Making Kimchi Bokkeum(Fried) Bap(Rice) brings back so many memories for me. When I was in high school in Korea, I loved Kimchi Bokkeum Bap so much that I think I had to have it almost every other day. It is also 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. Clean up is pretty easy too so it’s a perfect dish to make when you don’t feel like doing a lot of cooking.
Difficulty: easy Prep Time: 5 min Cooking Time: 15-20 min (if cooked rice is available) Servings: 2 or 1 if you are really hungry 🙂
- 2 C cooked rice (leftover cold rice is best)
- 1 1/2 C old kimchi (신김치 shin kimchi)
- 2 T canola or vegetable oil
- 1~2 tsp korean red chili paste (고추장 kochoojang) (optional)
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp toasted sesame seeds (볶은깨 Bokeun Kkae)
- 1 sheet of dried seaweed or nori (김 Kim) (optional)
- 1 egg (optional)
Some tips on making the best tasting kimchi fried rice-
When using Korean style short grain rice, it works best when you use leftover cold rice. If it was in the fridge it’s even better because it will break apart more easily. But if you don’t have any, 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 less sticky rice.
Kimchi needs to be fully fermented and should taste sour. Should be at least couple weeks old for it to taste good in fried rice.
1. Cut up kimchi into bite size strips.
2. Measure about 1 1/2 C of cut kimchi (more or less to taste) and 2 C of leftover rice.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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.
Now you should have fried rice that’s bursting with flavors of kimchi and gochoojang, the bits of egg breaking up the spiciness and finally bits of the burnt rice -which is the best part!
- if you have leftover bulgogi, you can stir fry bulgogi and kimchi together. This will make a bit sweeter and richer kimchi fried rice.
- you can also stir fry raw pieces of beef or pork and kimchi together before adding 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!