Simple, yet special, recipes for the home chef.

Kimchi Fried Rice

Kimchi Fried Rice - A quick and yummy vegetarian entree or side dish. |

What goes well with Spicy Korean-Style Gochujang Meatballs? A little bit of Kimchi Fried Rice. What is kimchi? Well, according to Wikipedia:

Kimchi (Korean김치 Korean pronunciation: [kimtɕʰi]English pronunciation: /ˈkɪmi/), also spelled kimcheekim chee or gimchi, is a traditional fermented Korean dish made of vegetables with a variety of seasonings. It is Korea’s national dish, and there are hundreds of varieties made with a main vegetable ingredient such as napa cabbageradishscallion, or cucumber.

Kimchi Fried Rice - A quick and yummy vegetarian entree or side dish. |

My definition of it: extremely funky cabbage stuff. I had had a few bites of it at restaurants like Green Dot Stables, that pairs kimchi with peanut butter on their Korean slider (weird, but good). I had noticed and admired jars of it (from The Brinery) in various Ann Arbor gourmet food shops for a long time before I finally took the plunge and bought a jar. And then I was too terrified to use it for a few months. Which is fine, because it has a really long shelf life, since it’s already fermented and all.

Well, when I finally started experimenting with it, the first thing I noticed is that when you open the jar, you’re in store for an extremely funky smelling kitchen. Seriously, every time I open the jar, I kind of want to die for a few moments. The smell is just so strong. So funky. But, once you get past that, this stuff tastes really great. It’s tangy and sour and unique. I’ve discovered that I enjoy it best in fried rice. Here’s a recipe for a version I made recently. I left out the scrambled eggs (which is kind of traditional in fried rice, and you could add them here if you want), but I added some bean sprouts that I had left over from my Thai Curry Chicken Noodle Soup.

Has anyone else tried kimchi? Were you scared of it at first, like me? Let me know what you think in the comments!

Kimchi Fried Rice - A quick and yummy vegetarian entree or side dish. |

Kimchi Fried Rice

Yield: 4 servings


  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 carrots, finely chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup kimchi, finely chopped
  • 3 cups cooked white or brown rice (see note below)
  • 1/2 cup bean sprouts
  • 1/4 cup frozen peas
  • Soy sauce, to taste
  • Ground white pepper, to taste


  1. Note about the cooked rice: When you’re making fried rice, you’ll have the best results if you cook your rice the day before, and let it sort of dry out and get crusty in the fridge. I cook it, spread it out on a baking pan, and just put that in the fridge, uncovered. If you’d rather store it in a covered storage container, that works, too. To yield 3 cups cooked rice, you’ll need to start with 1 cup uncooked rice.
  2. Heat oil over medium-high heat in wok or large skillet. Add carrots, celery and kimchi. Cook 2 minutes or until vegetables begin to soften, stirring constantly.
  3. Add rice, bean sprouts and peas. Cook 3 to 4 minutes or until rice begins to brown and all vegetables are cooked through, stirring frequently. Season with soy sauce and white pepper, to taste.

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5 Responses to “Kimchi Fried Rice”

  1. Holly — March 21, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    Kimchi is the missing food group– well, this applies to all fermented foods, but kimchi is a particularly spectacular example. Historically, every culture has eaten at least one fermented food, and many eat multiple sources, which means multiple types of beneficial lacto-bacilli in the gut. More and more medical experts are attributing our modern GI troubles to the lack of fermented foods in post-industrial diet, thus the rise of commercial products like Activia. Commercially made aren’t the best route to take, but in lieu of home-made, it’ll do. I can attest, home-made fermented foods cured my years-long, undiagnosable GI issues.


  2. Lori Yates — March 21, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    Thanks for the info, Holly – you know way more than I do! Now that I’m a big fan, I may try making my own kimchi. I do have an extra fridge in the garage, so the FUNK would stay out of my house. Then I wouldn’t want to die. haha.


  3. Paige Flamm — March 21, 2013 at 6:46 pm

    I love kimchi, we always get it when we go to NYC! This looks like a really great and delicious recipe!



  4. darma2u — October 2, 2013 at 11:11 pm

    Please, no on the canola oil = GMO, the rest sounds awesome. You can even find Kimchi in Cadillac, Mi. @ Glens Market


    • Lori | Foxes Love Lemons replied: — October 3rd, 2013 @ 8:13 am

      You can certainly use any oil you would like. I chose canola for this since it has a higher smoke point than olive oil = better for wok cooking.


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