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An easy, vegetarian and family-friendly introduction to fermented food superfood, kimchi.

An easy, vegetarian and family-friendly introduction to fermented superfood, kimchi. 

An easy, vegetarian and family-friendly introduction to fermented food superfood, kimchi.Kimchi is a big ask for some. Even more so for those with families to feed.

For starters – not to put too fine a point on it – kimchi stinks. To highest Heaven. Even hardcore kimchi fans would have to admit this. In fact, I have read that many Koreans have little refrigerators just for kimchi (much like many US college dorm rooms/man caves have beer fridges). #goals

It’s also a wee bit spicy from the Korean chilli flakes, as well as a bit sour and sometimes fizzy from fermentation – which can be slightly off putting traits in comestibles when one is used to sweeter, or at least more neutral, food.

And mostly food doesn’t hiss at you.

But hopefully you can get past/have got past these “attributes” to appreciate the intense flavour of this firework of the food world. Spicy, pungent and fermented, this Korean condiment/side dish/vegetable dish will make any savoury recipe to which it is added explode with added umami and interest.

An easy, vegetarian and family-friendly introduction to fermented food superfood, kimchi.For such an out there kind of food, kimchi goes with a multitude of other dishes. I have quite a few recipes here on Food To Glow where kimchi features (grilled kimcheese and kimchi nachos are faves), and I make them often. But there are many more that I have seen and wish to try some day (in South Korea, if at all possible).

So, how to make kimchi family-friendly? Well, the answer is fried rice. If your family likes Chinese fried rice then I pretty much guarantee that they will like kimchi fried rice. In the presence of such established flavours as rice and eggs, kimchi is softened and tamed. If you add it at the end, and just warm it through, it will also still retain much of what many of us eat kimchi for – its nutritional benefits. Full of fibre – it is after all, all vegetable – minerals, vitamins and gut health-superstar, Lactobacillus, kimchi is the food trend that is only getting bigger. Because it seems here to stay, and we will be seeing it everywhere, why not get the family on-board with this easy weekday recipe?

You may have kimchi in the fridge waiting to be promoted to meal status. But if not most health food shops, and all Chinese and Korean markets, will have the good, refrigerated, stuff.

Make your own food fireworks with homemade kimchi. This spicy, pungent, fermented vegetable dish will make any savoury recipe sparkle with added umami and interest. Try adding it to tagines, chilli, omelettes, cornbread, nachos and, of course, that Korean staple, bibimbap. Sure kimchi is a bit smelly, but goodness it's good. And good for you. Go on, I dare you!

My homemade kimchi. Why not give it a try?

What to look for: When purchasing kimchi – or sauerkraut – always reach for the cold option. The ambient temperature versions are NOT authentic or particularly healthy: these are really just pickled and will have added vinegar and salt.The good stuff, properly fermented and full of beneficial bacteria, is itself pickled, but naturally so. The proliferation of the Lactobacillus species during the fermentation process converts the sugars in whatever vegetables that are present (often cabbage) into lactic acid, making it deliciously sour and contributing to the formation of glutamic acid – the basis of the umami – fifth – taste.

An easy, vegetarian and family-friendly introduction to fermented food superfood, kimchi. And mostly it isn’t salty, although salt is initially used to break down the vegetables over 12 hours before being thoroughly rinsed then mixing with a spicy paste. I make kimchi and rarely let my supply dwindle, but when that does happen I will pick up a small pack from my favourite Chinese supermarket – although it is not as quite as good as homemade, and it usually has fish sauce in it. So, don’t think I am being a snob about kimchi and only homemade will do. If you haven’t had it before, but are “kimchi-curious” buy it first to see if it is your thing. If not, no biggie. Hating your homemade kimchi? Bit more of a deal.

Lastly, did you know that authentic kimchi fried rice will have chunks of Spam in it? As I’ve never actually eaten Spam, nor am I likely to, I won’t recommend it. If you want to up the protein, by all mean add some tofu, sauteed prawns, another egg (maybe scrambled for kids) – whatever. Except Spam. Just no. 🙂

An easy, vegetarian and family-friendly introduction to fermented food superfood, kimchi.

Kimchi Fried Rice

  • Servings: 2-3
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

An easy, vegetarian and family-friendly introduction to fermented food superfood, kimchi. 

2 tbsp rapeseed oil or melted coconut oil (if in the US use another oil, like non-extra virgin olive oil, or the coconut oil)

3-4 spring onions/scallion, chopped + a little of the green for garnish

1 garlic clove, peeled and minced

1 tbsp minced or grated fresh ginger

1 medium carrot, grated and lightly squeezed of liquid

150g-175g kimchi, squeezed and chopped but liquid kept for adding later

250g cooked brown sushi or basmati rice (or even something like quinoa)

1 tbsp (optional) gochujang (Korean red pepper flakes – available at Chinese supermarkets and online) OR a good pinch of chilli powder, although it is a different taste

1 tbsp coconut aminos OR 1/2 tbsp soy sauce

1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil

Steam fried eggs, poached eggs of scrambled eggs (keep warm while stir frying the kimchi rice or do simultaneously, if you can)

Seaweed flakes of snips of toasted nori – optional

Toasted sesame seeds

Other options: cooked peas, cooked shredded chicken, tofu cubes, cooked prawns


1. Add the cooked rice to a mixing bowl. Take a little of the oil – about 1/2 tsp – rub it on your hands, and mix the rice to break up clumps and slightly coat in oil.

2. Heat the remaining rapeseed oil in a well-seasoned wok or large, non-stick saute pan. add the spring onions – save back some green slices – ginger, garlic, carrot and kimchi. Cook this until it gets quite dry but isn’t sticking – about five minutes. Add the rice and stir well. Let cook while mixing the saved kimchi juice with the gochujang if using, sesame oil and coconut aminos/soy sauce. Pour this into the rice and turn up the heat, stirring as needed to prevent sticking. You want the rice thoroughly cooked through and piping hot – about five minutes. If you have any add-ins, pop them in now. Taste and see if it needs any other seasoning -more soy sauce, some white pepper, a bit more sour (add lime or lemon juice).

3. Spoon into warm bowls and top with cooked egg, seaweed, remaining spring onion slices and the sesame seeds. Serve immediately. Add something like sriracha if you like to boost the heat.

This is thoroughly comforting dish, and so easy to make if you have homemade or bought kimchi in the house. As you may suspect, kimchi keeps for a long time so don’t be put off making or buying it as it will liven up meals for many weeks to come.

Note: This recipe will serve 2-3 adults or 2 adults and 2 children.

More Kimchi Recipes from Food To Glow!

Kimchi and Carrot Savoury Pancakes (Kimchi Jeon)

Sichuan Pepper Cabbage Kimchi

Sweet Miso Pumpkin Kimchi

Kimchi and Bean

Kimchi Nachos

Kimchi Quinoa Burgers with Jalapeno-Avocado Mayo

Kimchi and Avocado Lunch Wraps

Grilled Shiitake Kimcheese

Like this recipe? Why not Pin it for later? You can follow me on Pinterest too!An easy, vegetarian and family-friendly introduction to fermented superfood, kimchi.I’m pleased to send this recipe over to two fabulous bloggers for their food share round-ups. Do go and have a nosey around not only the other links, but also the hosts’ sites. 

Meat Free Mondays at Tinned Tomatoes

Recipe of the Week at A Mummy Too

110 thoughts on “15-Minute Kimchi Fried Rice – A Family-Friendly Introduction to Fermented Foods

  1. Mr A says:

    You have to make this!!!! The most outstanding comfort food with a super taste kicker. Thanks Mrs A

  2. My hubby has had Kimchi once and raved about it so I’m sure we’d all love this meal which looks totally yummy:-)

  3. ladyredspecs says:

    I’m not too keen on sauerkraut so that’s deterred me from trying kimchi, but I think your post may have swayed me. Thanks Kellie

  4. Archana says:

    I love kimchi and we often make kimchi fried rice with lots of bok choy. Your pictures are beautiful!!

  5. I’ve never tried Kimchi but now I’m intrigued. This looks delicious.

  6. Fuss Free Helen says:

    I long to love kimchi but it just doesn’t work for me. Maybe I should try this one as we love fried rice. it looks delicious.

  7. Well as you know we all adore kimchi and it is thanks to you a few years ago who introduced it to us. Ive heard the Korean army insist on having a daily dose of the stuff and I can understand why! Ive never made it, always bought it down Leith Walk at the Asian supermarket but I would like to try so your recent posts showing how to make it is perfect. I shall report back! ps one of the best meals with kimchi I has was strangely enough in Reykjavik, Iceland in the K-Bar.

  8. What a great way to subtly incorporate kimchi in a meal. Sharing this idea with clients because kimchi really can be a tough sell to our westernized palates. 😉 Thanks Kellie

  9. That looks great! Yum

  10. stateeats says:

    Yup, kimchee does stink and I can attest to the separate fridge for it as I once lived with Korean gal who did just this. But dang, its good for you and delish. -Kat

    1. Phew! I am glad you confirmed this as I had only heard about this extra fridge thing. I have few fridges because of work so I’m lucky to be able to keep mine separate from “absorbent” food. 😉😉

  11. Jerry Peri says:

    Thanks for the recipe. I now have an idea of Korean food. Will try to prepare kimchi, soonest!

  12. This looks just fab. I’ve not made the foray into fermenting my own foods (other than homemade yoghurt) but I have found a good brand of vegetarian friendly kimchi at my local market. Lucky me! I’ll be putting this fried rice on the menu for the coming week, it looks just delightful!

  13. syedsvan says:

    wow so nice

  14. rdhealthy says:

    Wow, it’s looks delicious!

  15. Audrey says:

    I love kimchi and have been cooking kimchi fried rice and adding kimchi to my noodles too

  16. This has made me so hungryy. Love Kimchi, love asian food and love this post!! Will definitely be making this soon.

    1. Fantastic! If you saw the bottom of my post you’ll have seen all of my kimchi recipes, but I also have loads of Asian recipes in my Index. Thanks so much for stopping by. 🙂

  17. Nice Post. Thanks.

  18. Looks SO delicious. I am now craving these kimchi tacos at a local restaurant in Toronto. Mmm mmm.

    1. I would be right down there if I had a local place that served kimchi tacos! Yum!

  19. zosia220 says:

    Looks amazing!! I’ll have to try this sometime!

    1. Great! I hope that you do 🙂

  20. NurSerial says:

    is looks absolutely fabulous! I will give it a try 🙂

    1. That’s very kind of you. I hope you enjoy it 🙂

  21. Xzavier says:

    I haven’t had kimchi since I was in japan . That’s some good stuff right there Kelly Kel . Good read !

    1. Even better if you make your own kimchi. This rice dish links to my homemade kimchi, one I make all of the time. 🙂

  22. This looks absolutely delicious, and what a beautiful presentation and meticulous photographs. I have always been afraid to try kimchi. I think I will use your recipe on my first sample of this dish 🙂

    1. Oh,this is a great way to give it a go. Not everyone likes it but it is worth trying if you are at all intrigued. It tastes much better than it smells! And it is so good for us. 🙂

  23. luvlitalks says:

    This looks awesome! I’m making a diy wall decor this week if you would like to check that out

  24. kencho11 says:

    ,I’m craving for this

  25. Mo says:

    That looks delicious, I will definitely have a go at this. We have a jar sitting in the fridge that hasn’t been used because my partner isn’t keen, this is a great idea.

    1. This is a really good way to get your partner to try it. Or just make it for yourself when they aren’t around! 🙂

  26. rooshna says:

    This looks fantastic 😍

  27. Rehmil Panes says:

    I absolutely love fried rice! Haha 😆 Thank you for making this, it’s really a huge help. I’m actually gonna cook right now.

    1. awesome! I hope you enjoy it, Rehmil. 🙂

  28. Looks delicious, looking forward to try it!

  29. shortslayer says:

    I love fermented foods too. You have to explore this whole variety of fermented foods found in a part of India. Some states of the country that border Myanmar have a rich tradition and variety of fermented foods. Ranging from fermented bamboo shoot and soybean to fish. A whole range of exciting food awaits you. I think you will like them.

    1. I am intrigued! What region is this? I can then look up the food traditions and learn something new 🙂

      1. shortslayer says:

        Look for the states of Manipur and Nagaland in India. You will find them completely different from the rest of India. Let me know if you find anything interesting.
        Happy hunting!

      2. Thanks so much for getting back to me. And, I will. 😊

  30. The receipe looks so amazing.

    thanks for sharing

  31. woowwww seems to be fantastic!

  32. Aurélie says:

    Looks delicious !

  33. Amazing recipes…even more amazing photography

    1. Aw, thank you. I did my best on a very dark day!

      1. It’s incredible all the same…

  34. Such an interesting insight into a foodstuff I’ve heard of but little else. This sounds delicious, and His Lordship would like it, too

    1. Thank you very much. What a sweet thing to write. I hope His Lordship approves 😉

  35. narinreads says:

    Hey, this recipe sounds yummy! I’m not sure if anybody else has mentioned it, but a lot of kimchi (if not most) is made using fish sauce, so it’s not actually vegetarian! I lived in Korea for over a year as a vegan so imagine my shock and disappointment. Just thought I’d let you know anyway 🙂

    1. I write about this in the post. I make my own and have a link to the recipe. 😊😊

      1. narinreads says:

        Oh sorry 😅 I didn’t get a chance to read the whole thing – I just looked at the pictures.

      2. Ha ha! No worries. I usually spend time boring everyone senseless about minutiae of my recipes, so I don’t blame you for just looking at the pictures. Have a good rest of the weekend. 😊😊

      3. narinreads says:

        Noo that’s not the case at all! Thank you, and you too 😄

  36. kaleshmenon says:

    I’m in love with Korean food. Kimchi is super awesome. Thanks for sharing.

    1. You’re welcome. thanks for reading it 🙂

  37. I love kimchi! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  38. Angie Sim says:

    I remember my mom making this for me growing up!! The fried egg on the top would always be the best part- highly recommend this to everyone, it’s a great comfort food 🙂 thank you so much for sharing!

  39. Awesome read! I’ll have to try Kimchi. They offer it at a local Korean Fried Chicken restaurant, Bonchon. I’ve avoided it in the past but I may give it a try now

  40. superior0528 says:

    Kimchi Fried Rice is very delicious. Just need Kimchi and rice and somtimes egg fried. It depends on Kimchi taste but my mother no good at making Kimchi. (I am korean)

  41. Looks so yummy! 😋

  42. Vegan works with me, as I was hesitating to ask what animal the Kimchi is,… “~ Great Recipes Kellie… Thanks for sharing them…

  43. mattrublico says:

    This made me curious to try this one and hungry at the same time. Lol

  44. I love Kimchi so much I pair it as a side dish to any fried entree, now you gave me a fantastic idea to enjoy it more, thanks!

  45. Looks so Yummmmyyy😍

  46. Your post and pics are delicious!🍚🍲🍜

  47. nerdykeena says:

    I would like to try this recipe one day! It looks so delicious! 😍

  48. This looks delicious. woowwww seems to be fantastic!

  49. davidoldham says:

    Reblogged this on maisysabredavid.

  50. Channie says:

    Reblogged this on Happy. Homeschooling. Housewife. and commented:
    I lived in Korea for two years and fell in-love with kimchi! We ate it every day, usually with rice. Like the blogger states, kimchi is rather off-putting with its smell and hissing sound and I have not incorporated it into our family. So thankful for this post because I think it is a perfect way to incorporate kimchi into our lives–will be trying this dish!

  51. I will try this! (Without the egg though as I’m vegan!) Feel free to check out my travel blog 🙂

  52. That’s an interesting take on Kimchi rice. Would definitely try it sometime.

  53. I really have never been able to get folks at home to accept Kimchi but you provide me fresh motivation to try again. Will try out your recipe and taste success ( fingers crossed) I live kimchi though and i still would love to try out your recipe.

  54. Sonia Aicha says:

    looks so yummy 😋 I will give it a try!!


  55. Aditi J says:

    This is a amazing! Can’t wait to try the dish myself! =D

  56. Great article 🙂

  57. fairyweds says:

    It looks really good 🙂

  58. Veronica says:

    In recent news, South Koreans have been named to have the best life expectancy in the world. And in my opinion, the main reason why… KIMCHI!!! 😄 Great post! 👍

  59. I Love Kimchi Fried Rice , it’s so delicious ,, nom nom 😇😍

  60. Anna says:

    Wow that looks delicious 🙂 I’ll definitely give it a try!

  61. Hello from Indonesia. Have you tried eating or cooking Tempe?

    1. Yes! I have a few tempeh recipes on here. My family are pretty resistant to it but if it’s spiced up I can get with it. Do you have a favourite way with it?

      1. We usually just spice it up and coated it with batter before finally deep fry it. Or another alternative is cut it into dice and cook them with soy sauce, spices and salt. Those are what most people do with tempeh in Indonesia but some vegetarian restaurants serve tempeh as steak as well.

  62. Looks sooo good !!!!

  63. That looks yummy. Got to try this recipe at home!

  64. Bonnie Bao says:

    It looks good, the easiest and best fried rice made with kimchi.

  65. Pingback: On Yummooo food! |
  66. miakouppa says:

    This look delicious..and do-able! Thanks, will try it for sure 😉

  67. Looks really tasty!

  68. This looks delicious!! Will be trying this out soon for sure.

  69. okonnba says:

    Reblogged this on 健康 and commented:

  70. Mmmmmm…… mouth wateringly delicious . 😀 should try it definitely

  71. Looks so good! I like fried rice and Kimchi never put the two together. Can’t wait to try it!

  72. I love kimchi AND kimchi fried rice. I’m definitely trying your recipe!

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