Kimchi Fried Rice

The tangy, spicy Kimchi is combined with the comforting Fried Rice. This plant-based version is easy to make with only ten ingredients. This is the perfect recipe to make ahead for the week or as a weeknight meal. We’ll show you exactly how to do it!

Kimchi Fried rice: Origins

South Korea is known for its Kimchi fried rice (also called Kimchi-bokkeum Bap). It is unknown who invented it, but many believe it was created to provide a delicious and affordable meal using minimal ingredients. It is usually made with leftover rice, vegetables, and Kimchi. Sometimes, it also includes eggs, fish, or meat.

Kimchi Fried Rice: How to Make it?

We start by cooking brown rice with a method that makes it fluffy. If you have leftover brown rice, it can be used. Brown rice is preferred over white because it has more fiber and nutrients and is less likely to become mushy.

The tofu is added next for an extra protein boost and a contrast in textures. The toasted sesame and Gochujang that you add to the tofu before baking it gives it a delicious flavor and a firm texture. You don’t want to eat your entire pan of fried rice before it is done!

We then sauté onion and garlic to add flavor, and carrots and snap beans for color and nutrition. This is a flexible way to use what you already have. We think bell pepper and cabbage would make a great variation.

We add gochujang to heat, probiotics, and tamari to give it a tanginess. This kimchi-fried rice has a delicious flavor profile with complex flavors that will have you craving more.



  • The rice will be cooked in 12 cups of water.
  • Use 2 cups of leftover rice as written, or skip cooking the rice altogether and use 1 cup of uncooked brown (we used long-grain rice, but short-grain also works).


  • 14 ounces extra-firm tofu
  • 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 Tbsp Gochujang Sauce (or substitute store-bought/ensure vegan/gluten-free friendly as required)


  • 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • One medium yellow onion diced
  • Four cloves garlic, minced
  • We used carrots, snap peas, and 2 1/2 cups of stir-fry veggies (we chose carrots). Cut into bite-sized pieces
  • If you are not gluten-free, use 1 tbsp of tamari (or soy sauce).
  • If you want to make it vegan, use store-bought Kimchi or chop up 1 cup into small pieces.
  • 1 Tbsp of Kimchi (from a jar/ if vegan, ensure it is).


  • 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp tamari (or soy sauce if not gluten-free)
  • Fresh ginger, finely chopped: 2 tbsp
  • Cooked brown rice, cooled to room temperature (leftovers from Step 1 or cooked rice)
  • Gochujang Sauce 1/4 cup (or substitute store-bought if needed // vegan/gluten-free friendly if necessary)

GARNISH optional

  • Sesame seeds
  • Nori crumbled
  • Green onion slices


  • RICE: If you are not using leftover rice, bring 12 cups of water to a rolling boil in a large pan. Add the rinsed rice to the boiling water and stir. Boil the rice on high, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Strain in a fine mesh strainer. While you continue with the recipe, let the rice rest in the filter.
  • TOFU: Pre-heat the oven to 400°F (204°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment.
  • To press the tofu, drain it and wrap the tofu in a dish towel. Then, place something heavy (or a press) on top. Press the tofu for 10 minutes. While your tofu drains, prepare and cut your vegetables.
  • Add 1 Tbsp (15 ml) toasted sesame oil and 2 Tbsp (36 g) gochujang to the baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Toss in 1 Tbsp (15ml) of toasted sesame seed oil and 2 Tbsp 36g gochujang (measurements as written on the original recipe). Spread evenly and bake for 25-30 minutes. Flip halfway through or until golden brown. Start cooking the vegetables while the tofu is baking.
  • VEGGIES Heat 1 tbsp (15ml) of toasted sesame oil in a large skillet with a nonstick coating or cast iron over medium heat. Add the diced onions and cook until translucent (about 2 minutes). Add the minced onion, stir-fry veggies (such as carrots and snap peas), and 1 Tbsp (15ml) of tamari. (Amount is as written in the original recipe). After the veggies have become vibrantly colored and are beginning to soften (about 4 minutes), turn off the heat and add Kimchi. Place the vegetables in a medium bowl and mix them up one more time.
  • FRIED RICES: Add 1 Tbsp of sesame oil (15 ml), 1 Tbsp of tamari (15 ml), the finely chopped garlic, and 2 cups cooked rice (amounts are as written in the original recipe). Turn the heat to medium-high and toss the rice to coat it. Spread out the rice in a single layer, and cook it unattended for 2 minutes. It should sizzle and pop a little. If it’s quiet, turn your heat up a little. After 2 minutes, add 1/4 cup of gochujang to the rice (the amount written in the original recipe). Spread the rice out evenly and toss it again. Cook for 2 minutes without stirring.
  • Add the tofu and veggies cooked and give it one last toss. Mix everything, and then taste it! Add more salt or gochujang to taste.
  • You can also garnish the dish with green onions, sesame seeds, or nori crumbles. Store in an airtight storage container in the fridge for up to three or four days. It is not freezer-friendly.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *