Kimchi Fried Rice

The incredibly versatile dish can be personalized with leftovers, aromatics or ingredients from your fridge. At its core, it’s stir-fried rice with onion, garlic, kimchi, kimchi juice and gochujang which is a Korean fermented chile paste. It’s a mouthful of flavors and textures with slightly spicy and sour notes from the kimchi. You can serve this with a fried egg and other side dishes that include pickles or seasoned vegetables.

Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 55 mins
Cooling time: 15 mins
Total time: 90 mins
Servings: 8 servings


  • 2 cups short or medium grain rice, washed and drained
  • 1 1/2 cups kimchi, packed
  • 1/2 pound thick-sliced bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 small onion, chopped, about 1/2 cup
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced on the bias, whites and green separated
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon gochujang
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon canola or other mild cooking oil, or as needed
  • 4 large eggs (optional)
To garnish
  • 1 teaspoon roasted sesame seeds
  • Roasted seaweed snack, thinly sliced


  1. Prepare the rice: In a medium saucepan, combine the rice and 2 cups of water. Cover the pot with a lid and cook rice on medium-low to low heat, until rice grains are tender, 25 to 30 minutes.
    Check the pot about 10 minutes in to make sure the pot isn’t spluttering. If so, lower the heat. The power of stoves varies from stove to stove and my medium-low heat can be your low heat.
  2. Spread rice onto baking sheet: You’ll know the rice is done when it is tender and has absorbed all of the water. When the rice is done cooking, gently spread it out onto a baking sheet in an even layer to let it cool and dry out slightly.
    You should yield 6 1/2 to 7 cups of rice. If you’re working with leftover cooked rice, bring it to room temperature and break up any large clumps.
  3. Squeeze kimchi dry: While the rice is cooling, prepare your other ingredients. Squeeze the kimchi firmly over a bowl so the juices run out. Keep the juice. You will use it later on.
    If you yield less than 1/4 cup of juice, spoon some juice out of the kimchi jar to yield a total of 1/4 cup of juice.
    Coarsely chop the kimchi and set aside.
  4. Cook the bacon: Set a large cast iron or nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chopped bacon to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until the fat renders out and the bacon is lightly browned, about 8 minutes.
    Use a slotted spoon to transfer the bacon to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain excess grease. Leave 3 tablespoons of bacon fat in the skillet and transfer the remaining bacon fat to a bowl; you may want to add a little more fat to the pan later.
  5. Cook the aromatics and kimchi in bacon fat: Add the onions and scallion whites to the bacon fat in the skillet over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are slightly colored, about 3 minutes.
    Add the kimchi and cook, stirring occasionally, until the kimchi is slightly caramelized, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the reserved kimchi juice, salt, garlic, and gochujang and stir-fry until the sauce darkens slightly, about 2 minutes.
  6. Finish the fried rice: Add 2 tablespoons of reserved bacon fat or oil, if needed. Add the rice in batches, tossing to combine and evenly coat the rice with the aromatics, kimchi, and sauce. Let the rice cook undisturbed until the bottom layer of rice gets a little toasty, 1 to 2 minutes. Taste and adjust for salt.
    Add the cooked bacon into the rice and stir to combine. Let the rice sit undisturbed again, another 1 to 2 minutes, then stir again.
  7. Drizzle rice with sesame oil: Divide the rice between 4 bowls and drizzle each with some sesame oil.
  8. Fry eggs: If using eggs, wipe out the skillet and return it to the stove over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of oil. Crack and add the eggs individually and cook sunny-side up until the whites are set and the yolk is at your desired doneness, 3 to 5 minutes. Top the fried rice with the eggs.
  9. Garnish rice and serve: Garnish rice with the scallion greens, sesame seeds, and seaweed. Serve immediately.

Source: Simply Recipes

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