This kimchi fried rice is the best kind of weeknight dinner – it’s easy, packed with flavor, customizable, and done in under 30 minutes. A total win!
I like to keep a jar of homemade kimchi in my refrigerator at all times. With its pungent garlicky, spicy, and tangy flavors, it’s a simple way to give any dish an instant upgrade. Not only is it tasty, it’s also super healthy since it’s fermented with probiotic bacteria. This kimchi fried rice is one of my favorite ways to use kimchi!
The recipe is from my cookbook, and it’s one I make all the time, so I thought it was about time that I shared it here. Sometimes I make it as a side dish (it’s perfect with Pineapple Soy Grilled Chicken or Korean Beef), but other times I make it a meal by topping it with a fried egg. Since it uses leftover white rice, I like to plan my meals for the week around that – I’ll make a big pot of white rice and have half of it with Crockpot Honey Sesame Chicken, then reserve the rest for kimchi fried rice.
What You’ll Need
Other than the kimchi, you’ll need all the standard fried rice ingredients for this recipe:
- Vegetable oil – Canola oil or another neutral-flavored cooking oil will work too.
- Frozen vegetables – I buy the bag with a blend of corn, peas, and carrots.
- Garlic – You might be tempted to add more than one clove of garlic, but remember: the kimchi is really garlicky too!
- Kimchi – Homemade or store-bought will work.
- Kimchi juice
- Day-old, cooked white rice
- Kosher salt
- Ground black pepper
What if I don’t have leftover white rice?
You really need day-old white rice for good fried rice! If you try to use freshly-cooked rice, it will turn out mushy and oily. If you really can’t wait to make this recipe, you can cook the white rice, spread it onto a rimmed baking sheet to cool, then refrigerate for 20 minutes before making the fried rice.
How to Make Kimchi Fried Rice
Ready for a satisfying dinner in under 30 minutes? Here’s what you’ll need to do:
Scramble the eggs. Heat 1/2 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the eggs and scramble them. Transfer the cooked eggs to a bowl and set them aside.
Cook the vegetables. Add the remaining vegetable oil, onion, frozen vegetables, garlic, kimchi, and kimchi juice to the skillet and sauté until the onion is translucent and softened, about 3 minutes.
Cook the rice. Add the rice to the skillet, using a spatula or wooden spoon to break up any clumps. Reduce heat to medium-low, and continue to stir. Add the scrambled eggs back to the skillet and season with salt and pepper, then serve.
Tips for Success
Once you get the hang of making fried rice, you’ll want to make it all the time! Here are some tips and tricks for this recipe.
- Don’t crowd the skillet. Use the largest skillet you have, or a wok. This keeps the rice from getting soggy.
- Adding a fried egg. If you want to top the fried rice with a fried egg, you can push the rice to the side of the skillet once it’s done cooking and then cook the eggs on the other side one at a time.
- Spicy kimchi fried rice. For a spicier kick, add gochujang paste. Gochujang paste can be found at Asian grocery stores in the Korean section, or in the Asian aisle at your local grocery store.
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
Transfer any leftovers to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Reheat in the microwave or in a skillet set over medium-high heat on the stovetop.
Can This Recipe Be Frozen?
I think kimchi fried rice is best eaten fresh, but if you want to freeze it, you can place it in an airtight container or freezer bag and freeze for up to 2 months. Let it thaw in the refrigerator, then cook it in a skillet over medium-high heat.
Kimchi Fried Rice
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, divided
- 2 large eggs
- 1 small onion, diced (about 1/2 cup)
- 1 cup frozen vegetables, peas, carrots, corn, or others, thawed
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
- 1 ½ cups kimchi, roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon kimchi juice
- 3 cups day-old cooked white rice
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil. Once the oil is hot, add the eggs to skillet and scramble them. Remove the scrambled eggs from the skillet and set aside in a bowl.
- Add the remaining 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil, onion, frozen vegetables, garlic, kimchi, and kimchi juice. Sauté until onion is translucent and cooked through, about 3 minutes.
- Add the rice to the skillet and carefully break it up with your spatula or wooden spoon.
- Turn the heat down to medium-low, and continue to stir the rice into the mixture until all is incorporated. Finally, add the scrambled eggs and season with salt and pepper.
- Serve immediately.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.