My love for Asian inspired cuisine is at an all time high. Kimchi is one of those things I always have to have in the house. There’s always at least 2 jars in the fridge. All I need now is to befriend an Asian mama that’ll share her homemade kimchi with me. I’m still praying for that. Until then, I’m ok with store bought kimchi. And there are a few great store bought options for making the best whole30 kimchi stew.
One thing to keep in mind as we walk through this recipe is to note I am not of Asian descent so this recipe is NOT authentic or traditional. I really enjoy Asian flavors and I’ve been fortunate enough to have some Asian friends who have made traditional kimchi stew for me. So my recipe is simply an appreciation for these flavors and I do hope you enjoy.
WHICH KIMCHI IS THE BEST OPTION FOR WHOLE30 KIMCHI STEW?
Now, this recipe is Whole30, so lets talk the two store bought brand of kimchi I recommend if you’re doing a round of Whole30 or if you’re following the Keto diet.
- Wildbrine Kimchi: this one is a little more accessible and can you found at Whole Foods, Fresh Thyme Market and most co-ops. You can also check their store locator to find out where you and grab some in your area.
- Goat Wise Organics vegan kimchi: this is one of my favorites because it is so flavorful you won’t even believe it doesn’t have any added sugar. I usually find this one on Amazon and it’s delicious.
- lastly, CHECK YOUR LOCAL GROCERY STORES! Many grocery stores and local co-ops are more intentional with the brands and products they offer now. So just by reading the ingredients on the label, you’ll be surprised how easy it is to find items like no sugar added kimchi in your area.
Ok, so now that you have the scoop on all things kimchi, let’s talk these lion’s head meatballs. My friend’s mom made these for us a while ago and I’ve been dreaming about them ever since. So, I called her up and she was gracious enough to give me an ingredient breakdown. I tweaked it a little to make them Whole30 compliant and let me tell you! Lordt are they good!
Now these meatballs are traditionally Chinese. And again, I’m not of Chinese descent nor do I claim to be. This is not at all a traditional recipe. It’s more of an appreciation/my take on the absolute genius of these meatballs. I hope you enjoy, maybe add your own spin to it and have fun. And if you are Chinese, we would love to hear how you like to make these.
Ok, so to serve this insanely delicious Whole30 kimchi stew, I recommend cauliflower rice. If you are not doing a round of Whole30 you can definitely serve it up over white rice.
Check out some of our other soups and stews HERE.Print
Lion’s head meatballs are simmered in this rich and flavorful whole30 compliant kimchi stew. It’s the ultimate comfort food.
1 lb ground pork
1 tsp grated ginger
2 scallions, chopped
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp Chinese five spice
4 tbsp almond flour
1 tbsp arrowroot flour/starch
1 tsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp coconut aminos
2 slices no sugar added bacon, chopped
1 large onion, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups prepared Whole30 compliant kimchi
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp cayenne pepper, use less or omit and use paprika if you’re not a fan of a little spice
1 tbsp Korean Pepper flakes
2 tbsp coconut aminos
1 cup water
1 cup mushroom or bone broth
2 scallions, chopped, with whites and greens separated
To begin, add all the ingredients (except the ghee/oil) needed for the meatballs into a bowl and use a fork to combine the mixture, do not over mix. Roll out the mixture into equal meatballs, makes 10-12 meatballs depending on how big your meatballs are.
Heat the ghee or oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs to the pot and sear them for 2-3 minutes on all sides. Remove the meatballs from the pan and set them aside.
Discard most of the oil from the pot and return the pot to the heat. Now, add the bacon, onion and garlic to the same pot and sauté for 5-7 minutes until the onion is tender.
Now, add the kimchi to the pot, stir and continue to sauté for another 5 minutes. Mix the tomato paste, cayenne pepper, Korean pepper flakes and coconut aminos together in a small bowl until it forms a paste.
Add the paste to the pot with the kimchi and vegetables. Stir and continue to sauté for 2-3 minutes.
Now, to deglaze the pan, pour the water and broth into the pot and stir to lift up all the drippings from the bottom of the pan. Lower the heat to medium, cover the pot and simmer the stew for 10 minutes. Uncover the stew, give it a taste and add a little more coconut aminos if it’s too acidic. Now, nestle the meatballs into the stew and scatter the whites of the scallions on top. Cover the pot and continue to simmer for another 5 minutes to finish cooking the meatballs.
Remove the stew from the heat and let it cool for a few minutes. Uncover and serve with cauliflower rice and the remaining greens of the scallions.
Keywords: Kimchi stew, whole30 kimchi stew, lions head meatballs