Kimchi fried rice has a lot of things going for it. Not only is it bursting with complex flavors and plenty of nutrients, but it also takes less than 20 minutes to make. With a fried egg on top for some protein and some fresh spinach mixed in, this is one of those all-star weeknight recipes that you’ll love having in your repertoire.
The beauty of kimchi fried rice is that the kimchi does all of the work for you. Kimchi is a traditional Korean fermented vegetable dish that is most commonly made with cabbage. When eaten raw, it is described as being spicy and sour. But when cooked for just a few minutes, the flavors mellow beautifully. Plain rice soaks up all of these flavors like a sponge, and there’s really no need to add many other ingredients.
I’m all about sneaking extra vegetables into my meals, so I like adding spinach to this dish. It goes so well with the cabbage and the spicy Asian flavors, too. I also added some gochujang (a Korean hot red pepper paste) for some extra kick, but it’s not necessary for those looking for a milder dish. Enjoy!
- 2 teaspoons grapeseed oil, or any other mildly-flavored oil for cooking
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 2 cups kimchi, roughly chopped + 3 Tablespoons liquid from kimchi
- 4 cups cooked rice (I recommend day-old rice - I used brown basmati)
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 cups fresh spinach
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tablespoon gochujang paste (optional for extra spice)
- 2-3 eggs
- 1 tablespoon chopped chives
- In a large saucepan, sauté garlic in oil over medium heat until lightly browned.
- Add kimchi, stirring occasionally. Cook for 5 minutes.
- Add rice, sesame oil, spinach, salt and liquid from kimchi to the saucepan, stirring often to ensure the rice doesn't stick. Cook 5 more minutes or until rice is fully heated through.
- Stir in optional gochujang after removing from heat.
- Meanwhile, fry up an egg to top each serving of fried rice (mixing in a scrambled egg is another great option).
- Top each serving of fried rice with the egg and chopped chives. Serve immediately.
Note: I buy my kimchi at a local Korean restaurant, and it’s also available in Asian grocers.
Aren’t you the intrepid one. I like the flavor of kimchi in bibimbap, but can see how it might want some moderating influences along with it. Cooking it sounds like a great tip. I can imagine spinach being a great accompaniment, too.
Like I said, with kimchi’s bold flavor, this recipe highlights your bravery. But it also speaks to your creativity.
I think I have you to thank for my bravery – taking me to all those Indian restaurants as a kid must have worked. And you’re also the one who introduced me to bibimbap all those years ago, for which I am eternally grateful!
This recipe looks amazing, I can’t wait to make it!
Thanks, Alex! I hope you enjoy the dish!