For a quick meal, rice and cauliflower is stir fried in a wok with eggs, kimchi, shrimp and herbs.
The trick to fried rice is high heat and using a wok. The high sides help when stirring the rice. You don’t want to steam the rice you want to fry it. To keep from ending up with soggy rice I try to use day old rice that way it will be drier and will crisp better. While this isn’t required (you can easily use a large pan) it definitely gives it a better texture and is a good way to use up excess rice from a takeout order or a previous night’s dinner. I cut the rice with cauliflower to sneak in some additional vegetables and toss with kimchi for my take on kimchi bokkeumbap.
Day old rice is optimal for cooking fried rice since it has dried out a bit. When making fried rice the goal is to fry it so it’s a bit crispy and absorbs the rice rather than steaming it to the point that it is mushy. While day-old rice isn’t required it definitely makes for the best texture. In this recipe the rice is crisped in the remaining pork fat.
If you don’t have leftover rice you can mimic the dried rice by spreading the cooked rice in an even layer on a baking sheet and refrigerating it for an hour or freezing it for about 15 minutes to 30 minutes. This shortcut will draw the moisture out while saving time.
Key Ingredients in This Recipe
To up my vegetable intake I’ve been adding cauliflower rice (the new Brussels sprouts or kale in my opinion) into some of the rice dishes that I make. I still like to have some carbs in there but this way I feel like I’m eating more rice than I actually am.
I’ll never be one of those people who can eat a meal of entirely vegetables for dinner and not be hungry so this is a nice balance. Cauliflower rice is sold at most grocery stores like Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods but it’s just as easy (and cheaper) to make yourself. Just add roughly chopped cauliflower to the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade and pulse until finely chopped (the size of rice) or simply finely chop it with a chef’s knife.
I’ve only recently come to love kimchi for the wonderful fermented beauty that it is. Napa cabbage is soaked in a salty brine to kill any bacteria then it’s rubbed with a mixture of spices and fermented until it becomes the pungent, tangy Korean staple that’s good on everything from noodles to dumplings. I roughly chop the kimchi and include some of the juices for the best flavor and seasoning.
As discussed above I recommend using day-old rice for this recipe to get the best texture. But what rice is best for kimchi fried rice? I recommend using either long grain white rice or short grain white rice.
Eggs scrambled into this rice dish add a savory touch and add additional protein.
How to Make Kimchi Fried Rice
Sauté aromatics. Heat a wok over medium-high heat, add the vegetable oil and sesame oil and heat through. Add the garlic, ginger and the whites from the scallions, stirring with a rubber spatula just for a second.
Cook shrimp. Add the shrimp to the wok and sauté until cooked through, about 4 minutes.
Cook cauliflower rice. Add the cauliflower rice to the wok and sauté until tender.
Add eggs. Crack the eggs into the wok and scramble the eggs until they are just set.
Stir in rice. Add the white rice and let sit for just a few seconds to crisp the rice then stir to combine then add the soy sauce.
Toss with remaining ingredients. Add the kimchi, remaining green onions, cilantro and sesame seeds and toss to combine. Serve hot.
Tips and Tricks for This Recipe
Swaps and Substitutions
Omit the shrimp for a vegetarian version of this recipe.
Kimchi is typically not vegan (shrimp paste) though you can omit the shrimp, eggs and use a vegan kimchi to make the recipe vegan.
Swap the shrimp for another protein like chicken or tofu if desired. Spam or bacon also make great additions!
While I use a combination of cauliflower rice and day old rice you can easily use one or the other on preference.
How to Make the Best Fried Rice
Prep! Having your mise en place ready to go (all ingredients prepped according to the instructions prior to cooking) will ensure the best fried rice since once you start the recipe comes together quickly.
Work fast! Cooking everything quickly at a high heat will result in a great fried rice.
Other Recipes to Try
If you enjoy this kimchi fried rice recipe, I recommend checking out some of these: