Best Store-Bought Kimchi: Our 4 Fermented Favorites

The best kimchi is tangy, crunchy, and salty. And, in all honesty, the best kimchi comes from your local mom-and-pop Asian grocery store. Or if you have an H Mart nearby, you’re in luck! Close your laptop, head over there, and pick out something delicious. 

But finding delicious kimchi can be a little more complicated if you live in an area where authentic Korean groceries are harder to come by. What we have here is a list of the best store-bought kimchi brands that are widely available in the U.S. when you need your fermented cabbage fix. I would happily eat any of these straight out of the container to add a little crunch and tang to my day.

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Best of the Best

Lucky Foods Spicy Seoul Kimchi

Lucky Foods Spicy Seoul Kimchi was, hands down, the best store-bought kimchi we tried because it brought the spice. It’s not crazy hot, but just hot enough to satisfy your craving for something spicy. It’s so fermented and bubbly. The juice is super flavorful and would be wonderful mixed into a bloody mary or drizzled over fried rice. This is the best kimchi we tried and it’s what we’ll be buying from here on out.

Credit: Liv Averett / Instacart

Rating:

10/10

Sporks

Best Vegan

Lucky Foods Original Vegan Seoul Kimchi

The fishy funk of kimchi is one of my favorite things, so I’m just as shocked as you are that a vegan kimchi took the top spot. It really is that good, though! When you crack open the jar, it bubbles. It’s tangy and spicy, but won’t blow out your palate. I would eat this from the jar with chopsticks or serve it over hot white rice. Keep it vegetarian and use it to make spicy cold kimchi noodles or pair it with pork and make some mandu (Korean dumplings). You can’t go wrong because this is definitely one of the best store-bought kimchis.

Credit: Liv Averett / Target

Rating:

10/10

Sporks

Best Mild

Sunja’s All Natural Medium Spicy Kimchi

If you prefer a milder kimchi, Sunja’s All Natural Medium Spicy Kimchi is the way to go. It’s still salty and flavorful, but tastes super fresh and light. Surprisingly, this kimchi is vegan too, and the jar also brags that it’s low in sodium, unpasteurized, non-GMO. I think this would be the perfect jar of kimchi to have in the fridge since it could please all different diets and palates.

Credit: Liv Averett / Whole Foods

Rating:

9/10

Sporks

Best for Cooking

Mother In Law’s House Napa Cabbage Kimchi

If you don’t know much about kimchi but have picked it up at the grocery store in the past, this is probably the kimchi you bought. Mother In Law’s Kimchi was one of the first kimchi brands that was widely available in America, and they make a great product. In my opinion, their “house” napa cabbage kimchi is the best store-bought kimchi we tried for cooking. The kimchi comes in big pieces that made me want to dump out the entire jar on a cutting board and hack away at it. It would be so easy to pull one big bunch of kimchi out of this jar and cut it up with scissors directly into a pan to make kimchi fried rice or the Korean stew budae jjigae.

Credit: Liv Averett / Instacart

Rating:

8/10

Sporks

Other Products We Tried: Trader Joe’s, Simple Truth, Cleveland Kitchen Classic Kimchi, Cleveland Kitchen Mild Kimchi

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About the Author

Jordan Myrick

Jordan is an L.A.-based writer and comedian who believes all food should come with extra sauce. When they're not writing for Sporked, Jordan is at the movies or sharing an order of french fries with their elderly chihuahua.

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  • Did you try the Cleveland brand Classic Kimchi?! It comes in a giant Capri-Sun bag that breathes through a nest little vent. It’s amazing.

    I feel like I may have also had a spicy one from this brand that was better and had apples in it? Help

    Reply