Kimchi Fried Rice

By Alexandra Caspero on September 21, 2012

Ever tried Kimchi?


Of course you probably haven’t! Unless you enjoy Korean food or are excited to try new things, this ingredient might be completely foreign to you. Let’s be honest, fermented cabbage  doesn’t usually scream “delicious” if you haven’t tried it before.

This is one of those ‘you just have to trust me’ kinda dishes. Kimchi is typically made with cabbage and daikon radish, but I’ve seen some varieties include a lot of other vegetables as well. Whatever. It doesn’t really matter that much which one you go with, but try to find a napa cabbage based variety for this dish.

If you want to impress your friends and family. (“Who me? Fermenting cabbage on a school night? You don’t do the same?”) You can follow the tons of homemade Kimchi recipes available online.  If you want to leave the fermenting to the pros, head to your local Whole Foods or Asian Market for a jar of it.

I don’t think we eat enough fermented foods and am hoping you will join me in changing that. Why are they so important?  Here’s the deal.  Everyone has  microflora (bacteria) in our intestine which is key to keeping us healthy and to help fight off the “bad” bacteria. Fermented foods help to keep the “good” bacteria thriving and our microflora balanced. This is especially true for those who take antibiotics, their job is to kill the bacteria in your body, regardless of whether it is “good” or “bad.”

Kimchi Fried Rice

1 cup napa-cabbage Kimchi (homemade or prepared)
3 cups of leftover cooked rice (brownie points for brown rice)
1/4 cup scallions, thinly sliced
8 oz. firm tofu, crumbled or chopped into small pieces
3 tbsp. butter (I like Earth Balance brand)
1 tbsp. sesame oil
2 tsp. Sirarcha
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 sweet onion, finely chopped
2 tbsp. soy sauce

In a large saute or wok, heat the butter over medium high heat . Add the kimchi and fry for 1-2 minutes, add the onion and garlic and saute 5 minutes more. Add the tofu and saute 2-3 more minutes. Add the rice, soy sauce, Sirarcha, scallions and cook until heated through.



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Meet Alex Caspero

Alex Caspero is a Registered Dietitian, New York Times Bestselling Plant-Based Chef and mom of two. She aims to cut through the nutrition noise by providing real-life, nourishing tips for body and mind. Learn more about Alex.

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    1. Have never had kimchi fried rice or even considered it till reading your post. Love how this challenge expands our food world, don’t you?

      1. DK
        September 24, 2012 AT 8:46 am

        Yes! Completely agree! I love going outside my “normal” food world with these challenges. Thanks for commenting.

    2. Nicole @WholeHealthRD
      September 23, 2012 AT 5:31 pm

      I love making kimchi! I’m always looking for new ways to use it. Someone suggested kimchi quesadillas?! I will have to add to fried rice!

      1. DK
        September 24, 2012 AT 8:47 am

        Interesting, I never would have thought of that but sounds great! I made this dish a few times while testing it and each time I enjoyed Kimchi more and more. I will have to start adding it to more foods. Thanks!

    3. Josh Houck
      September 22, 2012 AT 11:08 pm

      Kimchi’s great…but it makes you stink if you eat too much of it. Cabbage, in general, is way underrated. Great shots! Your killin’ it with the camera these days! I love all the different colored backgrounds and the nice bokeh.

    4. Alysa (InspiredRD)
      September 21, 2012 AT 8:51 am

      Kimchi is one of those foods I keep hearing about but haven’t tried yet. Now I have no excuse! Thanks for the recipe.

    5. graincrazy
      September 21, 2012 AT 7:01 am

      I love fried rice. I love the additions you made to it. It looks yummy!

    6. Tracy
      September 21, 2012 AT 5:55 am

      Kimchi is on my list of things to try. There are a few people in my office that munch it down regularly ..Im not such a fan of the smell 🙂 I suppose the health benefits would help me get over that. Must give this recipe a go-Thanks!

    7. Elizabeth
      September 21, 2012 AT 5:39 am

      MMMM Love Kimchi!

    8. Jeanette
      September 21, 2012 AT 5:21 am

      I love kimchi fried rice – great idea adding tofu for some extra protein!