Kimchi Fried Rice

Kimchi fried rice, or Kimchi-bokkeumbap, is a popular korean dish, beloved in its home country and by hipsters the world over. For a classic Korean take, check out Maangchi’s recipe. Mine involves many of my favorite ferments including my beloved kosho and fermented sriracha-style hot sauce. I also add a great kitchen dynamo – fermented ginger-garlic paste (drop us a line if you’d like us to feature a recipe for fermented flavor pastes). And of course tons of kimchi. My favorite kimchi recipe is “Andrew’s Private Reserve Kimchi” from Fermented Vegetables by the Shockeys, or support a local Asian grocery and buy some there. And if you don’t have a fridge full of ferments, no worries. This is a very flexible recipe.

Note: One issue I’ve always had with homemade fried rice is that it feels way mushier than when the pros make it. My solution to this (inspired by the crispy rice salad recipe in Jessica Koslow’s SQIRL, which she probably yanked from an uncredited employee), is to boil the rice a few hours or even the day before. I fluff it up and let it dry out on an uncovered plate in the fridge before frying.

Makes: 1 hungry person


  • 1 cup cooked rice, ideally dried out overnight in the fridge (see note above)
  • 1 cup kimchi
  • neutral cooking oil
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon ginger-garlic paste (or one or two cloves garlic and 1/2 inch ginger, finely minced)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon mirin
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon kosho (or the juice and zest from half a lime or lemon)
  • gomasio or sesame seeds
  • a few tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • optional finishers: chopped pineapple, thinly sliced kale or bok choi, any leftover cooked veggies, more hot sauce, more kosho, a fried egg


  • Add a generous pour of cooking oil and sesame oil to a pan over medium heat. Add ginger-garlic paste, giving a quick stir. 
  • Once paste begins to sizzle, add soy sauce, mirin, and hot sauce.
  • Add rice, stirring constantly until liquid is absorbed and rice is hot, about 2 minutes.
  • Add kimchi and continue to stir.
  • Once kimchi is hot, add kosho and a healthy shake or three of gomasio. Stir and turn off heat. If you like some crispy bits, let the pan sit on the stove for a bit so the bottom of the rice starts to brown.
  • Stir in cilantro and any additional finishers of choice.