Take humble leftover fried rice up a notch with some Korean comfort food: Kimchi Fried Rice! Along with kimchi and rice, this quick & easy recipe includes bacon, mushrooms and garlic with additional seasonings that do a dance on your taste buds.
And it’s versatile, too! It’s a perfect side dish. A healthy main dish. You can make it mild, or super spicy. Plus, it all comes together in 15 minutes or less.
What Is Kimchi, Anyway?
Kimchi is staple of Korean cuisine that’s becoming mainstream thanks to its tangy, salty flavor.
Kimchi is typically made of cabbage, chili peppers, ginger, and fish sauce. It often includes green onions, carrots, radish and cucumbers and it’s served with almost every meal. It’s an ingredient in many soups and stews. Yes, even breakfast includes kimchi in some fashion.
And since Kimchi is fermented, it delivers some great gut benefits!
Today, you can purchase good kimchi even if you don’t live in Korea. You can find it in the refrigerated section at Walmart or many large supermarkets. Asian marts and sushi bars have kimchi as well.
In this easy recipe, kimchi and rice is stir fried with smoky bacon, Enoki mushrooms and spicy kimchi juice. It’s Korean comfort food that tastes amazing and takes little time to make.
Why We Love These Ingredients
Kimchi is packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. It’s also an abundant source of gut-friendly probiotics and fiber. Research shows that the Lactobacillus bacterium found in kimchi can boost immune health and protect against Candida and other pathogens.
What’s more, kimchi is low in calories and may boost weight loss. A 4-week study in 22 people with excess weight found that eating fresh or fermented kimchi helped reduce body weight, body mass index (BMI), and blood sugar levels.
Mushrooms…what can’t they do? Fresh mushrooms contain minerals and phytochemical’s immune function and bone health. Some mushrooms can even protect your memory and alleviate stress. Others act as natural anti-inflammatories that can reduce your risk of heart disease or cancer. [check out this blog for more about the remarkable benefits of mushrooms].
Pro Tips To Get You Started
One of the best ways to season kimchi fried rice is with kimchi juice straight from the container. It’s packed with flavor – tangy, spicy, and slightly sweet which adds a significant depth to dishes like fried rice.
The recipe asks for ¼ cup of kimchi juice, however, that can be difficult depending on the size of the jar of kimchi bought. In that case, you can use 2 1/2 Tbsp kimchi juice and 1 TBSP soy sauce [for milder flavor] or 1 TBSP gochujang [Korean Chili Paste] to dial up the spiciness.
Enoki mushrooms are a long, thin, white mushroom with a mild, slightly sweet flavor. They're typically sold in clusters and used in soups, stir-frys, hot pots, salads, and other dishes popular in Asian cuisine. Enoki mushrooms also cook quickly. Around two minutes of sautéing yields a crunchy texture. Cook them longer, and they’ll become chewy.
Kimchi fried rice is a fantastic dish for utilizing leftover rice. Simply put the leftover rice in the microwave to soften it a little and break it up before stir-frying with kimchi. You can, of course, make fresh rice. For this recipe, you’ll want to use a short grain rice, known as “sticky” or “sushi” rice. Simply use a little less water to make the rice slightly drier and be sure to cool before using.
Let’s get cooking!
Kimchi Fried Rice
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
- 1 cup kimchi cut into thumbnail size pieces
- 6 slices bacon cut into thumbnail size pieces
- 1 pack enoki mushrooms with the root removed, rinsed
- 3 cups steamed short grain rice [such as sushi rice]– if it is freshly cooked, leave it out for 5 to 10 mins at room temperature to cool down before cooking
- 4 x-large eggs cooked sunny side up or per your preference
- 1/2 tsp minced garlic
- 1/4 cup Kimchi juice
- 1/2 TBSP sesame oil
- 1 TBSP cooking oil
- 1 TBSP sesame seeds to garnish
- 1/2 stalk green onion to garnish, thinly sliced
- On medium high heat preheat a pan/wok and once heated, add the cooking oil, and spread it well with a spatula.
- Add garlic to the pan and stir for 10 seconds. Next, add bacon and stir until half-cooked.
- Add the kimchi to the pan, stirring until it's 80% cooked.
- (Optional) Add the mushrooms and mix them well for a few seconds. Reduce the heat to medium-medium low.
- Add the rice and the kimchi juice. Mix all of them together well and thoroughly.
- Add the sesame oil and mix them well. Remove the pan from the heat.
- Serve the kimchi fried rice on a plate. Garnish with the sesame seeds, green onions, and seaweed strips (all optional). Place the cooked egg on top. Enjoy!