This Easy Kimchi Quinoa Bowl is one of my favourite ways to include probiotic-rich kimchi in my diet. It’s a simple yet flavourful weeknight dinner idea that can be easily adapted to suit your needs. A vegetarian recipe, with a vegan option available.
I can’t stop obsessing over this kimchi quinoa bowl! For so long I had been wanting to incorporate kimchi into my meals, but I was never quite sure what to do with it. This recipe is so quick and easy to make (especially if you’ve already meal prepped quinoa ahead of time), and you can totally modify it with whatever veggies or grains you have on hand.
Have you guys cooked with kimchi before? Let me know in the comments!
What Is Kimchi?
The term “kimchi” describes a group of salted and fermented vegetable foods in Korean. It’s a probiotic-rich fermented vegetable condiment (usually cabbage) that gives a fantastic flavour to your meals. A traditional Korean food, kimchi is often made with different vegetables, garlic, ginger, spring onions, chili peppers, salt, and sometimes fish sauce (although vegan/vegetarian options are available).
Curious what kimchi tastes like? The flavour of kimchi will vary depending on what the manufacturer will use in their recipe (the varieties are endless). But in general, it has a bit of a spicy and sour kick to it. Kimchi can be used as a condiment to add flavour to all types of meals, including stir-fries, rice and noodle dishes, sandwiches, and more.
Kimchi Health Benefits
Is kimchi healthy? You bet! Kimchi is rich in good-for-the-gut probiotic bacteria, which is added to the cabbage in order to ferment it. When you eat kimchi, you thus directly ingest that good bacteria. Promoting a healthy and diverse gut microbiome may improve many aspects of our health.
In addition to the gut health benefits, kimchi is made with vegetables that are often a good source of fibre, different micronutrients (vitamins and minerals), and various phytochemicals/antioxidants. A review on kimchi shows that it may have a positive effect on our skin, brain, heart, digestive, and immune health.
How To Make Kimchi Quinoa Bowl
Start by cooking quinoa on the stove, or by using leftover quinoa that you’ve already prepared. I’ve got an entire post on How To Cook Quinoa if you’re interested!
Next, chop vegetables of your choice into small one-inch pieces. I’ve used both broccolini and asparagus spears for this recipe, but feel free to get creative with whatever vegetables you have on hand! I think it would work great with regular broccoli, zucchini, or green beans.
Heat up a large pan over medium and add olive oil. Sauté vegetables for about 5-10 minutes, or until slightly tender. Add the spinach or another leafy green and cook until wilted. Then, add the cooked quinoa, garlic powder, tamari, a little bit of kimchi and a splash of the liquid from the jar. Cook for a few minutes and set aside.
Meanwhile, prepare your protein of choice. Serve kimchi-quinoa mixture in a bowl and top with protein (e.g. the egg or tofu), a drizzle of toasted sesame oil, sesame seeds, and a spoonful of raw kimchi.
To make this recipe vegan, make sure you’re using a vegan kimchi (i.e. one made without fish). Then, simply swap the egg for a vegan protein, like pan-fried tofu or tempeh. I’ve made this recipe with tofu and it was equally as delicious.
If you eat meat or fish, you could also try omitting the egg and serving the kimchi-quinoa mixture alongside a piece of meat or seafood. There are so many ways to enjoy this recipe!
Meal Prep: Storage & Reheating Tips
This recipe can easily be made ahead of time. Simply store leftovers in an airtight container and keep in the fridge for 3-4 days. If using a fried egg, just prepare the egg right before serving! For other proteins (like tofu or tempeh), you can store them together with the kimchi-quinoa mix.
To maintain optimal texture, this dish can be reheated on the stove. Simply add everything to a pan and sauté until hot. In a pinch, you can also reheat this kimchi quinoa bowl in the microwave. To get the health benefits of kimchi, be sure to serve some raw kimchi on the side!
More Healthy Bowl Recipes
- Pesto Quinoa Bowl With Broccoli & Sweet Potato
- Shrimp Taco Salad Bowl
- Vegan Noodle Bowl With Spicy Peanut Sauce
- Winter Pasta Salad With Roasted Vegetables
- Tempeh Stir-Fry With Spicy Coconut Sauce
Easy Probiotic-Rich Kimchi Quinoa Bowl (Vegan Option)
- 1/2 cup quinoa, dry (or use 1.5 cups cooked)
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1-2 bunch(es) broccolini (or other vegetable of choice)
- 2 handfuls baby spinach
- 2 tsp tamari
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 Tbsp kimchi liquid (from jar)
- Approx. 1/2 cup raw kimchi (use half to cook + half for topping)
- Protein of choice: fried eggs, pan-fried tofu, tempeh, etc.
- Optional toppings: sesame seeds, toasted sesame seed oil, sliced avocado
- Cook quinoa according to package instructions. To make recipe in under 20 minutes, use pre-cooked quinoa!
- Chop broccolini into one-inch pieces. You can use other veggies if desired (e.g. asparagus, broccoli, zucchini, green beans, etc.)
- Heat a pan to medium, add olive oil. Sauté broccolini for 5-7 minutes, until slightly tender. Add baby spinach, and cook until wilted.
- Add cooked quinoa, tamari, sesame seed oil, garlic powder, half the kimchi, and kimchi liquid to pan. Sauté everything for a few minutes. Once done, set aside.
- Meanwhile, prepare your protein of choice (e.g. eggs, tofu, etc). Serve kimchi-quinoa mixture alongside protein, and top with extra kimchi, and additional toppings as desired. Enjoy!
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