear. 

Step 5: Mix & put into a cleaned jar or container. 

Step 6: Ferment (let out in room temperature) for 4-7 days with the lid tightly closed. Make sure to press down on the cabbage leaves to compress the sauce everyday at least once a day. 

Step 7: After 4-7 days, put in the fridge and have fresh Kimchi that lasts for up to 2 months! 

Make sure to try out this recipe if you want some fresh Kimchi without the addition of any animal products. You’ll get an awesome depth of flavor that is just as good, if not better than traditional Kimchi while staying within a Vegan diet. 

Now that we know what goes inside kimchi and how to make a Vegan alternative, let’s take a look at how we can stay healthy while we eat our favorite Korean dish. 


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Tip 2: Understand How Many Calories Are In Kimchi 

Kimchi is a dish that consists mainly of cabbage so you can expect to find a very small amount of calories in a typical serving of it. Let’s take a look at what we can find in the nutrition label and see the benefits of adding great foods such as Kimchi into our diets. 

For a 1 oz. serving of Kimchi, we get 8 calories which consist of 0 grams of fat, 1 gram of carbs, and 1 gram of protein. This is an awesome food as it adds an equal amount of carbs and protein which is a very valuable trait. We typically want to get close to a 1:1 ratio or a 1:1.5 ratio of protein to carbs so finding a food that fits that criteria is a blessing. 

Protein is definitely the hardest macronutrient to get when eating a Vegan diet so finding plant based foods that offer some is a must. We want a balance of macronutrients when dieting while avoiding a diet that consists mainly of carbs and fats. The typical American diet does just that and really neglects that protein in so many instances. 

Understanding the calories of certain foods allows us to find what we are missing in our day to day nutrition so keeping track is definitely a beneficial skill that will do wonders for your overall diet in the long run. 

The purpose of this blog is to raise awareness of the importance of looking deeper into the foods that we eat everyday. We want to make sure we stick within our calorie ranges and avoid unintentionally overeating day by day. If you want to learn more about this concept and get a solid grasp on your nutrition, then make sure to check out this article where we go over the details!

Labels really help us understand so much about our foods and some surprise us with how amazingly healthy the certain dish is. Kimchi turned out to be an amazing food that we should all be eating within our lives. So, make sure to eat more Kimchi! 

The 15 Fat Burning Meals Cookbook features our favorite recipes that you can use to get closer to your fitness goals.

If you’re struggling with weight loss and want the step by step guidance on what you should eat, then this is the cookbook for you.

Within the book features the 5 Step Guide To See Your Abs with worksheets to create proper meal plans based on your fitness goals.

Whether your goal is to lose 20 pounds or to stay healthier overall, this cookbook will guide you through it quickly and effectively.

Become your own personal trainer with the guidance of this book and make this the year you achieve your insurmountable fitness goals.

Tip 3: Understand How To Stay Fit While Eating Kimchi 


Now that we know a little bit about what goes inside your typical Kimchi and what its nutrition label tells us, let’s take a deeper look into the actions we can take to stay healthy while eating foods like Kimchi. 

Although understanding nutrition is important, there is more to the equation of staying fit and healthy. We want to be adding lots of movement and activity in our lives to utilize the calories that we get from the food that we consume everyday. 

Weight loss is the process of eating less than your allotted calories for the day which is something called TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure). Within our TDEE there is a small segment called TEPA (Thermic Effect of Physical Activity) which accounts for 15-30% of the calories we burn in a day. 

This means that we are in control of up to 30% of the calories we burn in a day which is such a blessing if you look at it in terms of adding food into your diet. When we are eating in a deficit of calories, our goal is to maximize the volume of food throughout the entire process. Keeping active can contribute to 30% more calories burned which can possibly mean more calories to be consumed! 

Adding more food is a happy moment and is so beneficial for those of us losing weight at the moment. However, it can be hard to get a lot of movement in our lives when our jobs or lifestyle require us to stay sedentary. This is why we must aim to deliberately seek workouts and exercise throughout the week. Working out leads us to another factor that is extremely beneficial which is muscle. 

Muscle burns calories at rest which means you’ll be burning more overall calories by just existing if you pack more on yourself. It also looks great when you shred down and pops out to give us a really desirable and healthy look. However, it can be intimidating to start working out as there are so many movements to learn and different muscle groups that we haven’t even heard about. 

Our solution is to provide a basic workout plan that will teach you how to isolate different parts of the body while building muscle over the course of time. Here is the workout plan listed below if you’re interested in dedicating some time to building some muscle! 

Canva - Young Muscular Woman.jpg


Monday (Full Upper):  

  • Seated Shoulder Press: 4x20 

  • Lateral Raises: 4x15

  • Lat Pulldowns: 4x12

  • Dumbbell Row: 3x10

  • Dumbbell Fly: 3x10 

  • Knee Push Ups: 4x20

  • Weighted Crunches: 3x35 

Wednesday (Back/Hamstrings/Biceps) 

  • Assisted Pull Ups: 3x10

  • Lat Pulldowns: 4x12 

  • Cable Row: 4x15

  • Stiff Leg Deadlift: 4x15

  • Hamstring Curl: 4x15

  • Bicep Curls: 3x10

  • Hammer Curls: 3x10

Friday: (Legs/Butt/Abs): 

  • Squats: 5x5 

  • Goblet Squats: 4x20

  • Glute Bridge: 4x20

  • Glute Kickbacks: 4x20 each leg

  • Jump Squats: 4x20

  • Weighted Crunches: 3x35 

  • Leg Lifts: 3x35

Canva - Chest Workout.jpg


Mon: Chest, Shoulders, Triceps, Abs (Push Day) 

  • Bench Press: 3 sets 10 reps

  • Dumbbell Press: 4 sets 12 reps

  • Shoulder Press: 3 sets 10 reps

  • Lateral Raises: 3 sets 15 reps

  • Triceps Rope Push Down: 3 sets 15 reps

  • Cable Crunches: 4 sets 15 reps 

Wed: Legs & Abs

  • Goblet Squats: 4 sets 20 reps

  • Weighted Walking Lunges: 2 sets 20 steps

  • Stiff Leg DeadLift (Romanian Deadlift): 4 sets 15 reps

  • Glute Bridges With Weight: 4 sets 20 reps

  • Jumping Squats With Resistance Bands: 5 sets 20 reps

  • Weighted Sit Ups: 4 sets 25 reps

  • Weighted Toe Touches: 4 sets 25 reps

Fri: Back & Biceps (Pull Day)

  • Assisted Pull Ups: 3 sets 10 reps

  • Lat Pulldowns: 4 sets 12 reps

  • Dumbbell Rows: 4 sets 10 reps (Each Side)

  • Seated Cable Rows: 4 sets 15 reps

  • Bicep Curls: 3 sets 10 reps

  • Hammer Curls: 3 sets 10 reps

This is a pretty basic plan but will guide you through the major muscle groups and teach you each of their functions. Muscle is so beneficial in the long run so make sure you learn each of these movements and get stronger over time. It really is the key to staying lean and fit so take the time to build lasting habits and create a schedule for your workouts.

Consistency and longevity are the two key factors when building muscle so there will be some commitment involved. Make sure to enjoy the process and get as strong as you possibly can! 

You can either go to the gym or build one for yourself. It really just comes down to 3 pieces of equipment that you need to do most workouts. These three are the workout bench, dumbbells, and gym flooring. Check out our recommended gear page to see our best picks for these pieces of equipment here.

If a home gym is not for you then getting a membership somewhere works too. As long as you are starting your muscle building journey, we’re happy! (1)

Stick with it for the long run and you’ll see how amazing the results can be. 

There It Is! 

In this article we went over what goes inside a typical Kimchi dish and pinpointed the ingredients in Kimchi that aren’t Vegan friendly. We also talked about the importance of looking at nutrition labels and what we can do to eat our favorite foods while staying lean. 

If you’re interested in learning about different foods and healthy habits you can implement into your life, then make sure to check out our other articles where we go over the details on how to do so! 



Phillip Pak is a fitness expert who has been training clients for 5 years. Throughout his fitness journey, Phill has done it all when it comes to diet and nutrition. He is now the owner of Aspire Fitness Walnut where his main goal is to help those who are seeking to find the best version of themselves. He’s been through the struggle of obtaining an good physique and knows how to share it with others.