This kimchi fried rice is the perfect weeknight meal—easy to make and ready in just 20 minutes. Top it with fried eggs for something extra!
I remember the first I ever encountered kimchi was over 10 years ago, when one of my college roommates apologized for stinking up the refrigerator with some homemade kimchi. Never in a million years did I imagine that kimchi would become hip in the health food world. (Read this post on how eating fermented foods, like kimchi, is good for our gut health.)
The flavors of kimchi can be quite intense if you’ve never tried it before. Stir frying kimchi with a bunch of rice and soy sauce is a great way to introduce kimchi to your taste buds. I haven’t learned make my own kimchi yet, but it is definitely on my “to make” list this year. If you are looking to buy kimchi at the supermarket, try Sinto Gourmet‘s kimchi. It is one of my favorite brands so far, and it’s organic! The only downside is that their distribution is mostly in Northern California right now.
If you’re looking for more ways to cook with kimchi, check out these recipes from some of my favorite blogs:
- Korean Kimchi Scallion Pancakes (from Hip Foodie Mom)
- Cheese Stuffed Kimchi Pancakes (from MJ and Hungryman)
- Easy Vegan Kimchi (from Minimalist Baker)
MASTERING MY MISTAKES / COOKING NOTES
- Using day-old rice: Traditionally, fried rice was a dish that people cooked to repurpose uneaten rice from the night before. That’s why most fried rice recipes call for day-old rice. If you don’t have leftover rice on hand, cook a batch of rice and spread it over plates or a large baking sheet to cool. Let the rice dry out for an hour or two. Freshly cooked rice has too much moisture, so it’s not ideal for fried rice.
- Fried eggs: If you don’t like eating eggs sunny side up, scramble the eggs in a separate pan. Then, mix the scrambled eggs with the fried rice.
- Kimchi juice: For extra flavor, you can also add 1 or 2 tablespoons of the juice that comes with your kimchi.
- Substitutions: Gochujang, a red fermented soybean and chili paste, compliments the kimchi fried rice very well. This is the brand that I used for the recipe. You can also find gochujang in rectangular (usually red) plastic boxes. Gochujang lasts for a while, as long as you keep it refrigerated. If you can’t find any gochujang, sprinkle red pepper flakes into the fried rice for spice.
Kimchi Fried Rice
Yield 4 Servings
This recipe is a great way to use leftover rice. Feel free to use other grains, such as quinoa or millet. The spiciness of gochujang varies across different brands. I recommend adding a 1/2 tablespoon to the rice first and tasting it. If you want more spice, add another 1/2 or 1 tablespoon of gochujang. You can also add 1 or 2 tablespoons of kimchi juice to flavor the rice.
- 1 1/2 tablespoons high-heat oil, such as sunflower, canola or peanut oil
- 1 cup diced yellow onions (about 1/2 large onion)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 3/4 to 1 cup kimchi, roughly chopped
- 4 1/2 cups cooked jasmine rice
- 2 carrots, shredded
- 2 tablespoons low-sodium tamari (or soy sauce, if not gluten free)
- 1/2 to 1 tablespoon gochujang (optional)
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 scallions, sliced (separate the dark green parts from the light green and white parts)
- black sesame seeds for topping (optional)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, add more if necessary
- 4 large eggs
- In a wok or a large sauté pan, heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of oil over medium-high to high heat.
- Add the onions and cook until they start to turn translucent, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute, until they start to become fragrant. Add the chopped kimchi and stir until heated through, about a minute. Add the rice, carrots and the light green and white parts of the scallions to the wok. Stir to combine everything.
- Add the tamari, 1/2 tablespoon of gochujang and sesame oil, and stir until all the rice has been well coated with all the sauces. Taste the rice. If you want more spice, add another half or full tablespoon of gochujang. Drizzle in a bit more tamari if the rice needs more salt.
- Add the dark green parts of the scallion and stir everything again. Remove rice from heat.
- In a separate pan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and fry up the 4 eggs.
- Serve the rice with the fried eggs. Sprinkle some black sesame seeds on top, if desired.
NUTRITION INFORMATION: Makes 4 Servings, Amount Per Serving: Calories: 453, Total Fat 17g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Sodium: 713mg, Cholesterol: 186mg, Total Carbohydrate: 62g, Dietary Fiber: 7g, Sugar: 5g, Protein 15g
In general, the white and light green parts of a scallion take a little longer to cook. That's why I add them to the work before the dark green sliced scallions.