Traditional recipes

Kimchi Bokkeumbab (Kimchi Fried Rice)

Kimchi Bokkeumbab (Kimchi Fried Rice)


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Kimchi Bokkeumbab (Kimchi Fried Rice)

Hugh Jackman provided me some inspiration for tonight's dinner, Ginger Fried Rice Korean-style, a dish he apparently loves according to People magazine (but I'm thinking the wife would probably had benefited from some kind of soup for her sudden sickness). Enough so to become a goodwill ambassador for Seoul and a fan-favorite in Korea. Anyways, I found this article in People today and decided to change it up a little bit (adding scrambled eggs and Korea's staple food kimchi). The family loved it along with a bean sprout banchan side dish that I prepared for them. The recipe provided is my version of this delicious recipe. This and other recipes can be found at www.oliviajasonkim.com. ^^

Ingredients

  • 4 cooked rice
  • 3 minced garlic
  • 1 minced ginger
  • 2 green onion, finely sliced
  • 6 eggs, 4 sunny side up
  • 2 soy sauce
  • 1 sesame oil
  • 1 sesame seeds
  • 1 kimchi, diced or chopped
  • 2 olive or vegetable oil

How To Make Kimchi Fried Rice (Kimchi Bokkeumbap)

Kimchi Fried Rice is easily the simplest dish with kimchi. Rice is an essential part of our asian life, and fried rice is just one in a thousand ways to spice up the recipe of rice. With fusion food becoming more popular, Kimchi Fried Rice recipes are becoming more and more widespread. There are thousands of different kimchi fried rice recipe. But today, I'll be sharing with you my favourite kimchi fried rice recipe. But first, I have some secrets to share with you.

With kimchi fried rice, left over rice taste better. Because, the rice is a little drier than freshly cooked rice, therefore it is more suitable for absorbing the sauce while staying chewy.

There a secret ingredient to differentiate normal fried rice and kimchi fried rice. Other than Kimchi, the secret ingredient is, Gochujang! Gochujang is a korean chilli paste that is often found in our neighbourhood supermarket, NTUC, Cold Storage or Sheng Shiong. For people who dislike spice, don't worry. Gochujang has a sweet base with a whiff of spice.

Finally, this is my favourite recipe for kimchi fried rice.

INGREDIENTS

  • ½ can Luncheon Meat
  • 2½ tbsp Gochujang
  • 1 tbsp Light Soy Sauce
  • 1 tbsp Sesame Oil
  • ⅛ cup Water
  • 1 cup chopped kimchi
  • 1 tbsp Oil
  • 2 cups Korean Rice (Uncooked Grain)
  • 1 Fried Egg (optional)
  • Shredded Nori (optional)
  • Sesame seeds (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Dice up some luncheon meat. You may also prepare other meat of your choice.

2. Prepare fried rice sauce, mix gochujang paste, soy sauce, sesame oil and mirin in a bowl. Put this aside.

3. Add oil in a dryer pan and stir fry the kimchi. When the vegetables are half cooked add in the luncheon meat.

* If you're doing this with other meat, cook the meat first under medium heat. Stir fry till it turns brown on the edges and the fats starts to melt. Remove the meat from the pan and add it in after frying the kimchi.

4. Add your cooked rice and stir.

5. Season with our fried rice sauce and stir again!

6. Push down your rice with your spatula, allow it to cook for 3-4 minutes over medium heat to allow the rice on the bottom to get a-little crispy (be careful not to burn it!)

7. You may choose to garnish with a fried egg, seaweed and/or sesame seed to top off your dish! (optional)

Do try it out and share with us on our Instagram! Excited to see all of your creations! Meanwhile, stay safe and good luck!


INGREDIENTS

Kimchi
For 2 servings, ⅛ of a whole napa cabbage kimchi is used which is equivalent to 1 cup of chopped kimchi (¼ inch pieces) or about 175 g in weight.

Use spicy napa cabbage kimchi for best results. If you have good-tasting kimchi, it's hard to go wrong. If you have to use kimchi that's pretty bland, add some gochugaru (red chili flakes) and season with salt.
Over-fermented (sour) kimchi is ideal for this dish. If you are using non-sour kimchi, add a little bit of vinegar to add sour taste.

Rice
Use Korean rice, also known as short grain rice, sticky rice or Japanese rice. See cooking white rice in a pot and cooking white rice in a rice cooker. For fried rice, make the rice a little drier than usual by adding a little less water. This prevents your Kimchi Fried Rice from becoming too soggy. White rice is usually used for Kimchi Fried Rice, but multigrain or brown rice is okay too.

Take it to the next level
Adding kimchi juice always make it better. If you add enough kimchi juice, you don't need to season with salt.

Also, cut kimchi into small pieces so the kimchi flavor is brought out and absorbed into the rice. Make sure you cook kimchi thoroughly before adding rice.

If you are using old cooked rice that has been in the fridge, be sure to mix it thoroughly with kimchi so there is no lump and all the rice is completely warmed up.

If you are making rice just for Kimchi Fried Rice, make it a little drier than usual by adding a little less water. This prevents your Kimchi Fried Rice from becoming too soggy.

You can also make the bottom part crispy by spreading the fried rice thin on the pan and leaving it on low heat until the bottom gets crispy.

Variations
Many people like to add ham, meat or other vegetables like onions, zucchini and carrots. Bacon, surprisingly, pairs well with kimchi too. If you like to add other ingredients, chop them into fine bits and sauté them with the kimchi until they are thoroughly cooked. Remember not to put in too much of the other ingredients so as to avoid the other flavors overpowering that of the kimchi.

You can also add sesame oil at the end for a nutty flavor and smell.

Adding sugar can also balance out the sour taste and make it more palatable, though it is not necessary.

More questions? Please leave your questions below in the comments section. We will do our best to answer as soon as we can.


How to make kimchi fried Rice

The basic technique involves stir-frying the kimchi typically with some aromatic vegetables and seasonings until the kimchi turns soft and deep in color. This step brings out rich flavors of the kimchi.

If you&rsquore using uncooked meat, cook the meat before stir-frying with the kimchi. It doesn&rsquot need to be completely cooked through. When I use bacon, I cook it until it turns slightly brown and crispy.

It&rsquos much faster if you use cooked meat or canned tuna (drained). Simply throw it in while the kimchi is being stir-fried.

After adding the rice to the pan, stir constantly over medium low heat, breaking up the rice clumps, until everything is well incorporated. This will keep rice from sticking to the pan too much. Once the rice is evenly coated with the seasoning, turn up the heat high and stir only occasionally so the rice can get nicely toasted.


Recipe Notes

My recipe is a pretty close adaptation of one found on my go-to Korean food blogs, Maangchi. I've adapted it to my tastes, adding a little punch of sweetness in the form of mirin and with a little bit more white rice. I've also given the option of substituting spicy doubanjiang (Chinese spicy bean paste) for gochujang if you want a slightly more savoury, pungent hit. Kimchi fried rice is really popular in Taiwanese restaurants, and Chinese ingredients in general can merge well with the dish to create interesting fusions. I don't garnish my fried rice with flaked gim (aka nori seaweed), but you can certainly give that a shot if you like. This is basically comfort food, so feel free to experiment. The biggest factor affecting your final dish is going to be the quality and character of the kimchi you use, so make sure you like that before going any further!

If you're serving kimchi fried rice as a meal unto itself, a fried egg is often served on top to bring a little protein into the mix.

Note that the recipe tags below indicate that this is a pescetarian/vegetarian-optional recipe. This might seem odd, as there is neither meat nor fish on the ingredient list, but this is actually thanks to the kimchi kimchi is generally made using Korean fish sauce and/or small salted shrimp. There are some great vegetarian kimchi recipes out there, so if you want to go all-in, this can actually be a vegan dish (assuming you don't add an egg, of course).

If you're looking to add meat to this dish, a little bit of ground pork is a very popular addition (especially at the aforementioned Taiwanese restaurants I've been known to frequent). If you want to make this variation, simply add about 150 g of ground pork along with the other ingredients in Step 3 of the instructions below, and extend the stir-frying time by about 2 minutes.


Kimchi fried rice

This simple, simple dish is super, super tasty. It’s just a few ingredients, but it’s a dish much loved by Koreans.

This version is simple, but you can dress it up with a bit of beef or pork. I posted a version of this recipe a few years ago that included the leftover sauce and drippings from a simple version of bulgogi, but the recipe was without a video. Eventually I made a video for more traditional bulgogi, and now I made a video for kimchi bokkeumbap too.

Many Koreans also like to put a fried egg on top, but my family prefers this simple version. When my son lived in the school dorm, visits with him were rare. I talked to him on the phone before he came and I asked:

“What food do you miss the most? I’ll make it for you when you come.”

I figured I would need some time to prepare and shop ahead of time, but he answered: “I miss kimchi bokkeumbap.”

“What? That’s it? Is there anything else?”

As you see in this video, you don’t need to prepare much in advance for kimchi bokkeumbap if you have kimchi and rice on hand. So of course I made it for him, along with grilled beef and lots of high protein food. As soon as he came home, I was ready to stir fry. He loved it!

Ingredients

  • 3 bowls steamed rice (3 cups)
  • 1 cup chopped kimchi
  • ¼ cup kimchi juice
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2-3 tablespoons gochujang
  • 3 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon roasted sesame seeds
  • 1 sheet of kim, roasted and shredded

Directions

  1. Heat up a pan. Add the vegetable oil.
  2. Add the kimchi and stir fry for 1 minute.
  3. Add rice, kimchi juice, water, and gochujang. Stir all the ingredients together for about 7 minutes with a wooden spoon.
  4. Add sesame oil and remove from the heat.
  5. Sprinkle with chopped green onion, roasted gim, and sesame seeds. Serve right away.

243 Comments:

Hello! Thanks for the recipe. Tried it today, without gim, but it was amazing.

Hi Maangchi!
Thanks so much for the recipe! I didn’t know anything about Korean cooking, but was able to make a delicious dinner following your video. Since I don’t have a lot of experience, I was wondering if you could help me out with something. I tried to fry the rice so that it was a little crispy on the outside, but my rice kept sticking to the bottom of the pan, and when I tried to scrape it up, the soft part of the rice pulled free, leaving the layer of crisp on the pan. I was unable to achieve any level of crispiness in the final product. Does this have to do with pan heat? Oil? Type of pan? Something else?
Thanks in advance for any advice!

Oiled cast iron on medium high heat usually works the best for me, and stainless steel the worst.

I’ve attempted this several times before but without gochujang… I didn’t know what I was missing. Gochujang is magic.

I doubled everything in the recipe and added eggs, spam, and chinese sausage. GLORIOUS. This will last me a week (if I have self-control).

Mouthwatering! “I didn’t know what I was missing. Gochujang is magic.” You are very right! : )

Hi Maangchi, thanks for your comment. I made this again, but with some small adjustments.

1. Before cooking, I spread the newly-made steamed rice on a baking sheet and set it in front of a room fan for 5 minutes, which dried it out very quickly. This made a huge difference in the end result compared to using rice straight out of the rice cooker.
2. I removed the kimchi from the pan after stir frying it and put the rice in the pan by itself for a couple minutes, which gave it a really nice crispy texture on the outside.
3. I didn’t add the 1/4 cup water mentioned in recipe. I only added the kimchi juice.

With these changes, the rice was less mushy and even better this time (I didn’t think that was possible).

I just got back to the states after a short trip in Korea. I’m planning on moving to Korea after I graduate, in order to travel the world and teach. After my short trip, I had the wildest cravings and even though there are a lot of Korean restaurants where I live, I wanted to try my hand at cooking something myself. While I was away one of my favorite comfort dishes was kimchi fried rice, and after I found your recipe and this amazing website, I was easily able to make it myself! I’m really happy that you have such detailed videos and I even went out and bought your book as well, thank you for making this amazing website! :)

Thanks for sharing your story! Yes, kimchi fried rice is one of the easiest and most delicious one-pot meals. When you have some old kimchi in the fridge, you can just stir fry it up with some rice and hot pepper paste. By the way, your kimchi-bokkeumbap photo looks wonderful, I’m going to Tweet it!

Wow you can cook very deliciously which makes my mouthwatering. I love all of the recipes that you had directed in Korean ways. Like every receipts!! :D

I’ve made this 2 days in a row and I’m already thinking about making it again tomorrow! I LOVE it that much!

I just made it omg its sooooooo good i still cant eat raw kimchi but fried with rice is just heaven.

I want to cook this for my husband but I don’t know if how much ingredients for 2 servings .can you help me maangchi? Thankyou in advance!

Well, I just made this whole recipe and ate all of it for dinner by myself. Oops! So much for saving it for tomorrow’s lunch!

My wife and I love kimchi bokkeumbap. My wife spent a year living in South Korea about ten years ago and learned how to make a version of this recipe. We use marinated chicken breast (similar to bulgogi), and we create a well of mozzerella in the middle that can melt inside the crispy rice. We love it!

Your crispy kimchi bokkeumbap sounds very delicious!

Hi Maangchi ^^ I added some beef strips and scrambled egg to this Kimchi Fried Rice.. A hearty (and sinful hehehe..) meal for breakfast on Saturday morning.. ^^ have a great weekend to you ! ^^

I love this dish. Whenever I have some leftover bulgogi I like to add that, or chicken that I cook in more or less the same way. But really, add kimchi and gochujang to almost anything and it will be good! )

I also like to make it with leftover red cargo rice. Not a very Korean thing to do I guess but it comes out very substantial, chewy and delicious.

Hi Maangchi….I am slowly making my way through your recipes…I have a question.
Can I use Fresh shitaki mushrooms instead of dried? Is there a difference is taste or texture?

You can use fresh shiitake mushrooms in this recipe.

I didn’t see mushrooms listed in this recipe. Am I missing something? Would they be a good addition?

I’m half Korean so this may sound crazy, but I am trying to stay away from carbs for a while to lose some weight but I am majorly craving kimchi bokkeumbap. Is there a reasonable substitute for rice? I know, crazy. Thanks! Tracy

I actually came across a recipe for cauliflower “rice”. I think I am going to try it tonight!

Thank you Maangchi. I just made this quick dish for the first time, and couldn’t believe how flavorful and satisfying it is. I served it with a store roasted chicken, and with homemade baek kimchi (also your recipe) on the side. This will become a family favorite.

Baek-kimchi is a perfect choice for roasted chicken and kimchi bokkeumbap! Smart cook! : )


Kimchi Fried Rice (Kimchi Bokkeumbap) – Recipe


Kimchi fried rice (Kimchi Bokkeumbap)

I’ve gone completely mad for kimchi. I find the heat, crunch and pickled and slightly fermented flavor addictive. Kimchi fried rice is my latest obsession.

Fried rice serves three beautiful purposes at once: it is a way to use up leftover rice and vegetables, it offers a change of pace from plain rice, and it is so quick to make that it is perfect for a late-night supper or dinner for one.

A little patience is rewarded though: the longer you can let it cook, the more delicious crispy-crusted rice you’ll have. You must use rice that has cooled overnight or at least for a couple of hours in the refrigerator, otherwise you’ll have mush.

The classic Korean version of fried rice (Kimchi Bokkeumbap) is a bit different from Chinese fried rice that you may be familiar with. It doesn’t generally contain scrambled egg, but there can be a fried egg with a soft yolk on top. Just like with bibimbap, the diner breaks the egg and uses the yolk to enrich the rice.

Koreans will generally use up kimchi that is starting to be overripe to make kimchi fried rice, but if you don’t happen to have that on hand, normal jarred kimchi will be just fine. Squeeze out most of the liquid so it doesn’t make the rice soggy, and chop it into thin strips.

If you are vegetarian, be sure to look at the ingredients to find a type of kimchi that doesn’t contain seafood. There is a vast variety of kimchis, made from different types of cabbage and other vegetables, and at a huge range of heat levels from mild to post-apocalyptic, so if the first one you try doesn’t suit, don’t give up! Personally I’m addicted to the stuff.

Besides the kimchi, you can add modest amount of other finely cut vegetables or tofu. If they are raw, cook them at step 2 before adding the rice. If they are already cooked, you can just toss them in at the same time as the kimchi.

Vegetarian Kimchi Fried Rice (Kimchi Bokkeumbap)
For vegan, double check the kimchi and omit the egg
For gluten-free, double-check the kimchi
Serves 2 as a one dish meal or 3 as a side dish


Kimchi fried rice

This simple, simple dish is super, super tasty. It’s just a few ingredients, but it’s a dish much loved by Koreans.

This version is simple, but you can dress it up with a bit of beef or pork. I posted a version of this recipe a few years ago that included the leftover sauce and drippings from a simple version of bulgogi, but the recipe was without a video. Eventually I made a video for more traditional bulgogi, and now I made a video for kimchi bokkeumbap too.

Many Koreans also like to put a fried egg on top, but my family prefers this simple version. When my son lived in the school dorm, visits with him were rare. I talked to him on the phone before he came and I asked:

“What food do you miss the most? I’ll make it for you when you come.”

I figured I would need some time to prepare and shop ahead of time, but he answered: “I miss kimchi bokkeumbap.”

“What? That’s it? Is there anything else?”

As you see in this video, you don’t need to prepare much in advance for kimchi bokkeumbap if you have kimchi and rice on hand. So of course I made it for him, along with grilled beef and lots of high protein food. As soon as he came home, I was ready to stir fry. He loved it!

Ingredients

  • 3 bowls steamed rice (3 cups)
  • 1 cup chopped kimchi
  • ¼ cup kimchi juice
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2-3 tablespoons gochujang
  • 3 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon roasted sesame seeds
  • 1 sheet of kim, roasted and shredded

Directions

  1. Heat up a pan. Add the vegetable oil.
  2. Add the kimchi and stir fry for 1 minute.
  3. Add rice, kimchi juice, water, and gochujang. Stir all the ingredients together for about 7 minutes with a wooden spoon.
  4. Add sesame oil and remove from the heat.
  5. Sprinkle with chopped green onion, roasted gim, and sesame seeds. Serve right away.

Simple formula

My recipe for kimchi fried rice is left simple, and it’s more of a guide on how you can structure your own rice bowl. You can:

  • Add a protein to it to make it more filling. Try leftover stew or roast meat, rotisserie chicken, or ground meat (brown the ground meat at the beginning of the cooking).
  • If you’re vegetarian or vegan, you could use vegan kimchi with tofu as your protein.
  • You can use frozen vegetables or any other fresh produce you have on hand.

Kimchi Fried Rice (Kimchi Bokkeumbap) Recipe

Let me talk to you about rice. Rice is LIFE. Especially if you’re Asian, you know very well that as long as you got rice in the house, you good. Rice is so versatile, there’s so many ways to eat it. One of our favourite is fried rice. And our favourite kind is Kimchi Fried Rice.

I don’t know who invented this dish, but props to that person. That spiciness, sourness, and crunchiness from the kimchi combined with the rice is just so mouth-wateringly good. How can a dish that’s made of leftover rice and leftover kimchi be so delicious!?

Now, what makes a good Kimchi Fried Rice, or Kimchi Bokkeumbap, is a good kimchi. For us, the more the kimchi is sour, the better. We find it’s that sourness from the kimchi that makes this dish so flavourful and delicious. So this dish would be even more perfect to make if you have old kimchi lying around in your fridge. Time to use up those leftover kimchi and leftover rice!

We decided to keep it simple and make a basic recipe for Kimchi Fried Rice. Of course, if you want some protein in your meal, you can always add some bacon, chicken, or beef slices into the dish. But we happen to prefer it just plain simple like this with a fried egg on top!

Oh, and don’t forget to add some gochujang (Korean red pepper paste)! We find that it makes the Kimchi Fried Rice even more spicy and creamier! You can buy it at your local Asian grocery stores or online.

That’s it for our recipe this week friends. This Kimchi Fried Rice literally took us 20 minutes to make. And honestly, sometimes the easiest and quickest dishes to make happen to be the best-tasting. We’ve kinda been hooked on the Korean food trend these days, and if you wanna check out other Korean recipes, try our Spicy Korean Silken Soft Tofu Stew and Spicy and Cheesy Kimchi Nachos recipes!

We hope you enjoy the recipe, and happy eating!

Suggestion: Try to eat the Kimchi Fried Rice wrapped in some roasted seaweed, it’s our favourite way to eat it!