kimchi fried rice

kimchi fried rice, needs more kimchi

I remember growing up, I was privileged enough to be able to try food outside the “normal” box by US standards.  Growing up, my Mom and Dad forced me to try everything and anything before questioning it’s origin or where it came from.  I love them for this.  It’s because of this; I grew up with a hunger and drive for uncustomary dishes and foods.  Anthony Bourdain would be a person that I would love to shadow for a couple of trips.  However, I am not snotty, witty, or cold enough to keep up with his brash humor and warm and fuzzy love for all.

It was because of this, I wasn’t scared to try new things when growing up, and I totally thank my parents for this.  Because, if it weren’t for them, then I would have never been introduced to the wonderful world of Banchan and the joy of kimchi.  Most people have had some experience with kimchi, but unless you have gone to a Korean restaurant, are Korean, or are bossed around by certain Korean housemates, then you don’t know kimchi.   And in some cases Korean restaurants don’t have the more complicated and rare kimchi options.  Some history and facts about kimchi: Not to be ethnocentric or anything, but kimchi, like many good things, has its roots in China.  The earliest reference was in a Chinese poetry book some thousands years ago.  It’s a staple of Korean food and spans a whole range of flavors, textures, and colors.  The standard one that many of us are use to is Napa cabbage, red, spicy, and good.  I’ve also had the pleasure of trying ones flavored with oyster, shrimp, Asian pear, preserved plums – my Hera there are so many options!  Kimchi is like wine.  There are various categories of kimchi and the flavor changes with the process of fermentation and what is in it, all leading to just a delicious side dish to be enjoyed with any meal.

Kimchi is also not just for looks; it has many health benefits as well.  It’s full of Vitamin C, A, B 1, and 2.  Not to mention the calcium, low calories, fiber, and probiotics.  There where some that believed that kimchi could help reverse the Avian Flu and the H1N1.  No proof, but I believe it.  I also believe that although it could help prevent cancer, I think too much of it could cause it too.  There are a lot of nitrates and salt in kimchi, and a lot of it could be detrimental.  But, I’m no scientist; I just like to eat the stuff.

Although I killed all the probiotics in the kimchi once I used it in the fried rice, the vitamins and what not are still in it, so I didn’t lose all health benefits.  I wanted to create a post as homage to all the Koreans in my life.  I have a theory with fried rice.  Like curry and noodles, it transcends all borders in Asia, which truly makes it Pan-Asian.  It also is a great base for the levels of flavors that exist in the bright red kimchi.  Only cook fried rice with left over rice, never freshly made rice.  If you do, you get a sticky and globby mess.  This is the perfect dish to use the left over rice from Chinese take out.  My Mom always taught me to cook the egg first.  This way, when you eat the fried rice you don’t eat rice covered egg, but actual fluffy, delicious, golden chunks peeking through the red rice and green scallion.  Not only is this dish tasty and healthy, you get the added bonus of it being beautiful.

So, if you ever get a chance, explore the amazing world of kimchi.  Also, does anyone want to join me in Korea to the kimchi museum?  I really want to go.


5 cups cooked left over rice, fluffed (you can cook the rice the day before and refrigerate it)

¼ cup scallion, minced

3 eggs, scramble

1 cup kimchi, chopped

1 tbs soy sauce

1 tbs kimchi juice, if some is left

1½ tbs oil


heat oil on high in large pan

cook eggs until cooked and transfer to a bowl

heat oil on high in same pan

stir-fry scallion and kimchi in pan for 2 minutes, stirring frequently

add rice to pan and toss, 4 minutes

combine egg, soy sauce, and kimchi juice (if available) and stir for 2 minutes

-serves 4-


5 Responses to “kimchi fried rice”

  1. 1 Kathy
    January 11, 2010 at 2:42 pm

    I love kimchi fried rice!

  2. 2 J.C.
    January 12, 2010 at 9:22 am

    Since kimchi is a Korean cuisine (it’s just a main banchan – a side dish to compliment any meal, but, who cares? right?), in my prejudiced opinion, the fried rice should be made of Korean sticky rice!!!!! (also Japanese sticky rice)

    Okay, Let’s not be a nationalist here. Vietnamese, Chinese, Thai, Indian, all rices are okay with fried rice, I guess.

    Anyway, you cannot go wrong with Kimchi fried rice. Nope. Never. All kinds of kimchi, all kinds of rice, you cannot lose the battle of cooking. You will be the iron chef of the kimchi fried rice!

    Oh, speaking of rice, cooked rice in Korean is called “Bop,” which also means a “meal,” whereas uncooked rice is called “ssal.” Kimchi Fried Rice is great with a miso soup or O-deng soup, or any non-spicy soup. ^^ My two cents.

  3. 3 J.C.
    January 12, 2010 at 9:25 am

    Also, I would like to point out, my beloved Scott, that if you cook egg first, you wouldn’t eat ‘egg covered rice,’ not ‘rice covered egg.’ haha. (^______^)

  4. 4 Jenn Pae
    January 12, 2010 at 10:02 pm

    Come have kimchi fried rice with me in Oakland!!!

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