Korean Fried Rice is the Korean alternate to the well-known Chinese Fried Rice. The addition of Kimchi is what makes this version so unique. So, if you have a bottle of Kimchi at the back of the fridge that you don’t know what to do with? Here is the answer!
This dish has become a lunch favourite in my household for the following reasons:
1. The Kimchi gives it much more flavour compared to the usual fried rice.
2. It is one way to use some of the contents of the two large jars that my Kimchi recipe makes.
3. It is the perfect way to use up all the vegetables left in the fridge at the end of the week.
4. It uses up the rice that is usually leftover from a curry made during the week.
5. It helps me to eat more vegetables and reduce our food waste.
Korean Fried Rice Cooking Tips
The ingredients and measurements of the vegetables are just a guide. Add as little or as much of the vegetables that you have in the fridge. If you don’t have any fresh vegetables, then frozen work just as well. I have started to make this dish with more vegetables in it than rice. So delicious and nutritious!
For more protein add a small can of tuna, some nitrate-free bacon, or some chopped-up chicken pieces. The tuna can be added with the rice, and the bacon or chicken can be cooked separately or before the vegetables.
If you want more saltiness, add more tamari.
The overall spiciness of this dish will have a lot to do with the spiciness of your kimchi. For more spiciness, add some kimchi juice or some gochujang (Korean red pepper paste).
Korean Fried Rice Ingredients
If you can wait a couple of weeks for the Kimchi to ferment, go here for my Cabbage and Carrot Kimchi recipe. If you decide to buy rather than make the Kimchi, it can be easily found in the fridge section of a health food store. In the supermarket, look for it in the fridge alongside refrigerated vegan foods, or in the International, Bottled Vegetable, or Natural/Health Food sections. The leftover Kimchi can be added to salads, sandwiches, burgers, and sushi, or served as a side for a cooked breakfast.
Once, Tamari Sauce was to the Japanese, as Soy Sauce is to the Chinese. Now, soy sauce is common in Japan and all Asian countries. Because of the way the soybeans are fermented, tamari is smoother, richer, and less salty tasting than soy. I use tamari instead of soy sauce because it is usually gluten-free and easier to get an organic version. I prefer organic because soybeans are now often genetically modified to resist the herbicide glyphosate (think Zero and Roundup). The use of glyphosate makes harvesting the beans easier. Unfortunately, this chemical does not make it easy for our beneficial gut flora to survive.
I like using brown rice wherever possible, whereas my husband is partial to white rice. For white rice we use long grain basmati as it has a lower glycemic index, that is, it doesn’t cause our sugar levels to spike as rapidly as jasmine rice. As a further note, cooked white rice that has been allowed to cool is a good prebiotic (food for our beneficial gut flora).
In this Korean Fried Rice recipe, and any other fried rice recipe, using cooked rice that has been sitting in a container in the fridge for at least a day prevents the rice from clumping together because of too much moisture.