Last Updated on August 19, 2023
Vegan Creamy Kimchi Pasta is one of favorite comfort dishes of all time. This Korean inspired creamy, spicy, slightly tangy, and satisfying pasta is perfect for a quick lunch and dinner.
Vegan Creamy Kimchi Pasta = Ultimate Comfort Food
Do you love Asian fusion pasta?
When I create Japanese or Asian inspired pasta dishes, often times Italians don’t approve of any. But I make those often from butter shoyu maitake pasta to yuzu kosho pasta, the possibilities are endless.
Vegan Creamy Kimchi Pasta is definitely one of those comforting Asian fusion pasta dishes where Japanese (or in this case Korean) meets Italian. In Japan, creamy kimchi pasta (a.k.a. kimchi cream pasta) is a quite popular pasta to make at home.
I would make kimchi cream pasta all the time before I became vegan. Fast forward many years, I can still enjoy the same flavor that I used to enjoy by swapping the dairy component to plant-based milk such as soymilk! I also make this with cashew milk, too.
The creaminess of soymilk complements the briny, spicy, and pleasantly acidic taste of kimchi. If you find kimchi to be to strong in flavor and hesitant to eat on its own, this creamy kimchi sauce may be a good introduction for you!
Which Vegan Kimchi to Use
I use my own vegan kimchi to make this recipe but feel free to use your homemade kimchi or your favorite store-bought kimchi.
Be sure to use napa cabbage kimchi for this Vegan Creamy Kimchi Pasta.
There are many vegan kimchi products you can find but if you use a store-bought one, I strongly suggest using “traditional” napa cabbage for more authenticity of the Asian flavor. In other words, don’t go for the sauerkraut type.
Napa cabbage kimchi would probably be the most popular type of kimchi that’s available in grocery stores so it should be easy to find.
Special Topping: Kizami Nori
What makes many Japanese-fusion (or Korean-fusion) pasta interesting is the addition of kizami nori!
Kizami nori is shredded nori seaweed. It’s commonly used in Japanese rice or noodle dishes. When using kizami nori on top of pasta, it gives a good sea flavor and an unique taste that you wouldn’t get in any Italian pasta dishes.
Try it to believe it…IT”S SO GOOD!
Other Cooking Tips for Vegan Creamy Kimchi Pasta
Every kimchi taste different in saltiness, acidity, spiciness and and the overall taste, so be sure to adjust the flavor to your preference.
- Adjust the saltiness by simply using less/more salt
- Balance out the acidity with adding sugar or other sweeteners
- Control the spiciness by using more gochujang (which also adds more flavor)
- For the extra heat, add gochugaru which is Korean spicy chili flakes (optional.)
Using Soymilk for Creaminess
As you may know, not all plant-based milk has the same consistency.
Compare to some other plant-based milk, soymilk is richer (creamier) which works very well for making creamy sauce or broth. Especially for Japanese dishes, using soymilk can’t go wrong since soy products are the staples of Japanese cuisine.
What’s good about the use of soymilk is giving us the creaminess we want with a neutral taste which doesn’t overpower the overall flavor of the dish.
I highly recommend Unsweetened Eden Soy from Eden Foods. It has a minimum ingredients: organic soybeans and filtered water. No added flavors and additives! If soymilk isn’t your thing, cashew milk would be my next choice.
Choice of Pasta
I use spaghetti for this vegan creamy kimchi pasta. If not spaghetti, other long pasta such as linguine or fettucine may be a great alternative!
Be sure to check out the “Step-by-Step Instructions (w/ Photos)” after the Printable Recipe!
Vegan Creamy Kimchi Pasta
- 8 oz spaghetti or any pasta of your choice
- 1 tbsp neutral oil
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 3/4 cup thinly sliced yellow onion
- 1 cup vegan kimchi
- 1 1/2 cup unsweetened plain soymilk or any plant-based milk of your choice
- 1 tbsp gochujang
- 1/2 - 3/4 tsp sea salt adjust to taste
- 1/2 tsp cane sugar optional
- 1/4-1/2 cup pasta cooking water
- 1 scallion thinly sliced
- Kizami nori shredded nori seaweed
- In a large pot, start boiling water for cooking spaghetti (or any pasta of your choice.) Salt the water and start cooking spaghetti for 10-12 minutes (or follow the instructions on the package.) Reserve the pasta cooking water.
- Meanwhile, prepare the sauce. Heat up a frying pan at medium high heat. Pour neutral oil and add garlic. Cook for 1-2 minutes until aromatic.
- Add yellow onion and cook for 2-3 minutes. Then, add kimchi and cook for 1-2 minutes.
- Add soymilk (or any plant-based milk of your choice.) Mix well and bring it to a gentle simmer. Add gochujang and stir well.
- Add some pasta cooking water (1/4 cup/60 ml to start with) to the sauce to your desired consistency and mix well. Adjust the seasoning with sea salt and sugar. Continue to simmer until pasta is done.
- Once the pasta is cooked, drain well and add to the sauce. Give a quick toss. Lastly, add scallions and give another toss.
- Serve immediately with kizami nori (shredded nori seaweed) on top.
Choice of Plant-Based Milk
- I use soymilk for a creamy consistency.
- Soymilk may be curdled especially when cooked with acidic food such as kimchi which is normal. Cooking at lower heat may reduce the curdling slightly.
- Another choice would be cashew milk.
- Feel free to substitute with other plant-based milk of your choice but be sure to use unsweetened and non-flavored one.
- Sugar is used to balance out the spiciness and/or acidity of the kimchi.
- Feel free to omit or use other sweetener of your choice.
- Kizami nori is shredded nori seaweed which is a perfect topping for vegan creamy kimchi pasta.
- You can buy or make kizami nori using regular sushi nori seaweed. See the Kizami Nori (Shredded Nori) on Vegan Japanese Pantry Guide.
Step-by-Step Instructions (w/ Photos)
Prep: Have all the ingredients ready! (sea salt & sugar are not shown in the photo.)
1. In a large pot, start boiling water for cooking spaghetti (or any pasta of your choice.) Salt the water and start cooking spaghetti for 10-12 minutes (or follow the instructions on the package.) Reserve the pasta cooking water.
2. Meanwhile, prepare the sauce. Heat up a frying pan at medium high heat. Pour neutral oil and add garlic.
Cook for 1-2 minutes until aromatic.
3. Add yellow onion and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Then, add kimchi and cook for 1-2 minutes.
4. Add soymilk (or any plant-based milk of your choice.) Mix well and bring it to a gentle simmer.
Add gochujang and stir well.
5. Add some pasta cooking water (1/4 cup/60 ml to start with) to the sauce to your desired consistency and mix well. Adjust the seasoning with sea salt and sugar. Continue to simmer until pasta is done.
6. Once the pasta is cooked, drain well and add to the sauce. Give a quick toss.
Lastly, add scallions and give another toss.
7. Serve immediately with kizami nori (shredded nori seaweed) on top.
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