Vegan Tagkalbi(ish)

I know what all the meat-eaters are thinking… vegan tagkalbi? What an abomination! 

For those of you unfamiliar with the Korean dish, tagkalbi is a spicy chicken and cabbage stir-fry. Although I’ve opened my diet up to eating meat in Korea (for reasons listed here), I choose not to cook it at home. That being said, tagkalbi is one of my favourite foods here and I can never get enough.

When I go out to eat tagkalbi, I find myself digging for the vegetables–cabbage, herbs, onions, sweet potato–and the rice cakes. The chicken is tasty but the other parts are the winners for me. Go out for tagkalbi and you’ll find chopstick wars over the rice cakes more than anything else.

Tagkalbi is incredibly easy to make, and cutting out the meat makes it even faster, easier, and cheaper. As with most of my Korean cooking, I got the recipe for tagkalbi from Maangchi, and modified it from there.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Serves: 3-4


  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 10 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp ginger, minced
  • ¼ cup gochujan
  • ⅓ cup gochugaru
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 lb cabbage, rinsed and chopped 
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2-3 handfuls rice cakes
  • 1 cup sweet potato, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup carrot, sliced
  • 2 green chili peppers, sliced
  • 2 dozen perilla leaves
  • 3 handfuls mountain herbs (or preferred greens)



  1. Combine garlic, ginger, hot pepper paste, hot pepper flakes, soy sauce, water, and sugar in a medium bowl and mix with a spoon or blend.
  2. Prepare a pan with a drizzle of oil. Add vegetabes, rice cakes, and sauce. Mix well.
  3. Add the perilla leaves and mountain herbs on top.
  4. Cover and cook over medium high heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir often.
  5. Lower heat to medium and cover. Cook for another 15 minutes, or until the rice cakes are soft and chewy. Stir often.
  6. Enjoy while it’s hot!


sauce pan

done 1


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