Asian Recipes/ Dinner/ Korean/ Recipes

10 Minute Kimchi Fried Rice

23/11/2023

King of the leftovers. Use up the rest of your kimchi and yesterday’s cooked rice in this fast and spicy kimchi fried rice. On the table in less than 10 minutes – so good!

Kimchi fried rice in a white bowl with chopsticks, topped with egg, spring onion and sesame seeds.

Why We Love This

Kimchi bokkeumbap has all of your favourite Korean flavours mixed up into one fiery and satisfying dish. The best part – it’s a one pot dish too, so there shouldn’t be too much clean up afterward!

This really is the king of leftovers – not only does it use yesterday’s rice, the last bit of kimchi AND the juice, but it’s also super adaptable to add anything else in the fridge like extra meat and veg.

Related: Chicken Bibimbap / Indonesian Fried Rice

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A white bowl filled with red spicy kimchi fried rice.

What is Kimchi Fried Rice?

The base of this dish is exactly in the name – kimchi and rice! Even in Korean, kimchi bokkeumbap (김치볶음밥) literally translates to kimchi fried rice.

If you ever see the photo on a menu, look out for the bright red rice in a bowl topped with a sunny side up fried egg.

This dish is FAST. Really all you’re doing is cooking the onion and bacon, throwing in the seasoning with the kimchi then tossing through the rice to soak it all up and bam – you’re done. It doesn’t get much quicker than that!

What You’ll Need

  • Cooked Rice – Like all fried rice recipes, this dish is best with yesterday’s rice, stored in the fridge overnight. You can of course cook fresh rice for this recipe, you’ll just need to factor in a little extra time. Using leftover rice is best because the grains will have firmed up a bit and can handle being stirred around the frying pan. Use any style of rice you like, but short to medium grains work best. 
  • Kimchi – The star of this dish! You can use homemade kimchi or your favourite store-bought brand. It’s usually made with cabbage kimchi (the most common and widely available variety), but would also be great with kkakdugi (cubed radish kimchi).
  • Kimchi Juice – Adding extra kimchi juice is a quick and easy way to bring a huge flavour punch to your fried rice. Tip: Avoid this if your kimchi is getting a little overripe as it can start to become too tangy after a while. 
  • Bacon – The extra smoky flavour is amazing! We prefer shortcut bacon but you can use any style you like. 
  • Veggies – We generally add onion only to this fried rice, however when making it at home feel free to add any of your other favourite stir fry or fried rice veggies to make it go even further. 
  • Gochujang / Korean Hot Pepper Paste – One of the key flavours in Korean cuisine. While it is spicy, it has more of a well-rounded, sweet tomato flavour rather than just pure chilli heat. It’s available at Asian grocery stores, well stocked supermarkets in the international aisle, or online. 
  • Other Seasonings – You’ll also need soy sauce, sugar and sesame oil. 
  • Optional Garnishes – This rice is amazing finished off with a fried egg per person. You can also add freshly sliced spring onion / green onion, aonori seaweed powder or furikake rice seasoning, an extra drizzle of sesame oil and/or sesame seeds. 
Ingredients laid out to make kimchi fried rice.

How to Make Kimchi Bokkeumbap

First, gather your ingredients: See recipe card below for measurements.

  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a large frying pan or wok over medium high heat. Add the onion and bacon and fry for a few minutes until cooked.
  2. Add the kimchi and fry for another minute before adding in your seasoning ingredients – kimchi juice, gochujang, soy sauce, sugar and sesame oil.
  3. Toss to coat, then add in your cooked rice and fry for another minute or two until the seasoning has fully coated the rice.
  1. Switch off the heat, serve up straight away into pre-warmed bowls and top with your favourite garnishes such as fried egg, spring onion, seaweed powder or strips, sesame oil and sesame seeds.

Wandercook’s Tips

  • Next Day – While this is already made with leftover rice, we find it actually tastes even better then next day hot OR cold, once the seasoning has had time to really soak into the rice.
  • Watch Your Heat – A hot pan or wok is great for stir frying, but you want the balance of medium high heat to cook your ingredients quickly without burning them.
  • Storage – Keep any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for a couple of days or in the freezer for up to a month. As it’s already leftovers, we wouldn’t reheat more than once!

FAQs

What Korean banchan work best alongside fried rice?

This is quite a spicy dish, so you really want to balance it out with some mellow flavours to suit. We recommend seasoned spinach, bean sprout salad and pickled garlic. We have loads more Korean banchan ideas to serve with it!

Is this a full meal for dinner?

It should be more than enough for two people (four if you’re doubling the recipe). Especially if you’re garnishing with a fried egg. If you’ve got hungry guests at the table, or want it to go further, it goes great along non-spicy Korean dishes such as gungjung tteokbokki, beef bulgogi and haemul pajeon.

Variations

  • Add Protein – Make it go further by adding any protein of your choice. Chicken, prawns or tofu are all really great additions!
  • Add Cheese – Just like in dak galbi, the spicy Korean flavours in this dish go amazingly well with cheese.
A bowl of kimchi fried rice with a spring onion garnish and chopsticks lying on top.

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★ Did you make this recipe? Please leave a comment and a star rating below!

A white bowl on a blue tea towel filled with Korean fried rice and fried egg.

10 Minute Kimchi Fried Rice

King of the leftovers. Use up the rest of your kimchi and yesterday’s rice in this fast and spicy kimchi fried rice. On the table in less than 10 minutes – so good!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Korean
Servings: 2 Serves
Calories: 280kcal
Author: Wandercooks
Cost: $7

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • ½ cup kimchi chopped
  • ½ onion chopped, sub spring onion / green onion
  • 2 pieces shortcut bacon chopped, 100 g / 3.5 oz, sub ham or spam
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil

For the seasoning

For the garnish

Instructions

  • Heat the 1 tbsp vegetable oil in a large frying pan or wok over medium high heat. Add the ½ onion and 2 pieces shortcut bacon and fry for a few minutes until cooked.
    ½ onion, 1 tbsp vegetable oil, 2 pieces shortcut bacon
  • Add the ½ cup kimchi and fry for another minute before adding in your seasoning ingredients – ¼ cup kimchi juice, 1 tbsp Korean hot pepper paste / gochujang, 1 tbsp soy sauce, ½ tbsp sugar and ½ tbsp sesame oil.
    ¼ cup kimchi juice, 1 tbsp Korean hot pepper paste / gochujang, 1 tbsp soy sauce, ½ tbsp sugar, ½ tbsp sesame oil, ½ cup kimchi
  • Toss to coat, then add in your 2 cups cooked rice and fry for another minute or two until the seasoning has fully coated the rice.
    2 cups cooked rice
  • Switch off the heat, serve up straight away into pre-warmed bowls and top with your favourite garnishes such as fried eggs, spring onion, seaweed flakes / aonori, sesame oil and/or sesame seeds.
    fried eggs, spring onion, seaweed flakes / aonori, sesame seeds, sesame oil

Video

YouTube video

Recipe Notes

  • Next Day – While this is already made with leftover rice, we find it actually tastes even better then next day hot OR cold, once the seasoning has had time to really soak into the rice.
  • Watch Your Heat – A hot pan or wok is great for stir frying, but you want that balance of a medium high heat that cooks your ingredients quick without burning them.
  • Storage – Keep any leftovers in a airtight container in the fridge for a couple of days or in the freezer for up to a month. As it’s already leftovers, we wouldn’t reheat more than once!
  • Add Protein – Beef up this dish with any protein of your choice. Prawns, tuna or tofu are all really good additions!

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
10 Minute Kimchi Fried Rice
Amount per Serving
Calories
280
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
4
g
6
%
Saturated Fat
 
1
g
6
%
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
2
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
2
g
Sodium
 
742
mg
32
%
Potassium
 
209
mg
6
%
Carbohydrates
 
54
g
18
%
Fiber
 
2
g
8
%
Sugar
 
6
g
7
%
Protein
 
6
g
12
%
Vitamin A
 
57
IU
1
%
Vitamin C
 
3
mg
4
%
Calcium
 
40
mg
4
%
Iron
 
2
mg
11
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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10 Minute Kimchi Fried Rice

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