Quick Kimchi Fried Rice
Looking for a side dish or a main meal to make with your leftover rice? Make kimchi fried rice! You only need a handful of ingredients for this, and it tastes great with a fried egg on top!
Let me start by saying that in no way is kimchi fried rice the most photogenic thing to picture.
In fact, I don’t see it winning any beauty awards anytime soon. But you know what it is good at? Tasting. We’re talking about sauteed onions, a quick grab of frozen peas and carrots, leftover rice, a little soy sauce, a little hot sauce and basically what you have in lunch or dinner in a snap. Top off homemade kimchi fried rice with a fried egg, and you’ve got a restaurant or food truck quality dish right at home. All within 15 minutes.
Have you had a chance to make the instant pot Korean beef recipe I shared last week on the blog? Can I just say that today’s kimchi fried rice would make the perfect rice dish to add to your bowl or burrito? Swap out the kimchi and the bland white or brown rice for this stuff, and I guarantee a flavor explosion is in your future.
Speaking of kimchi, have you ever had it?
If you’re unfamiliar with it, it’s a type of salted, fermented cabbage. Newbs like me usually use it as a condiment to spice up things.
Last year, during our west coast trip, was the first time I ever had it. I’m not going to lie, the thought of fermented cabbage made my stomach churn in the least appetizing way. But when you’re in L.A. you take food risks, and this was mine. And I’m happy to report; I’m so glad I did. My first kimchi experience was on a bed of tortilla chips topped with sriracha mayo and all sorts of other things. And let’s just be honest, if you’re new to a type of food, the most comforting way one can experience it is with it doused in melty hot cheese sauce, on a bed of crispy chips.
I’m sold. Kimchi lova forevah.
Let’s talk about today’s quick kimchi fried rice recipe. And when I say fast, I mean 15 minutes from start to finish and you’ve got lunch or dinner on the table. Top it off with a fried egg and you’ve basically made me something I’m willing to eat every day for the next 365 days in a row.
This starts with the kimchi. I usually purchase kimchi from Whole Foods. They keep it in the refrigerated food section near the fresh veggies. I just want to point out, if you’re someone who follows a strict vegan or vegetarian diet, be sure you check the ingredient label on the brand you purchase. Some brands use fish sauce or bone broth in their kimchi. Personally, I like the Wildbrine brand. It’s vegan and it’s not too spicy. You’ll start by putting the kimchi through a sieve; we want to separate the juice from the actual cabbage. Trust me; you don’t want that liquid hitting the hot oil and splatting all over your stove and you.
Been there, done that, learned my lesson.
Once you’ve separated it, it’s smooth sailing; you’ll add the liquid into a bowl with hot sauce, soy sauce, and a little sesame oil and save it till the end when you’re finishing off the fried rice. Heat your skillet, and then we’ll saute the onions and the chopped kimchi. If you prefer your eggs scrambled rather than fried and yolky, I’d add about 3 of them into the skillet and this point and just toss it all together with the frozen peas and carrots and cooked rice. And drizzle in the sauce we made earlier and let it all cook up until the rice starts to sizzle! If you’re into the fried egg scene, I’d suggest doing that in a separate skillet and topping off your kimchi fried rice with it. Can’t go wrong with it either way though!
And that’s about it for this quick and easy kimchi fried rice. P.S. if you’re watching the carbs, you can swap 1/2 the rice with caulirice, and you won’t even miss it! Or make this your cheat meal for the week and go in full throttle.
I chose the latter.
- 1/2 cup packed kimchi + 3 tablespoons juice
- 2 teaspoons gochujang or sriracha (or more to taste)
- 3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- splash of oil
- 1/2 cup diced onions
- 1 cup frozen peas and carrots
- 2 - 2 1/2 cups cooked rice
- 3-5 eggs
- 3 scallions, chopped (greens only)
- sauce: start by placing a sieve over a bowl. Add the kimchi and press down using a spoon. Measure out as much of the sauce in a bowl from the kimchi as you can before getting more from the container. Stir in the gochujang, soy sauce, and sesame oil and set aside. If the kimchi is in large pieces, you can chop it up a little bit.
- veggies: Add a splash of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and saute them until tender and fragrant, about 4-5 minutes. Add the chopped kimchi and the peas and carrots and allow them to defrost and become tender.
- eggs (optional): If you'd like to add the eggs in, scramble 3 eggs in a bowl. Make a well in the center of the skillet and pour in the egg mixture and scramble. For fried eggs on top, omit this step.
- fried rice: Add the rice to the skillet and stir everything together. Pour in the prepared sauce and stir until everything is coated evenly with the sauce. When the rice starts to sizzle, it's done. Top with the chopped scallions. For fried eggs, fry them up in a separate skillet and serve them on top!
- 'Kimchi juice' is just the liquid it comes packed in.
- If you're vegan, you can simply omit the eggs and serve it with scrambled tofu if you wish! If you follow a vegan or vegetarian diet, I'd suggest checking the ingredient label before purchasing kimchi to ensure it fits your diet. Wildbrine is the brand I used and it's vegan-friendly!