This easy kimchi fried rice recipe is so simple to whip up for a quick lunch or dinner with household staple ingredients and leftover rice. Also known as Kimchi Bokkeumbap (김치 볶음밥) in South Korea, it's a student favourites because it's inexpensive to make but rich in flavor.
Inspiration behind the dish
Although we have never been to South Korea, we have grown to be very interested in their culture, apparently like the rest of the world. We love to cook Korean food because it seems to be so simple, and uses basic ingredients, yet tastes so good! As Tae-Yang once said, he just needs a girl that will eat his kimchi fried rice. We love a simple man.
What is Kimchi Fried Rice and What Does it Taste Like?
Kimchi Bokkeumbap is the equivalent to Chinese Fried rice. Is it a very common dish in South Korea and every household cooks it. It is also very popular amongst the younger generation, as it is an easy and cheap dish to make.
The other reason why it's also a very popular dish, it that although it is very easy to make, it is complex in flavor and texture. The mixture of the Kimchi juice and gochujang makes it spicy, sour, salty and a little bit sweet, while the rice makes it soft and chewy and the Kimchi adds a lot of crunchiness! The least we can see is that... it packs a punch!
Looking for more Korean dishes? Check out these recipes:
- Spicy Creamy Thick Glass Noodles & Rice Cakes
- Gochujang Fried Chicken
- Gochujang Stir-Fried Chicken
- Korean Silken Soft Tofu Stew
- Spicy and Cheesy Kimchi Nachos
What do you put in Kimchi Fried Rice?
The most common ingredients are spam and pork, but any protein can be used. We're sure it would also be delicious with bacon, chicken or beef! It is also common to see diced vegetables, such as onions, zucchinis and carrots. We love to top ours with green onions, roasted seaweed and a fried egg.
Best Rice to Use
Leftover rice is preferred because it is easier to stir-fry since it's dry. When it's fresh and warm, it has tendency to become mushy and the texture becomes less enjoyable.
Best Kimchi to Use
To make this recipe, you need Baechu-Kimchi, which is made out of Napa Cabbage. It is probably the most commonly used and very easy to find in your local Korean grocery store. It is even better if you have some old over-ripened Kimchi, it will make the dish even tastier!
How to Serve Kimchi Bokkeumbap
- It is often served with yellow pickled daikon, also known as Danmuji, and a small bowl of soup.
- You can also eat Kimchi fried rice as a whole meal, or as a side dish to share family-style.
- We love to eat it wrapped in roasted seaweed like these.
- You can also be creative and eat it with lettuce wraps, by adding some pork belly and Ssamjang.
No, you don't! If you don't have it on hand, cook your rice a little more drier and this should do the trick and wait for it to cool down.
Absolutely! Remove the egg and add vegeterian-friendly protein such as Tofu or Tempeh.
The recipe uses very basic ingredients for a typical Asian household such as sesame oil, low sodium soya sauce, canola oil.
Gochujang is easy to find in local asian grocery stores nowadays, but you can also get it here. Kimchi should also be simple to find, just watch out to get the Napa cabbage one.
This recipe is so easy and quick to make, you can whip up this recipe in 20 minutes.
- Heat canola oil on a pan over medium high heat and cook the garlic until tender and fragrant. Add the chopped kimchi and stir fry for about 2 minutes.
- Add the cooked white rice into the pan and combine well, breaking off any lumps. Combine the kimchi juice and mix well while occasionally scraping off the bottom of the pan to make sure that nothing is sticking.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the gochujang (Korean red pepper paste) and soy sauce. Add the mixture into the fried rice and mix well until all the rice are equally coated and are of the same color. Sprinkle sugar and season with salt to taste. Top with sesame oil and mix well.
- Serve on a bowl or a plate and top with fried eggs, roasted seaweed, and green onions.
Easy Kimchi Fried Rice (Kimchi Bokkeumbap)
- 2 cups cooked white rice
- 3/4 cup kimchi chopped
- 2 tbsp kimchi juice
- 1 clove garlic finely minced
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp gochujang Korean red pepper paste
- 1 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 tbsp canola oil
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- salt to taste
- egg for topping
- roasted seaweed for topping
- green onions for topping
Heat canola oil on a pan over medium high heat and cook the garlic until tender and fragrant. Add the chopped kimchi and stir fry for about 2 minutes.
Add the cooked white rice into the pan and combine well, breaking off any lumps of rice. Add the kimchi juice and mix well while occasionally scraping off the bottom of the pan to make sure the rice is not sticking.
In a mixing bowl, combine the gochujang (Korean red pepper paste) and soy sauce. Add the mixture into the fried rice and mix well until all the rice are equally coated and are of the same color. Add sugar and season with salt to taste. Add sesame oil and mix well.
Serve on a bowl or a plate and top with fried eggs, roasted seaweed, and green onions.