This Kimchi Fried Rice makes for the ultimate weeknight meal, stir-fried to perfection in just a matter of minutes. Fragranced with garlic and green onion and flavored with Gochujang, this Korean fried rice has an incredible burst of flavor in every bite.
What is Kimchi Fried Rice?
Growing up in a Korean household, Kimchi was a staple dish that was served on the dinner table on a daily basis.
Truth be told however, it wasn’t until university that I truly fell in love with the dish, as I’ve begun to realize how versatile Kimchi is in whipping up quick, delicious, and nutritious meals.
Brought together with a few simple ingredients, you can whip up a variety of dishes including Kimchi Stew, Kimchi Fried Rice, Kimchi Pancake, Kimchi stir-fry, and the list goes on!
The best thing about Kimchi is that it’s packed with essential nutrients and countless health benefits, but irresistibly delicious at the same time.
Kimchi is usually served in two ways – fresh or pickled. Fresh kimchi is the best for serving as a side dish (banchan), but pickled kimchi (which is my personal favorite) can transform itself to be a versatile ingredient in Korean cooking.
Making Kimchi Fried Rice, or Kimchi Bokkeumbap (김치볶음밥) is definitely one of my favorite dishes to make during a busy week, thanks to its simple procedure and alluring taste.
How to make Kimchi Fried Rice
Although Kimchi Fried Rice is often made with spam or bacon, I prefer to add tuna in my Kimchi fried rice for two reasons:
- Preparation is easy – as a can of tuna is something that is readily available in your kitchen with a long expiry date
- The texture of the tuna adds a delightful touch to the dish and makes the fried rice so much more flavourful and rich. The combined flavor notes are incredibly complementary, and not to mention its nutritional benefits (high-quality protein!).
Please feel free though, to substitute the tuna with an equal amount of your choice of protein, or even omit it altogether. The Kimchi is the true highlight of this dish and will bring out wonderful flavors even without any additional ingredients.
As mentioned earlier, the best part about Kimchi dishes is that they are so easy to prepare, and in this case just under 10 minutes! Here are the simple steps you need to take to make yourself a batch of delicious kimchi fried rice:
- Chop the aged kimchi to prepare it for stir-frying. I do this in the Korean way, which is to use kitchen shears to quickly cut the kimchi into small pieces.
- It’s important to use aged kimchi (fermented for at least 3 weeks) when it’s used as a cooking ingredient as it is much more flavorful when cooked than the fresh alternative. To make the process faster, you can also leave out a container of kimchi at room temperature overnight for quick fermentation.
- Another trick is to add 2 tbsp vinegar to a cup of kimchi prior to cooking, to simulate the tangy taste of aged kimchi.
- Add cooking oil to a skillet on medium heat, and add the tuna, garlic, and green onions, stirring continuously until aromatic.
- Add kimchi, Gochugaru (Korean red pepper powder), sugar, soy sauce, and mix well with the tuna mixture.
- Stir in cooked rice, Gochujang (Korean red pepper paste), and a dash of sesame oil for the final touch.
- Some excellent garnishes for this dish include chopped green onions, toasted sesame seeds, sunny side up egg, and/or seaweed flakes. Please feel free to be creative with this, and serve the dish catered to your personal preference!
I hope you enjoy this easy and delicious recipe, and please feel free to leave a comment below or message me on Instagram for any questions!
Other Korean recipes you may like:
Kimchi Fried Rice (Kimchi Bokkeumbap)
- 3 tbsp cooking oil
- 1 canned tuna drained, can be substituted with your choice of protein or omitted
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 green onion chopped
- 1 cup aged kimchi diced
- 1 tbsp Gochugaru (Korean red pepper powder)
- 1/3 tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 cups steamed rice preferably day-old, or cooled prior to cooking
- 1 tbsp Gochujang (Korean red pepper paste)
- 1/2 tbsp sesame oil
- sunny-side-up eggs
- green onions chopped
- toasted sesame seeds
- dried seaweed flakes
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add tuna and break it apart with a spatula. Add garlic and green onion and cook until aromatic, about 2 minutes. Combine everything together.
- Add kimchi, Gochugaru (Korean red pepper powder), sugar, and soy sauce. Mix well into the tuna mixture, and mix well until the kimchi is cooked through.
- Reduce the heat to low. Add rice and mix well into the kimchi mixture, ensuring all grains are evenly coated. Add Gochujang (Korean red pepper paste) and sesame oil and mix until well combined.
- Garnish with fried eggs, toasted sesame seeds, green onions, and/or dried seaweed flakes upon preference. Enjoy!