Our kimchi fried rice recipe is so delicious and super easy to make. It’s ideal as a snack or a quick, easy meal. Loaded with kimchi, green onion and topped with roasted seaweed. Keep it a vegan meal option, or add a sunny side egg for an extra protein boost.
In Korea, kimchi fried rice is as common as Chinese fried rice in China. It’s a cheap comfort dish that uses leftover cooked rice and kimchi from the fridge, and it’s made in every household.
Our easy kimchi fried rice recipe
We are keeping it super simple with our kimchi fried rice recipe. This is our rendition of a simple but flavorful kimchi fried rice using only essential ingredients. You only need a total of 6 ingredients to make this kimchi fried rice. We are not using gochujang in this recipe. However, feel free to add a little bit to your liking if you prefer an extra punch of flavor. There are some optional add-on suggestions below if you want to beef it up a bit.
Here’s what you need for our basic kimchi fried rice recipe:
Kimchi – Kimchi is a term used to describe salted, seasoned, and fermented vegetable foods. Kimchi has a long and illustrious history. It’s very common these days, even at regular grocery shops, thanks to the whole fermenting craze among the health food crowd.
The most common type of kimchi is the good ‘ol faithful spicy, napa cabbage variety. This is also the type of kimchi we will be using in our recipe. The best kimchi is homemade in our humble opinion. However, if you don’t have the time or ability to make kimchi yourself, then finding kimchi at an Asian store would be your next best option. The kimchi will most likely be fresher and have a stronger flavor than the mass-produced commercial varieties. If you need a kimchi recipe, try our Easy Napa Cabbage Korean Kimchi – Cut-Up Kimchi.
Rice – Use cooked rice that has been refrigerated for at least a day (or day-old rice). If you have leftover rice in the freezer that needs to be used up, you could use that as well.
Sesame oil – This adds a nuttiness flavor profile to the kimchi fried rice. Koreans love to use sesame oil in a lot of dishes. In our opinion, this is a must-have ingredient for this recipe.
Optional additions for your kimchi fried rice
Kimchi fried rice is even better if you top it with a runny egg and let it drip right into the fried rice bliss. It takes the edge off the heat while keeping you full and satisfied with protein.
We prefer to keep this dish meatless, but you may add rotisserie chicken, ground pork, slices of pork belly, Spam, or even ground beef to make it more filling.
If you prefer more heat, try adding in a bit of gochujang for an extra punch.
How to serve kimchi fried rice
We can eat kimchi fried rice all by itself. It’s like a perfect meal in itself, especially if you decide to add a sunny-side-up egg on top. However, you can also serve more side dishes (banchan) with it. Or serve it alongside the main protein dish, such as our Best Korean BBQ Short Ribs (LA Galbi Gui) recipe.
- 1 cup aged kimchi
- 2 cups day-old cooked rice
- 1 green onion, chopped
- 4 Tbsp seasoned laver/seaweed (Korean kim/nori)
- 1 Tbsp avocado oil
- 1 Tbsp sesame oil
- Gently squeeze the liquid out of the kimchi and reserve the liquid in a small bowl for later. Chop the kimchi into bite-sized pieces.
- Warm the day-old rice in the microwave just for about a minute. We just want it slightly warmed.
- Warm a medium-sized frying pan on medium-high heat. Add in the avocado oil and sesame oil.
- Add in the kimchi the frying pan and stir-fry for about 4-5 minutes.
- Add the rice to the frying pan with the kimchi. If you want to add more of the bold kimchi flavor, then add in the reserved kimchi liquid you saved earlier. If you don’t want to add it, then you don’t have to.
- Continue stir-frying for about 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat. Add chopped green onions, and crumble some of the seasoned laver/seaweed on top of each bowl. Serve and enjoy!
If you are not vegan: Feel free to add a sunny side egg on top for a boost of protein. Or scramble an egg and mix it into the kimchi fried rice.
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