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Kimchi Fried Rice is undeniably delicious! Use leftover rice and store-bought cauliflower rice to get this healthier, gluten-free dinner recipe on the table in minutes.

Bowl of Healthier Kimchi Fried Rice

Last Sunday I took to Instagram Stories to poll my peeps on their thoughts about kimchi. The options were heck yes or hell no, and the the result? Majority “heck yes”.

MY PEOPLE!

Ok, ok – if you would have asked me what I thought about kimchi a couple years ago I would have responded “Kim who?” so I totally get why some would vote the other side of the coin. This Korean condiment is fermented vegetables, mostly cabbage, that’s flavored with chiles, onions, ginger, and garlic. Kimchi is pretty intimidating-looking but if you can get past it’s appearance, you’ll be won over by its flavor. A little sour, a little spicy – like sauerkraut with an incredible kick.

I use kimchi as a topper on this meat served over rice (<< OMG), chopped up in Kimchi Fried Rice, and…chopped up in Kimchi Fried Rice. Over and over and over again. We are obsessed with this easy gluten-free dinner recipe!

This recipe concept came to me a few years ago by way of the New York Times. What can I say, if the NYT tells me to cook something, I usually do it. (You haven’t lived until you’ve tried their Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe.)

Anyway, their suggestion to toss chopped kimchi into a wok of fried rice with SPAM sounded just crazy enough to work. Well, minus the SPAM part – that just sounded crazy. That said, over the past couple of years I’ve swapped in everything from smoked ribs, to cooked bacon, but have settled on chopped kielbasa as my favorite. Its salty, savory flavor is perfection when paired with the tangy kimchi. Add in a splash of sesame oil, drizzle of gluten-free Tamari or soy sauce, and a couple scrambled eggs to boot, and you’ve got yourself one heck of a memorable, flavorful dinner. This is one of those recipes that’s so good you can’t wait to tell your friends about it (hence why I’m posting it here!)

Oh, it’s also a little bit healthier then the original version as I cut half the rice with cauliflower rice! This is a trick I use ALL THE TIME on my family when I’m serving them fried rice or a rice-pilaf type dish. My kids have no idea. Last thing, because I brought up kids, this dish has a bit of a kick to it so be mindful if you’re serving to little ones. My boys don’t mind a little bit of spice, and gobbled this up, but you might want to make other plans for your squad if they’re spice sensitive.

Photo of Healthier Kimchi Fried Rice

Start by heating a large wok over high heat then melt 3 Tablespoons butter (or vegan butter) inside. Add 1 chopped shallot or 3 chopped green onions then saute until softened, 1-2 minutes. Butter may seem like an odd fat to stir fry with but it pairs so well with the sour kimchi. You’ll see!

Speaking of, chop 1 packed cup kimchi then measure out 1 Tablespoon of the packing liquid. Kimchi is not the most photogenic ingredient, but don’t judge this book by its cover! We usually use Mother In Law’s Kimchi which I find at Whole Foods.

Add the chopped kimchi and liquid to the wok then stir fry to heat through. Next add 7oz chopped kielbasa then stir fry until the mixture is mostly dry and the kielbasa is golden brown, 5 minutes or so.

Turn the heat down to medium then add 2 cups cauliflower rice to the wok. I use the grating blade attachment that came with my food processor to rice the cauliflower, but you could use store-bought if you need to.

Also add 2 cups cooked white rice (directions in the recipe card below,) then drizzle in 1 teaspoon sesame oil and a few turns of the pan of gluten-free Tamari or soy sauce (dish will not be GF if using traditional soy sauce). Stir fry until the cauliflower rice is cooked through, 3-4 minutes.

Last step is to push the fried rice to the sides of the wok then drizzle in 2 eggs that have been whisked with 1 teaspoon sesame oil. Scramble the eggs then toss with the rice to combine.

That’s all she wrote! Let the stir fry cool for 5-10 minutes (you can really taste everything so much better, including the butter – YUM – when it’s cooled off a touch,) then scoop into bowls and serve. I hope you LOVE this healthier, totally fun take on fried rice! Enjoy!

Bowl of Healthier Kimchi Fried Rice with chopsticks

Kimchi Fried Rice

Description

Kimchi Fried Rice is undeniably delicious! Use leftover rice and store-bought cauliflower rice to get this healthier, gluten-free dinner recipe on the table in minutes.

Ingredients

serves 3-4

  • 3/4 cup long grain white rice
  • 3 Tablespoons butter or vegan butter
  • 1 shallot or 3 green onions, chopped
  • 1 packed cup kimchi, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon kimchi liquid
  • 7oz kielbasa, sliced into quarters then diced
  • 2 cups cauliflower rice (~1/4 large head cauliflower)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil, divided
  • 1 Tablespoon gluten-free Tamari or soy sauce (dish will not be GF if using traditional soy sauce)

Directions

  1. Add rice to a small saucepan with a scant 1-1/3 cups water. Bring to a boil then place a lid on top, turn the heat down to medium-low, then simmer for 10 minutes (water should barely be bubbling). Remove pan from heat then let rice sit and steam for 3 minutes before scooping and spreading out onto a large plate to cool. Once cool, measure out 2 cups then use the remaining 1/2 cup or so for another dish (or just add to this dish and slightly increase amount of Tamari/kimchi, etc.)
  2. Add eggs and 1 teaspoon sesame oil to a small bowl then whisk to combine and set aside.
  3. Heat a large wok over high heat. Add butter then, once melted, add shallots or green onions and stir fry until slightly tender, 1-2 minutes. Add kimchi and kimchi liquid then stir and heat through, 30 seconds, before adding kielbasa. Stir fry until mixture is mostly dry and kielbasa is golden brown, 5 minutes.
  4. Turn heat down to medium then add rice and cauliflower rice. Mix to combine then add remaining 1 teaspoon sesame oil and go around the wok a few times with Tamari - I usually add about 1 Tablespoon. Stir fry until cauliflower rice is tender, 3-4 minutes.
  5. Push fried rice to the sides of the wok to form a well in the center then pour the egg mixture inside. Scramble eggs then toss with the rice to combine.
  6. Let fried rice cool for 10 minutes or so before tasting and adding additional tamari if necessary. Scoop into bowls then serve.

Notes

  • You could use 2 cups leftover rice instead of cooking some fresh.
  • Swap in store-bought riced or crumbled cauliflower to make this dish come together even faster.
Slightly adapted from New York Times

This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.

Photo collage of Healthier Kimchi Fried Rice