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Sweet Korean Lentils

Sweet Korean Lentils

We can't ever have enough single-bowl meals on our recipe book. We love making them, we love eating them, and we love not having to clean afterwards. With that said, today's recipe is Sweet Korean lentils, another single-bowl meal that will help us expand our repertoire. 

A bowl of sweet Korean lentils is incredibly easy to make, it is super tasty and really filling. We can have it ready from start to finish in about 20 minutes. So if you find yourself in the middle of the week with little time and a big appetite, this recipe is perfect for you. 

The beauty of our sweet Korean lentils is that we can easily find all the ingredients at the market year round. We need rice, lentils, ginger, carrot, shallots and a teaspoon of sesame oil, and a delicious sauce that we are making from scratch

Sweet Korean Lentils ingredients

The sauce has all the Korean taste you could ask for. We need garlic, maple syrup and soy sauce. You will end up with a very tasty sauce but it will be bit thick for us. We can just water it down and check on it while it's on the hot pan.

If you have a hard time finding gochujang paste, don't sweat it. We can still make our sauce, we just have to take another route. Since gochujang paste is basically Korean chili paste, you can just use any other kind of chili. 

Just make sure not to add to much. The chili paste is intended to give our sweet Korean lentils a bit of a kick and enhance the flavours. If you go to hard with the chili paste it could be to spicy to even enjoy. 

I don't manage spicy food well, at all. But I wouldn't leave the chili paste out. It really balances out the sweet taste of this recipe. The sauce has a bit of maple syrup and the cooked carrots also add a hint of sweetness. I love that cooked carrots can do this to food without being overly sweet. So, adding a tiny bit of chilly will be enough. 

chopped carrot and onion

Once the sauce is ready, the lentils need to be simmered in it. We want to let them get infused with all the flavours of the sauce but make sure to not overcook them. It will take about 10 minutes for the lentils to soften. But keep a close eye so you don't end up with a mushy mess. 

The sweet Korean lentils are incredibly tasty on their own. But, since we want a whole meal in our bowl I went ahead and added some much-needed complex carbs. A serving of brown rice goes really well with the taste and consistency of our sweet Korean lentils. And is a good way to pack on nutrients as well. 

This recipe is meant to nourish your body and our soul. It is incredibly delicious and heartwarming, and so easy to make. I hope you love it as much as we do! 

Sweet Korean Lentils top down

Prep time
5 minutes
Total time
Category: Lunch, Dinner
Serves: 4
Allergens: Soy


For the rice

  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 2 cups water

For the lentils

  • 1 medium carrot (washed and diced into small pieces)
  • 1 inch fresh ginger (minced)
  • ¾ cup red lentils (washed)
  • 1 medium shallot (thinly sliced)
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil

For the sauce

  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 tsp gochujang sauce (optional)
  • 2 tbsps maple syrup
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 1½ cups water

For the garnish

  • ½ tsp roasted sesame seeds (optional)


  1. Boil the rice in water until soft for about 20 minutes.
  2. Heat up the oil and sauté shallot, ginger and garlic until fragrant.
  3. Add the diced carrot and sauté until slightly golden brown.
  4. In a small bowl mix the ingredients for the sauce.
  5. Add the lentils and sauce and simmer until the lentils are cooked for about 10 minutes.
  6. Serve the lentils on top of the rice and sprinkle with the garnish, enjoy!

Did you make this recipe? Please take a photo, share it on Instagram and tag it with #veganio. We love to see your photos.

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