A 30 minute hearty Korean soup made with cabbage, kimchi and chicken. Super fragrant and packed full of spice and flavor. Gluten Free and Dairy Free.
Kimchiiiiiiiiii. Love it or hate, or maybe haven’t tried it yet?! I personally have recently become obsessed. I mean obsessed might be an understatement. For a long time any time I went to Wegman’s (my all time favorite grocery store), I would pick up a jar of kimchi, come home and eat half the jar.
I would actually want to eat the entire jar, but thought maybe 16 ounces of fermented cabbage was not the best in one sitting.
It was a struggle though to tear myself away. Not even kidding. And then I discovered something else magical.
The reserved kimchi liquid from the jar. Let’s call this liquid gold. This stuff is just that good. It makes the perfect flavoring agent for pretty much everything. It’s perfect in a Asian style spicy aioli, and it’s even better when added to this Korean soup.
Now, the Korean soup title of this recipe really comes from the soup being inspired by Korean style cuisine. I by no means am claiming that this is an authentic Korean soup — more like my version of what a Korean soup should be.
Korean Soup Ingredients:
- kimchi (& reserved liquid)
- napa cabbage
- fish sauce
- chili garlic sauce
- bean sprouts
- lime juice
Why this Korean soup is the best:
- super rich and deep flavors
- comforting one pot meal
- healthy & delicious
- Whole30, Paleo, Keto, Gluten Free & Dairy Free diet friendly
- 30 minute recipe
I’ve made this Korean soup recipe a couple times now and it hits the spot every time. There’s just this serious depth of flavor which I attribute to that magical kimchi liquid. It’s rich and fragrant and strong. It’s everything you want in a soup and more.
If you’re a soup person and you love Asian flavors then this is definitely for you.
This last time I needed this Korean soup though. And best of all you only need 30 minutes from start to finish.
How to make my Korean soup recipe:
Start by pan frying the minced ginger and garlic in oil in a pot. To add maximum flavor to soup it is always best to sautee the ingredients in oil first, before adding the broth.
Add sliced cabbage to the pot and saute for a couple minutes. Add broth and reserved kimchi liquid. Try to squeeze out as much kimchi liquid as you can from the jar as this maximized the flavor of the soup and created a richer and deeper Korean flavor. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for a few minutes.
If using cooked shredded chicken add it now, but if you do not have cooked chicken on hand you can add a raw chicken breast or chicken thigh to the broth and cook until cooked through. Remove the chicken breast/thigh and shred with two forks before returning back to the pot.
Add kimchi, fish sauce, sesame oil and chili garlic sauce. Start by adding a teaspoon of the chili garlic sauce and add more as needed to reach your preferred heat level.
This quick hearty dinner soup is ready in no time. For the additional garnishes I always love to add cilantro, bean sprouts, and lime juice. I need that extra crunch and dose of tart zestyness with a bit of fresh herbs. Totally optional though.
- For richer more flavorful broth use home made chicken broth or store bought organic bone broth.
- Don’t skip the reserved kimchi liquid – this adds an amazing depth of flavor to the soup.
- If you don’t have precooked shredded chicken, to the soup add a raw chicken breast or thigh and boil until cooked through, remove and shred the meat before adding back to the soup.
- Find a kimchi that you love. I have tried a few different types of kimchi and let me tell you this – not all kimchi are created equal. Some are truly significantly better than others, so shop around and find out which ones you love best.
- To make this recipe Paleo & Whole30 friendly make sure to use a Paleo Fish Sauce and a Paleo Chili Sauce.
Any one else out there just like me? Kimchi lovers come forward! Tell me I’m not alone!
This is hands down one of my favorite easy Korean soup recipes. If you have your own favorite take on Korean soups, please share in the comments below!
For other Asian inspired recipes be sure to check out my:
- Seared Chilean Sea Bass Recipe
- Asian Cabbage Salad
- Asian Chicken Bowls with Broccoli, Carrots and Almond Butter Sauce
- Asian Seafood Salad
- Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons minced ginger
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1/2 napa cabbage thinly sliced
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 1/2-1 cup kimchi liquid
- 1/2 - 1 cup chopped kimchi
- 1-2 cups shredded cooked chicken thighs
- salt to taste
- 2 - 3 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon chili garlic sauce add 1 teaspoon for less spicy version (use PaleoChef Sriracha for paleo version)
- 1 lime cut in wedges, as a garnish
- handful bean sprouts as a garnish (optional)
- handful cilantro chopped as a garnish (optional)
Heat oil in a pot over medium heat. Add ginger and garlic. Cook until fragrant 1-2 minutes.
To the pot add cabbage. Cook for a few minutes.
Add broth, and kimchi liquid. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for a few minutes.
Add kimchi, add shredded chicken. Cook for a few minutes.
Add fish sauce, sesame oil and chili garlic sauce.
Serve garnished lime juice, bean sprouts and cilantro (optional).