With Korean fermented cabbage as its base, this Kimchi Fried Rice is a great weeknight dinner when you want to spice it up a bit. It’s tangy and spicy and a great way to use up leftover rice or cauli-rice and veggies in your refrigerator. It is vegetarian, paleo friendly (with cauli-rice) and ready in under 30 minutes.
Kimchi Fried Rice
With the busy holiday season upon us we thought it was time to make a quick and easy weeknight dinner that is also SUPER DELICIOUS and fun. And we love a good fried rice here at LCK, and this Kimchi Fried Rice is no exception! I almost always have Kimchi hanging around in my fridge (it lasts nearly forever) which makes it the perfect base to add to a fried rice that uses primarily pantry items. It’s super flavorful and we’ve included directions to make this with white rice or cauli-rice.
What is kimchi?
In short kimchi is fermented vegetables! It is native of Korean cuisine and can range from spicy to mild depending on what brand you are buying (or making, if you’re feeling adventurous). Aside from being delicious Kimchi is a nutrient dense food but probably what makes me most excited about it is the naturally occurring probiotic strains that occur during fermentation. This is a great food to eat if you’re in the process of healing your gut or you want to have healthier digestive functions.
What type of kimchi should I buy?
A good kimchi will bring a balance of salty, sour and spicy flavor while holding a nice crunch to it. We’re partial to kimchi made from cabbage, but really the most important thing is to buy a kimchi that has only natural ingredients added to it. In other words, if you can’t pronounce or clearly recognize anything on the ingredients label, skip it!
Tips for making a good stir fry:
Fried rice is a stir fry using rice as the base instead of noodles. It’s a simple dish to make, but the following tips will make sure that your fried rice will shine:
- Make sure your pan is nice and hot! We like to use a cast iron skillet for this, which retains heat nicely! But if you have a wok feel free to use that.
- Have all ingredients ready and prepped before you begin cooking!
- Use a high heat oil, like avocado oil.
- Always top it with a fried egg!
If you like this stir fry recipe, check out these others:
- Stir-Fry with Garlic Scallion Cauliflower Rice
- One-Pan Shrimp and Green Beans in Chinese Garlic Sauce
- Cauliflower Fried Rice
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil
- 1 cup baby bella mushroom, diced
- 2 scallions, sliced thin, green and white parts separated
- 1 large carrot, peeled and finely diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 3 cups leftover white rice (see note)
- 1 cup kimchi, chopped with juices
- 1/2 cup peas (frozen is fine)
- 2 tablespoons asian chili paste (we like sambal oelek)
- 2 eggs, scrambled
- 1 handful baby spinach
- 2 teaspoons coconut aminos
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, or to taste
- black sesame seeds, for garnish
- nori strips, for garnish
- additional eggs for frying, optional
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add oil. Once hot add mushrooms and cook until liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes.
- Add the white part of diced scallions (reserve green for garnish) and carrots and cook until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Add in garlic and cook for an additional 30 seconds.
- Add sesame oil and rice and cook until heated through, about 3 minutes.
- Add kimchi, frozen peas and chili paste and heat through, about 3 minutes.
- Make a well in the center and pour in the scrambled egg. Cook until the egg has almost set and then move it around to scramble.
- Shut off heat and add baby spinach and coconut amino and stir until the baby spinach has wilted. Taste and add salt, about 1/2 teaspoon.
- Top with optional sesame seeds, nori strips and a fried egg and serve immediately.
- You can make this instead with cauli-rice by substituting 4 cups fresh cauli-rice for the 3 cups white rice in the recipe.
- Don't have leftover cooled rice? We tested this with frozen fully cooked white rice too! It was slightly more wet, but definitely a useful substitution when you want to make this but don't have leftover rice.