Kimchee Base Recipe

Kimchee Base

Makes 2 CUPS

This flavorful recipe creates a plant-based version of the classic paste used for making kimchee and tofu soup. It’s quick to prepare and will last for months in your fridge. It’s also a great marinade for grilled mushrooms, chicken, and pork.


  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 1 tablespoon dried wakame seaweed, rehydrated in hot water and squeezed dry
  • 1 large shallot, rough chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 3/4 cup gochugaru Korean chili flakes (See Cook’s Tips)
  • 1/2 Asian pear, peeled, core removed and rough chopped


  1. In a blender, add all ingredients except chili flakes and salt. Blend until smooth. Transfer to a medium bowl.
  2. Stir in chili flakes and mix into a thick paste. Season with salt, to taste. It should be salty, but not overwhelmingly so.
  3. Store in a sealed container in the fridge with a piece of parchment paper or plastic wrap pressed against the surface to keep it from oxidizing. Use within 3 months or freeze for longer storage.
  4. Cook’s Tips:
  5. Gochugaru is a red chili flake used in traditional kimchee and other Korean recipes. It has a distinctively bright red color, sweet taste, and medium heat. Find it at any Korean market or Asian grocery store. Gochagaru is available finely ground into a powder or coarsely ground into flakes. We recommend the coarse version for this recipe.
  6. For a more traditional version, substitute the soy sauce with fish sauce and seaweed with Korean salted shrimp. Korean salted shrimp, or saeujeot, is a flavorful fermented condiment made from tiny shrimp and salt. It is an umami-rich ingredient used in traditional kimchee paste and other sauces. It’s salty enough to last for months in the fridge so don’t worry about using up the whole jar at once. A little goes a long way.


Amount Per Serving (based on 32 servings)
Total Fat: 0 g
Saturated Fat: 0 g
Trans Fat: 0 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Protein: 0 g
Added Sugars: 0 g
Total Sugar: 0 g
Fiber: 0 g
Carbohydrates: 1 g
Sodium: 180 mg
Calories: 5
We provide nutritional information for our delicious recipes to help you select foods that meet your health and lifestyle goals. Care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of recipes and information. Nutritional data is intended for educational purposes, and not for the diagnosis, prevention, treatment, or cure of any medical condition. Please consult your healthcare provider for specific advice on diet and health. Click here to learn how we analyze the nutritional value of our recipes.

Ratings and Reviews

Printing Options

Rate and Review

We invite you to pull up a seat at our table and share your thoughts on this dish. The comments section is here to help you and the food-passionate community have a great cooking experience. It's all about the delicious food, so let's get cooking!

My Met Market