Kimchi Fried Rice in black bowl with wooden spoon


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. 
Course Lunch, rice
Cuisine Korean
Keyword easy prep, easy rice, gochujang, one dish meal, simple, sour kimchi
KoreanCategory Bap (밥)
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 2
Calories 377kcal
Author JinJoo Lee


  • 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.


Kimchi Fried Rice variations
  • Tuna - canned tuna is a great addition to kimchi fried rice. Just drain tuna from can and add it after adding rice.
  • Bulgogi - if you have leftover bulgogi, stir fry bulgogi with kimchi first then add rice. This Bulgogi Kimchi Fried Rice will taste a bit sweeter and richer.
  • Pork  - 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 it anytime!
  • Spam - cut up some spam and stir fry with kimchi. Note, Spam is quite salty so you may want to add more rice to balance the flavor.
  • Bacon - add bacon with kimchi and you have got a great dish because you know..bacon just makes everything better. Cut bacon into small pieces and saute with kimchi first then add rice. Remember to reduce or omit oil  since  you will  get quite a bit of oil from the bacon.
  • Cheese - make it as usual then add a slice of cheese (mild cheddar or mozzarella) on top and let it melt on top while the rice is getting browned on the bottom. YUM!
Top Tips
  • Don't make it SOGGY - Don't make the mistake of making Kimchi Fried Rice with too much kimchi liquid and make the fried rice too soggy. Keep it on the dry side - at least that's how I like it.
  • Use leftover cold rice that comes cold from the refrigerator. The cold rice breaks apart easily with your hands. When cooking rice, just use 2-3 T less water when cooking the rice.
  • Use old sour Kimchi - 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.
  • Cook your favorite EGG style - everyone has a different preference for eggs. Hard cooked, soft or runny..if you like runny eggs, then instead of scrambling the eggs like I do here, top the rice with an over easy or sunny side-up pan-fried egg. The runny yolk will make the fried rice extra yummy!
  • STORAGE/REHEATING - you can store any leftovers in the fridge for up to a week and just reheat in the frying pan on medium heat or in the microwave. You can also freeze it and it reheats well.


Calories: 377kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 81mg | Sodium: 34mg | Potassium: 85mg | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 185IU | Vitamin C: 0.5mg | Calcium: 38mg | Iron: 0.8mg