Korean Vegetarian Broth

by MJ

If you’re vegetarian or vegan, here is a broth recipe to replace the classic anchovy broth used in soups / stews or to make vegan kimchi. 

While other vegetables or vegetable scraps can be added to make broth, the most common ingredients used to make Korean broth is dried shiitake mushrooms,  kelp (also known as dashima /dashi ), cabbage, Korean radish, onion, and green onions.  

Basic vegetable broth can be made using just shiitake mushrooms and kelp, which can be found in Asian markets or online such as Amazon.  You can use this option to make a simple broth if you don’t have fresh vegetables available.

I always have dried shiitake mushrooms on hand as they are richer in flavor with a stronger umami taste than fresh mushrooms. If adding dried mushrooms for stir fry dishes, you’ll need to soak them in water first for the mushrooms to reconstitute.

Dried kelp (dashima) is seaweed, which is used as soup base in Asian cooking.  They are sold in flat sheets or pre cut into small squares. Don’t wipe off the white powder you may see on the surface as this provides the umami flavor. 

Don’t throw away the mushrooms and kelp after you make the broth as you can make a quick and delicious stir fry recipe! (Directions below).

Adding the radish, cabbage, green onion and onion results in deep, rich flavors to the broth.  If Korean radish isn’t available in your area, use Daikon radish. 

Korean Vegetable Broth

Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat
Rating: 3.0/5
( 4 voted )


  • 12-14 cups water 
  • 4 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 5-6 pieces of dried kelp (dashima)
  • 1 pound of Korean radish, cut into chunks ( or daikon radish) 
  • 1 onion, cut into chunks 
  • 2 green onions, sliced or 1 large green onion ( daepa) 
  • 4-5 green cabbage leaves 




Optional: To develop more flavor to the broth, soak the mushrooms and kelp in water in a large pot.  Meanwhile, prep the remaining ingredients. 

Add the remaining ingredients to the pot, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and  boil  for about 15 minutes. Remove the kelp and continue to boil for about 20 minutes. 

Carefully pour the broth through a stainer into a large bowl or another pot, pressing the vegetables with a wooden spoon to squeeze out all the broth. 

Let cool completely before storing the broth in airtight containers or jars in the fridge for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 2-3  months. 

  Make a quick and easy stir fry with the  kelp and mushrooms:

Kelp and Shiitake Stir Fry 

  • 4 Shiitake mushrooms, sliced 
  • 5-6 Kelp, sliced 
  • 1 Tablespoon oil 
  • 1-2 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • pinch of sugar 
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil 
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds


Slice the mushrooms and kelp reserved from the vegetable broth.  Heat the oil in pan. Stir fry the mushrooms and kelp for about 5 minutes until the mushrooms are brown. Add the soy sauce and pinch of sugar and continue to stir fry for about a minute. Turn off the heat and stir in the sesame oil and sesame seeds. It’s delicious on its own or as a side dish. 

Did You Make This Recipe?
Would love to see your dish! Tag me on Instagram at @lovekoreanfood_.

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