Learn how to make this Easy Kimchi Fried Rice in minutes ... it's a flavor-packed meal that spicy food lovers won't be able to resist!
This post contains affiliate links.
I'm kind of obsessed with Korean food ... I'm constantly craving it, actually! I just love the bold, fresh flavors.
My favorite dishes are pancakes, almost any kind of banchan, bibimbap (my go to order at any Korean restaurant), and kimchi. I can never get enough kimchi. Put a plate in front of me, and it won't last long!
So the first time I tried Kimchi Fried Rice, or Kimchi Bokkeumbap, I was hooked. There was so much flavor packed into that seemingly simple dish, and I knew I had to recreate in my own kitchen.
This spicy Korean-style fried rice with kimchi is the result. It's a simple Korean-inspired recipe that you're going to love making at home!
Easy Kimchi Fried Rice
Now I'm no Korean food expert, so I'm not claiming that this is the most authentic Korean fried rice recipe out there.
But it is pretty darn delicious—if I do say so myself—and it's so simple to make!
Plus, it's spicy. Mmm ... I love spicy food! If you like your food with a little kick (or a lot) or you're looking for recipes using kimchi, then you have to try it.
These fast recipes are the perfect way to use up leftovers and a great way to eat tons of veggies, and this easy Kimchi Fried Rice recipe is no exception.
After a little experimenting, I came up with a vegetarian Kimchi Fried Rice recipe that I like, and I know you will, too. It's even vegan-friendly (just skip the egg) and can easily be made gluten-free, too.
Are you ready to try it?
How to Make Korean Fried Rice
This vegetarian fried rice with kimchi is so easy to make!
Watch the video below for a quick overview of the steps, then keep reading for more detailed instructions.
I love that you don't need a lot of hard-to-find ingredients to make this fried rice with kimchi. In fact, you probably already have most of them in your pantry.
The two Korean ingredients you may not be familiar with are kimchi and gochujang. Kimchi is a spicy, fermented cabbage / vegetable dish ... think of it as sauerkraut's spicier, more lively cousin. It's totally delish and kind of addictive, especially if you enjoy foods that are on the hotter side (although not all kimchi is super spicy).
Gochujang is a red chili paste. This sweet, spicy, fermented condiment is an integral part of Korean cooking. It will add spice and depth of flavor to anything you use it in.
Kimchi and gochujang are not that hard to find. Heck, even my small Texas grocery store had it (and multiple varieties to boot). Find them in the Asian foods section at your store or head to a specialty grocery store, like H Mart. You can also purchase many varieties of kimchi and gochujang on Amazon, which I love for the convenience!
The last time I made this dish, I used King's Kimchi, but I've also made it with Wang Korea Stir-Fried Kimchi. Both were delish and vegan (not all kimchi is vegetarian, so check the label)! I used Sunchang Gochujang sauce,too.
To start this Korean rice dish, you're going to saute onions and carrots in oil, just until they start to soften and brown. Then, you'll add in garlic and ginger for an extra punch of flavor.
Next, comes the kimchi. After you measure the kimchi, drain it over a bowl using a fine mesh strainer. You want to save the juice, because you'll be using it in your recipe.
Chop the kimchi into bite-sized pieces, then add it to your veggies, along with the kimchi juice, gochujang (add as much as you want, for more or less heat), and soy sauce.
Cook this mixture, just until the liquid reduces and thickens. You don't want the pan to be totally dry, but the liquids shouldn't be super runny either. This can take up to five minutes, depending on how hot your pan is.
Then, add your rice. As with all fried rice recipes, make sure to use cold cooked rice (leftover rice is perfect for this recipe), otherwise your finished Korean fried rice will be mushy.
Don't have any leftover rice? I have an easy trick for whenever I'm stuck in this same pickle. Cook a batch of rice (I love using my Instant Pot for this ... perfect every time!). Then, put the finished rice in your freezer, stirring it a few times as it cools. You want the rice to be totally cold (not frozen). This trick works perfectly every time!
Once the rice and kimchi sauce are fully mixed together, a drizzle of sesame oil is all it takes to finish your fried rice.
Kimchi Fried Rice is typically topped with a fried egg. It's a nice way to add a little extra protein to this simple meal.
Can I let you in on a secret? I don't like runny egg yolks ... they kind of gross me out. My husband loves them though, so that's how I make his fried rice.
If you're a runny-yolk-hater like me, you can either immediately break the yolk and stir it into the hot rice (which will cook it), serve your rice topped with an over easy/medium/hard egg or even a scrambled egg, or just skip the egg altogether.
Once you learn how to make this Easy Kimchi Fried Rice, you're going to love how versatile it is!
Feel free to add extra protein, like tofu (or even bacon or chicken if you eat meat) and other veggies, too. You could even stir in some frozen veggies, if you have some bits and bobs straggling in your freezer.
However you make it, this yummy Korean fried rice is sure to become a favorite dish!
Easy Kimchi Fried Rice
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 medium carrot, diced
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 (1-inch) cube ginger root, minced
- 1 cup kimchi, chopped *
- ¼ cup kimchi juice
- 1 to 2 tablespoons gochujang
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce **
- 4 cups cooked long-grain white rice (cold)
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 4 fried eggs ***
- 2 scallions (green parts only), finely chopped
- Heat oil over medium heat in a large skillet.
- Add onion and carrot; cook, stirring frequently, until just starting to brown (about 5 minutes).
- Mix in garlic and ginger; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant (about 30 seconds).
- Add kimchi, kimchi juice, gochujang, and soy sauce to skillet. Mix well, then cook until liquid is reduced and thickened, stirring frequently (about 4 to 5 minutes).
- Add rice to skillet. Cook until rice is coated with kimchi sauce and is heated through (no large clumps of rice should remain).
- Drizzle sesame oil over rice and stir well.
- Divide rice among 4 bowls. Top with a fried egg and sprinkle with green onions. Enjoy!
Love this easy Kimchi Fried Rice recipe and want more?
If you enjoyed this vegetarian Korean fried rice, here are two other Korean-inspired recipes for you to try:
Mmm ... I'm getting hungry just thinking about those sliders and tacos!
Have you ever tried Korean food? What is your favorite dish?