Kimchi Fried Rice Recipe that is simply the best. This Kimchi Fried Rice recipe is a tried and true recipe that dates back to my college days. And it’s great way to utilize old sour kimchi.
Kimchi Fried Rice or Kimchi bokkeumbap (김치볶음밥) always brings back so many memories for me. When I was in high school in Korea, I loved Kimchi Bokkeumbap so much that I think I had it almost every other day. I think I was kind of addicted to it..and of course that ‘was just entirely too delicious for my figure’… HAHA. Kimchi Bokkeumbap is also one of the first Korean food that I learned to make for myself as a grad student living in the US. I made it for myself often whenever I had the time or needed some Korean food fix. This is such a satisfying dish and yet it’s so easy to make.
During grad school days, I usually had it straight from the frying pan – no need to get another dish dirty, right?? 😜 😝 If you want to know, eating Kimchi Fried Rice straight from the pan, especially after the bottom is well burnt, is truly the BEST way to eat it. But ssshhhh… don’t tell my mom that because she always yelled at me if I ever tried to do that. Don’t eat like that – she said. That’s no way for a lady to eat – she said. So needless to say, eating straight from the pan gave me an extra joy of ‘doing whatever I wanted’ now that I was no longer living at home. I guess my daughter will feel the same way I’m sure. Only problem was when I ate from the pan, I ate and ate until it was all gone without really realizing how full I was.
Now, I don’t know about you but I do NOT like my fried rice soggy or mushy. So many people make the mistake of making Kimchi Fried Rice with too much kimchi liquid and having the rice too wet which makes the fried rice too soggy. The key to also making the best Kimchi Fried Rice is to let some of the rice burn in the pan. There’s nothing better than burnt Kimchi Fried Rice!!
Oh and the clean up is pretty easy too as everything is done in one pan! So it’s a perfect dish to make when you don’t feel like doing a lot of cooking.
BTW, this post originally was posted in April of 2011 which was just about 4 months after I started blogging. I had no idea what I was doing then and look at this photo below – Wow.. can you see the difference?? I guess I have come a loong way..
TIPS on making BEST Kimchi Fried Rice
- Use leftover cooked rice that comes cold from the refrigerator. The cold rice breaks apart easily if you use your hands. Instead of trying to break the rice in the pan with a spoon or spatula, use your hands to break it apart into granules. But if you don’t have any cold rice, you can certainly cook some rice and use it while it is hot. Just use 2-3 T less water when cooking the rice so you end up with a more dry rice that doesn’t stick together as much.
- Kimchi needs to be fully fermented and should taste sour. Should be at least couple weeks old for it to taste good in the fried rice. If you don’t have well ripened sour kimchi, you can add a bit of maesil syrup or even a little vinegar to add some tartness to it.
Kimchi Fried Rice Recipe (Kimchi Bokkeumbap)
Servings:2 Prep Time: 5 min Cooking Time: 15-20 min (if cooked rice is available) Servings: 2 Difficulty: easy
- Cut cabbage kimchi into bite size strips.
- Measure about 1 1/2 C of cut kimchi (more or less to taste) and 2 C of leftover rice.
- If you want to add eggs to your fried rice, cook them first. Just add little oil (1 tsp) and an egg to pan, break it up and cook until they are done. Set aside.
- Heat 2 T of oil in frying pan over medium high heat. Add kimchi, sugar and gochujang and stir fry for 5 min. or until the kimchi becomes soft and a slightly translucent. Omit gochujang or use less to make it less spicy.
- Turn heat to low and add rice to pan. Break up the rice with your hands or press down the rice with a spatula or spoon to mix it with the kimchi.
- Once kimchi and rice are all mixed in, add the scrambled egg. Taste a bit of the rice – you can add more rice if it’s too salty or spicy. Be sure to add a bit more oil if you add more rice.
- Finally, add toasted sesame seeds and torn pieces of toasted seaweed/nori to rice mixture. Use plain, unsalted dried, toasted seaweed (gim) if you can. The roasted seaweed with oil and salt can make the fried rice too salty so be careful not to use too much. Increase heat back to medium and leave it unturned for 3-4 min to make the bottom part a little burnt.
Now you should have fried rice that’s bursting with flavors of kimchi and gochujang, the bits of egg breaking up the spiciness and finally the bits of the burnt rice which has all the wonderful flavors nicely melded together.
Kimchi Fried Rice Variations:
For extra richness, top the rice with an over easy or sunny side-up pan-fried egg. The runny yolk will make the fried rice extra yummy!
- Bulgogi Kimchi Fried Rice – if you have leftover bulgogi, you can stir fry bulgogi and kimchi together. This will make a bit sweeter and richer kimchi fried rice.
- Kimchi Pork or Beef Fried Rice – you can also stir fry raw pieces of beef or pork and kimchi together before adding rice. If you like pork, you can use my 3-in-1 Kimchi Pork Freezer Recipe to make Kimchi Fried Rice anytime!
- Kimchi Spam Fried Rice – cut up some spam and fry with kimchi. Spam is quite salty so you may want to add more rice to balance the flavor. Thank you to my friend Soo for mentioning it to me!
- Kimchi Bacon Fried Rice – add bacon with kimchi and you have got a great dish.
One of the first Korean dish I learned to make for myself as a college student and I made it for myself often whenever I had the time or needed some Korean food fix. It is a very satisfying dish and yet it’s pretty easy to make.
- 2 cup cooked rice (leftover cold rice is best)
- 1 1/2 cup old kimchi (신김치 shin kimchi)
- 2 Tbsp canola or vegetable oil
- 1-2 tsp korean red chili paste (고추장 gochoojang) (optional)
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp toasted sesame seeds (볶은깨 Bokeun Kkae)
- 1 sheet dried seaweed or nori (김 Kim) (optional)
- 1 egg (optional)
Cut up kimchi into bite size strips.
Measure about 1 1/2 C of cut kimchi (more or less to taste) and 2 C of leftover rice.
If you want to add eggs to your fried rice, cook them first. Just add little oil (1 tsp) and an egg to pan, break it up and cook until they are done. Set aside.
Heat 2 T of oil in frying pan over medium high heat. Add kimchi, sugar and gochoojang and stir fry for 5 min. or until the kimchi becomes soft and a slightly translucent. Omit gochoojang or use less gochoojang to make it less spicy.
Turn heat to low and add rice to pan. Break up and press down the rice with a spatula or spoon to mix it with the kimchi.
Once kimchi and rice are all mixed in, add the scrambled egg. Taste a bit of the rice – you can add more rice if it’s too salty or spicy. Be sure to add a bit more oil if you add more rice.
Add toasted sesame seeds and torn pieces of toasted seaweed/nori to rice mixture. Use plain, unsalted dried, toasted seaweed(kim) if you can. The roasted seaweed with oil and salt can make the fried rice too salty so be careful not to use too much. Increase the heat back to medium and leave it unturned for 3-4 min to make the bottom part a little burnt.
And if you want to watch a video of how I make the 3-in-1 Kimchi Pork Dishes (Kimchi Jjigae with Pork Belly, Kimchi Pork Tofu and Kimchi Fried Rice with Pork) here it is!