Try this all-in-one Korean-style dish brimming with spicy, umami, sweet, and savory flavors! This Kimchi Fried Rice recipe takes only a few minutes to get from pan to plate! Enjoy it as it is, or serve as a side to your fried or grilled entrees.
If you have tried Kimchi Fried Rice at your favorite K-town spot, then you have an idea of how unique this fried rice variation is just like other Asian fried rice like Omurice, Chao Fan, and Thai Fried Rice. And unlike other recipes where fresh is best, this one is better with weeks-old Kimchi and day-old rice!
What is Kimchi Fried Rice?
Kimchi Fried Rice or 'Kimchi Bokkeum-Bap' is classic Korean comfort food that is so quick and easy to prepare yet delivers dynamic flavors. It is made by simply stir-frying the two main ingredients, kimchi and steamed rice along with some seasonings. But for extra flavor and texture, this recipe uses sesame oil and seeds, gochujang (Fermented Korean chili paste), and Furikake. You can enjoy it on its own but even more delicious when paired with Beef Galbi, Bulgogi, or Korean Egg Roll!
Ingredients You'll Need
Cooked Rice - use cold, day-old rice as it has firmer grains and less moisture. If using freshly cooked rice, you can spread it out on a wide platter or baking sheet and refrigerate it until completely cool and has dried out.
Kimchi - It is the primary seasoning for the rice, which gives it a tangy, spicy taste
Gochujang imparts a sweet-savory flavor
Sesame oil and seeds deliver a nutty and oriental flair
Furikake - gives this recipe a briny tone and crunchy texture. If you are unable to buy this, you can try my homemade version used in my Sushi Bake recipe.
Spring onions are more for garnishing but also impart extra aroma and flavor.
Vegetable oil was used for this recipe but you may also use canola, palm, safflower, or corn oil.
Here are some useful tips in making the perfect Kimchi fried rice:
- The drier your Kimchi, the better for your fried rice, so squeeze tight! Too much liquid from the Kimchi will make the rice soggy and unappetizing!
- Use a non-stick pan or a wok if you have it. It will help you ensure that none of the grains will be overcooked. A wok is the best when stir-frying, so it's definitely recommended when cooking fried rice.
- If the fried rice is too dry, add a splash of water to moisten it. Make sure to add in moderation or your dish will become watery and may lose its flavors.
- If you like your Kimchi Fried Rice to have more punch, you may add chili powder, chili flakes, or Sriracha.
- You can make it healthier by adding veggies like diced carrots, bok choy, broccoli, and fresh onions, among other things!
Kimchi Fried Rice Variations
You can use any other protein depending on what you like, here are some yummy ideas for you to try:
- Make a Korean Spam fried rice version by adding fried spam cubes. You can also use other processed meats such as bacon or ham.
- Beef, pork, or chicken strips can are great additions to this fried rice recipe. So if you have leftovers of these, then try this recipe to use them with!
- Make a seafood version by adding shrimp or squid cuts.
- If you're vegan but not fully satisfied with just Kimchi, then you can also add crispy tofu squares.
How to Serve and Store
You can eat and enjoy Kimchi Fried Rice warm or cold. You may top it with additional spring onion and furikake if desired. To make it even more delicious, serve it with fried egg.
This recipe is also great for making ahead if you don't have enough time on your hands. It is perfect if you are planning to make weekly lunch boxes for yourself or the family.
Allow the leftovers to properly cool down before storing. Place them in an airtight container and keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 to 7 days.
Kimchi Fried Rice Recipe
- 4 cups cooked rice day-old rice
- 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon Sesame oil
- 1 ½ cup Kimchi
- 2 tablespoon gochujang Fermented Korean chili paste
- ¼ cup spring onions chopped, plus more for toppings
- ¼ cup Furikake or roasted seaweed flakes plus more for toppings
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seed -optional
- Fried egg- for toppings optional
- 1 ½ cup KimchiSqueeze out the juices from kimchi in a bowl and reserve that for later. Chop kimchi (lengthwise then across) into small pieces.
- 2 tablespoon vegetable oil, 1 tablespoon Sesame oil, 1 ½ cup Kimchi, 4 cups cooked riceIn a wok or pan over medium heat, heat vegetable oil, and sesame oil. Add the kimchi, and stir-fry for a minute. Add the cooked rice and stir together. Press down the rice to break the lumps if any. Stir until completely combined.
- 2 tablespoon gochujangAdd the reserved juices from the kimchi and gochujang and stir well. If rice is too dry add a little water up to ¼ cup. Cook for 5 minutes while stirring from time to time to prevent the bottom from sticking and burning.
- ¼ cup spring onions, ¼ cup Furikake or roasted seaweed flakes, 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seed -optionalRemove pan or wok from heat and add ¼ cup chopped spring onion, ¼ cup furikake, and toasted sesame seeds. Stir until well combined.
- Fried egg- for toppingsTransfer to a serving bowl or divide directly to 4 plates. Top with more furikake and spring onion and serve with a fried egg if desired.