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Kimchi: Is It Spicy, Vegan, and Halal

Jason Park
Published by: Jason Park
Last updated:

If you’re ever going to visit Korea and are questioning if kimchi is spicy, vegan, and halal, well, we’ve found it out for you.

This was something that many people are asking when they’re planning a trip to Korea. Back in the days when I wanted to visit Korea, there wasn’t anything that told me if the food was spicy, vegan, or halal. 

So, what I did was ask around and but they didn’t understand what I was asking. This happened many years ago, but recently I went back, and it was all clear now. The restaurant owners explained what was inside the kimchi and how they made it.

Here’s what I found when doing research about kimchi.

Is Kimchi Spicy?

Yes, kimchi is spicy. However, there’s also kimchi that isn’t spicy, and you can mix it with rice to make it less spicy. Kimchi is known to have a bit of spiciness because that’s how it was traditionally made.

Is Kimchi Vegan?

Yes, kimchi is vegan. Kimchi is made with basic ingredients like cabbage, cucumber, and radish. These ingredients are vegan. Vegan food in Korea has been blowing up lately, so finding vegan kimchi won’t be very hard. 

Is Kimchi Halal?

Yes, kimchi is halal, but not all of them are halal. Most of the time, kimchi that you find in restaurants is halal, but it’s best to ask since you never know, so to make sure, ask the restaurant owner. These days almost all restaurants in Korea have halal food, so if kimchi isn’t halal, there are many other foods to try.

What Is Kimchi?

Kimchi is very traditional in Korea, and many people are eating it every day as a side dish. It’s also called Korea’s national dish since it’s always on the table. It doesn’t matter whether it’s breakfast, lunch, or dinner. There’s always kimchi.

This is what makes kimchi a very special and traditional dish. Some people even say that they haven’t eaten unless they’ve eaten a bite of kimchi for their meal. This is a saying that many people actually say when Koreans go abroad. 

In many television programs, you see celebrities that go abroad miss kimchi. Sometimes they even take it with them while traveling when it’s possible.

Kimchi is at the heart of Korean culture since the Joseon era, and many people really love eating kimchi. Of course, there are some people that don’t like it, but generally speaking, the majority of people eat kimchi almost every day.

So, what exactly makes kimchi healthy? The fermentation process is what makes kimchi so healthy. It’s great because the lactic acid that’s inside the kimchi is known to be extremely healthy for the body.

Different Types of Kimchi Dishes

Different Types of Kimchi Dishes

There are many different types of kimchi, and it’s often made to their own preference. If you aren’t sure if the kimchi si spicy, vegan or halal, you can try making it yourself. Making kimchi at home is very easy since you don’t need many ingredients for it.

I’ve been doing this for the last couple of years, and it has been extremely fun. You can make it spicy, vegan, or halal and adjust it to your taste. There are many ingredients that you can add to your liking, and there’s no good or wrong kimchi.

Here are some kimchi dishes that are vegan and halal.

Kimchi Fried Rice

kimchi fried rice

Kimchi fried rice is one of the well-known dishes in Korea. Many people eat this as a quick meal that’s easy to make. You can make kimchi fried rice vegan, halal, and spice it up the way you want. There’s no limit on how spicy you want to make it.

If you’re going to visit Korea, make sure to try some kimchi fried rice. This dish is very easy to make. You don’t even have to visit Korea to make this dish. You can make it at home in any country you like.

Korean Army Stew

kimchi jjigae

This Korean Army stew is pretty much vegan and halal. However, you can add other ingredients to it if you would like to. You can make this stew within 30 minutes, and it’s very easy to do it yourself. This soup is very popular amongst the younger generation in Korea.

They often go for a Korean army stew when they’re planning to drink. Spiciness goes very well with soju, and that’s what most people like.

Kimchi Pancake

korean pancakes

Kimchi pancakes are another dish that’s very easy to make. It doesn’t require much knowledge about cooking. It’s done in about 15 minutes and sometimes even faster. The pancakes are vegan and halal, which means there’s no need to worry about it.

If you’re going to visit Korea, these pancakes can be seen in many street markets. It’s very affordable, and I highly recommend you trying it yourself when visiting Korea.

Korean Dumplings 

korean dumplings

Korean dumplings can be bought in a pack from any grocery store. If you’re going to buy them from a grocery store, make sure to see if it’s vegan. Some of them have meat in them, so you should make sure to check it twice before eating.

However, if you’re making the dumplings yourself, it’s 100% vegan. The dumplings are quick and easy to make, so you don’t have to wait hours for your food.

Kimchi Jjigae (Spicy Tofu Stew)

korean army stew

Kimchi Jjigae is a spicy Korean stew, and it’s vegan and halal. It is a bit spicy, but many people enjoy the spiciness with some plain rice. If you’ve never tried it yourself, I highly recommend you do since it’s very delicious and you can almost get it in every street.

If you’re going to cook this yourself, there are many recipes on the internet so that shouldn’t be a problem. Try to cook it if you’ve never tried it before, and it might be an eye-opening experience.


Why Does Kimchi Smell Bad?

Kimchi smells a little strong because it’s fermented for a long amount of time. Sometimes this can be a couple of months, while others do it for a couple of weeks. It’s up to the people how long the kimchi will be stored, and the longer it’s fermented, the stronger it will smell.

Is There Non-Spicy Kimchi?

Yes, there’s also non-spicy kimchi. However, almost all kimchi that is made are spicy, so you’re the best bet would be finding it in grocery stores or making it yourself. There are other side dishes that aren’t spicy, so that would also be an option.

How Long Can Kimchi Be Stored?

Kimchi can be stored for many years, so you don’t have to worry about it going bad. Make sure that it’s tightly sealed because the CO2 needs to go into the solution. In Korea, people even store it for up to 3+ years on purpose because that’s the way they like it.

How Much Kimchi Should You Eat Daily?

Eat a small plate of kimchi at max since overeating any food isn’t healthy. Kimchi can be eaten every day; however, make sure to eat it in moderation and don’t eat too much. Many people eat around (120g) of kimchi a day which is a small plate.


Now that you’ve come to the end of this article, I hope you’ve found out what you were looking for, as you might know now that kimchi is actually vegan, spicy, and halal. However, kimchi can be made to your personal preference, so there’s no need to worry.

The typical kimchi in Korea is vegan spicy and halal. Keep in mind that it’s always good to ask the waitress before eating to make sure.

Some types of kimchi can be very spicy, but it won’t burn the mouth. Generally speaking, you shouldn’t worry about a dish like kimchi because it’s known to be very healthy.

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    About The Author

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    Jason Park

    Jason has been living in Seoul for over 4 years, and during that time, he has experienced many of the city's hidden stores. He loves to write about his experiences and share them with others. Jason has been quoted and referenced by different major media companies like Mashed, Distractify, ThePrint and TastingTable. In his free time, he likes to watch Korean dramas and learn more about Korean culture.

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