This creamy 5-minute Kimchi Aioli is a fresh & hot twist on Asian aioli that adds that zing to your dishes! Perfect as dips & even Korean salad dressing!

P.S. The recipe includes step-by-step photos to make it even easier for you! 😉

close up of kimchi aioli with a spoon pointing to top right corner

In this post you’ll learn:

Why You Will Love This Recipe

  • A unique and tasty fusion of Korean kimchi and creamy aioli
  • Bursting with tangy and spicy flavor that will tantalize your taste buds!
  • Easy to make, even for beginners since it only has 2 super simple steps!
  • Adds a delightful twist to your fries, veggie dips, sandwiches, burgers, and even tacos
  • A guilt-free indulgence with the health benefits of fermented kimchi, and with zero oil unlike the usual aioli
  • Completely plant-based, dairy-free, egg-free, and vegan!🌱
    • Although note that some brands of kimchi do include anchovies and shrimp paste. So definitely check the labels if you’re concerned!

What is the Difference Between Aioli and Mayo?

Traditionally, aioli is made up of only garlic and olive oil. Whereas mayo is made using eggs and neutral oil. Mayonnaise often includes vinegar, mustard, and salt too.

However, an emulsifier might be added to aiolis, such as egg yolk and bread. The same thing with vinegar which is also often added to aiolis, making things a bit more confusing. Because then an aioli using vinegar and eggs is technically considered a mayonnaise.

Anyways, the TLDR answer would be: The easiest difference between the two is that aioli contains garlic while mayo generally doesn’t. On the other hand, mayo usually contains mustard and aiolis typically do not. When in doubt, just check the ingredients to really see what’s inside!

What is Kimchi Aioli?

Kimchi Aioli is a flavorful condiment that combines the creamy goodness of aioli with the bold and tangy flavors of fermented Korean kimchi, resulting in a unique fusion that adds a zesty and spicy kick to your dishes!

Is Kimchi Aioli Spicy?

Yes, Kimchi Aioli does have a spicy kick to it due to the inclusion of kimchi, which is fermented and typically carries a bit of heat. However, the level of spiciness varies depending on the kimchi used since different brands of kimchi have slightly different flavor profiles.

Ingredients

  • Garlic: Finely minced aromatic to infuse the aioli with the classic garlicky flavor.
  • Silken tofu: Adds a velvety texture to the aioli, making it lusciously rich. Psst, it’s the secret ingredient to this super creamy vegan mayo!
  • Rice vinegar: Either of these tangy liquids provides a refreshing acidity that balances the flavors of the aioli. You can substitute this with lemon/lime juice, or apple cider vinegar (see recipe note for more details).
  • Agave syrup: A natural sweetener that adds a touch of sweetness to counterbalance the tanginess of the kimchi and vinegar. Substitutable with maple syrup, or other liquid sweetener of choice.
  • Salt: Just a pinch of salt enhances the overall taste by bringing out the flavors of the other ingredients.
  • Kimchi: These fermented cabbage pieces add a unique and vibrant kick to the aioli, infusing it with a bold and zesty taste.
  • Kimchi juice: A bit of this liquid extracted from the kimchi might be needed to create a more luscious texture!
silken tofu, kimchi, and other ingredients for kimchi aioli with labels

Are All Kimchi Fermented?

Yes, all kimchi are fermented. Fermentation is a key step in making kimchi, where the vegetables, usually cabbage and radishes, are salted and left to undergo a natural fermentation process that develops their distinct flavors.

Is Kimchi a Pickle?

While kimchi is often referred to as a type of pickle due to its tangy and preserved nature, it is not a traditional pickle in the same sense as cucumbers or other vegetables soaked in a vinegar-based brine. Kimchi is primarily fermented using sea salt instead of vinegar.

Does Kimchi Have Alcohol?

During the fermentation process, natural bacteria convert sugars in the vegetables into lactic acid, and in some cases, a small amount of alcohol may be produced as a byproduct. However, the alcohol content in kimchi is typically very low and generally considered negligible. It is unlikely to have any significant intoxicating effects when consumed.

Step-by-step Instructions

Just two super simple steps to make this sauce, I promise it cannot be easier! 😉

Prepare the ingredients: Peel and finely mince the garlic, and drain 3 Tablespoons of kimchi while saving some of that kimchi juice. You might need the kimchi juice if the texture is too thick for you.

Blendy blend: Combine all the ingredients in a tall cup (except the kimchi juice), then use an immersion blender to blend for at least 20 seconds until the mixture is smooth and creamy.

Adjust with kimchi juice: If the texture is too thick, add 1 teaspoon of kimchi juice and blend again. One teaspoon is probably enough but if it is not, feel free to repeat by adding 1 more teaspoon of kimchi juice at a time.

blending the kimchi aioli using an immersion blender from above

And that’s it. I told you it cannot be easier than this! ✌

What to Serve This Aioli With

  • Poké or Buddha Bowls: Incorporate the Kimchi Aioli into nourishing bowls featuring grains, greens, and protein sources like tofu or tempeh for a burst of tangy creaminess. Think of this Rainbow Poké Bowl recipe, plus creamy kimchi aioli, yums!😋
  • French Fries or Sweet Potato Fries: Classic combination which never fails!
  • Sushi Rolls: Use the aioli as your dipping sauce for your homemade sushi rolls to elevate their taste and create a unique fusion of flavors. Double up the kimchi with this Kimchi Sushi recipe, or choose simpler flavors such as this Kappa Maki (Cucumber Rolls) and Shiitake Roll.
  • Veggie Dips: Think of carrot sticks, cucumber slices, or bell pepper strips for a flavorful and healthy snack.
  • Sandwiches and Burgers: Spread a generous dollop of Kimchi Aioli on veggie burgers, grilled sandwiches, or wraps for an extra kick of flavor.
  • Tacos and Quesadillas: Drizzle the aioli over tacos or quesadillas to add a zesty twist that complements the fillings.
  • Roasted Vegetables: Use the aioli as a delicious sauce for roasted veggies, such as cauliflower, broccoli, or sweet potatoes, to enhance their natural flavors.
  • Salad Dressing: Give your salads a Korean twist! Simply thin it out with a bit of water until it reaches your desired consistency!
a dipping bowl of kimchi aioli from above

Storage and Meal Prep Instructions

Storage: This Kimchi Aioli is best when eaten fresh but can be stored for up to 5-7 days, depending on the freshness of the silken tofu. Be sure to keep them in an air-tight container to keep them as fresh as possible!

Note that the water might set on top of the aioli but when this happens, just give it a quick stir to even out the texture.

Meal prep: Since the aioli can be stored for up to 5-7 days, feel free to make a big batch and store it in an air-tight container, or even a sauce bottle. Whenever you want to add them, then it’s super easy to do so!

Freezing: This recipe does not freeze well as it will alter the texture of the aioli. So please refrain from doing so!

a white dipping bowl of kimchi aioli with gochugaru from above

FAQ

I don’t have an immersion blender. What else can I use?

You can also use a regular blender or food processor for this recipe. But just make sure that there are enough ingredients.

Note that you might need to double the recipe if you have a big blender or food processor.

What can we do with leftover kimchi juice?

You can add them to marinades, soups or stews, or make kimchi fried rice. The kimchi juice is so flavorful and is a great addition to many dishes!

Can I use a firm or extra firm tofu instead of silken tofu?

No, silken tofu is a MUST in this recipe and they are not substitutable. With normal tofu, you will not get that smooth texture.

dipping a baked potato fry into kimchi aioli

Want More Recipes Like This?

This recipe is based on my 3-Minute Oil-Free Mayonnaise recipe. If you just want a plain aioli/mayonnaise version, check that out!

For another spicy Korean kick, check out my Gochujang Aioli recipe! Or my Easy Gochujang Ramen recipe for a full meal!

And for some Korean drinks to complement this recipe, I have this Super Pretty 5-Minute Korean Strawberry Oat Milk (Vegan) recipe!

Looking for some Asian snacks? Then check out The Fruity Jem’s sushi series:

Or if you don’t want to bother with rolling your sushi, try this deconstructed sushi recipe aka Rainbow Poké Bowl!

close up of kimchi aioli with a spoon pointing to top right corner
Print Recipe
5 from 3 votes

Kimchi Aioli

This creamy 5-minute Kimchi Aioli is a fresh & hot twist on Asian aioli that adds that zing to your dishes! Perfect as dips & even Korean salad dressing!
Cook Time5 minutes
Total Time5 minutes
Course: Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: Asian, Korean, Mediterranean
Keyword: kimchi aioli
Servings: 16 Tablespoons
Calories: 14kcal
Author: Jem @ The Fruity Jem

Equipment

  • immersion blender (see recipe notes for alternatives)

Ingredients

  • 2 garlic cloves finely minced
  • 10.6 oz silken tofu (300 grams)
  • 2 Tablespoons rice vinegar (30 ml) or sub with apple cider vinegar or lemon / lime juice (see recipe notes)
  • 1 Tablespoon agave syrup (15 grams) or sub with a liquid sweetener of choice
  • ¼ teaspoon salt (5 grams)
  • 3 Tablespoons kimchi drained (45 grams)
  • kimchi juice (5 ml) optional, from the drained kimchi

Instructions

  • Mince and drain: Peel and mince the garlic finely. Then drain your kimchi, saving some of that kimchi juice.
  • Blend: Add all the ingredients together in a tall cup. Using an immersion blender, blend for at least 20 seconds until smooth and creamy.
  • (Optional) Adjust: If the texture is too thick for you, add 1 teaspoon of the kimchi juice. Blend for 5 seconds and enjoy!

Notes

Ingredients Notes:
  • Lemon and lime juice is not as acidic so you might want to add a bit more. Although note that your aioli might then have that lemony/limey flavor, which is also yums!
Equipment Notes:
  • You can also use a regular blender or food processor for this, making sure that there are enough ingredients. Note that you might need to double the recipe if you have a big blender or food processor.
Other Notes:
  • The recipe yields 16 Tablespoons (thus 16 servings) of aioli, which is equivalent to 1 cup.
  • The calorie count shown refers to the count per serving.