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Vegan kimchi soup in bowls on a serving tray
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5 from 3 votes

Vegan Kimchi Soup

This vegan kimchi soup is an easy version of Korean tofu stew (Sundubu jjigae), and is made with kimchi, tofu and potatoes. Make it in the Instant Pot or on the stovetop!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: Korean
Diet: Gluten Free
Servings: 4
Calories: 213kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive or sesame oil
  • 1 large potato or sweet potato (~12 ounces), cubed into ½" pieces peeling potato is optional
  • cup kimchi
  • 1 tablespoon gochugaru (Korean chili flakes) Or substitute 2 teaspoons red chili flakes
  • 1 tablespoon gochujang (optional, for more spice)
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely diced
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 4 cups broth or stock (vegetable or miso) See Recipe Notes
  • ¼ cup liquid from kimchi
  • 1 package silken tofu (16 ounces), diced into 1" squares Or use extra silken Korean tofu
  • 1 green onion (scallion), green tops only, diced
  • sushi rice or jasmine rice, to serve (optional)

Instructions

Instant Pot:

  • Add oil to the Instant Pot. Press the sauté button. Press the adjustable temperature setting until it reads normal.
    Add diced potato, kimchi, gochugaru, gochujang (if using), garlic, ginger and salt to the pot. Stir together and cook 1-2 minutes, or until the spices become fragrant.
    Cook Kimchi + Potatoes with Spices
  • Slowly pour in the broth and the kimchi liquid. As you pour, scrape up any bits of vegetable stuck to the bottom of the pot (to prevent the burn warning). 
    Add Broth to Kimchi Soup
  • Press the cancel button. Set Instant Pot to pressure cook/manualhigh pressure. Set the cook time for 2 minutes.
    The Instant Pot will take about 8-10 minutes to come to pressure, depending on how hot the soup is, and then will start counting down the cook time. (If the broth was hot when you added it, the Instant Pot will seal quickly.)
    The Instant Pot will beep to let you know the cook time has finished.
    Carefully quick-release the remaining pressure by using the handle of a long spoon (I use a wooden spoon) to turn the steam valve to venting.
    Pressure Cook Soup
  • Take the lid off the Instant Pot. Press the cancel button to end the cook cycle.
    Press the sauté button. Leave the adjustable temperature setting at normal
    Optionally, mash the tofu cubes with a fork.
    Add the tofu, and simmer about 2 minutes, or until the tofu is warm.
    Add Tofu to Kimchi Soup
  • Top soup with diced green onion and serve immediately along with rice.
    Vegan kimchi soup in bowls on a serving tray

Stovetop:

  • Heat oil over medium heat in a heavy-bottomed pot.
    Add diced potatoes, kimchi, gochugaru, gochujang (if using), garlic, and ginger to the pot. Stir together and cook 1-2 minutes, or until the spices become fragrant.
    Add the kimchi liquid and broth. Bring soup to a simmer, and continue to simmer for about 15 minutes.
  • Add the tofu, and simmer about 2 minutes, or until the tofu is warm.
    Top soup with diced green onion and serve immediately along with rice.

Notes

Serves 4, or serves 2 generously.
Homemade Broth Options:  All of the following options can be made ahead of time and refrigerated or frozen, but the miso broth is so quick that I usually make it right before preparing the soup.
  • Miso Broth: Use white miso paste. Add one tablespoon of miso paste to 4 cups of simmering water and continue simmering until dissolved.  If desired, skim any residue off the top of the broth.
  • Vegetable Broth: We love using both homemade vegetable broth and homemade mushroom broth.
  • Note that if using unseasoned vegetable stock, you may need to add salt to the recipe.
Nutrition information does not include optional rice.

Nutrition

Calories: 213kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 116mg | Potassium: 831mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 623IU | Vitamin C: 19mg | Calcium: 67mg | Iron: 2mg