quick lunch – 5.29.12 – kimchi fried rice

As soon as I saw the recipe for Kimchi Fried Rice on coolcookstyle, I knew Micah would love it.

Not only is Micah borderline obsessed with kimchi (Korean spicy fermented cabbage), but also, any food description that includes the word “fried” sets his salivary glands a-squirtin’.

Plus, this dish includes one of Micah’s other very favorite foods: hot dogs.

So on Tuesday, when I spied one last lonely frankfurter in the fridge, then spotted a container of kimchi from Fook’s, I knew it was time to try this recipe out.

Of course, I couldn’t follow the instructions exactly because I was missing some ingredients and had the wrong amounts of several others. So, as usual, I improvised.

The first obstacle I had to overcome was not having (or ever having heard of) gochujang, a spicy, fermented chili-and-soybean paste.

I searched Google for alternatives and found a recipe for making your own gochujang substitute, which of course I also modified based on what I had in the pantry and my lazy desire NOT to mince three cloves of garlic.

The gochujang substitute recipe, with my own additional substitutions indicated:

  • 1 tablespoon miso paste
  • 3 tablespoons finely ground red chile pepper sriracha chili garlic sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 cloves garlic 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon rice wine tawny port (the only cooking wine I had in the house)
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil

The resulting mixture was less of a paste and more of a thick sauce, and I have no idea if it tasted anything like it was supposed to, but it was pungent and spicy and garlicky and salty, so it at least captured a pretty accurate flavor profile. 🙂

Once I had some semblance of gochujang, it was time to get cooking!

Here’s the lunch Micah eventually came home to:

please forgive the slightly withered cilantro….
(fresh would’ve been better, but this was what I had to work with)

What’s in it:

  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil, divided
  • 1 large hot dog, cut longways and then sliced into half-moons
  • 2 cups cooked rice (mine was not a day old as suggested, so when I cooked it, I used less water than usual to keep it a bit dry)
  • 3/4 cup kimchi, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon gochujang or gochujang substitute
  • soy sauce to taste (which is what I used instead of salt to season at the end)
  • 2 eggs
  • cilantro (mine was accidentally dried after too long in the fridge–oops!)


  • Heat 1/2 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat.
  • Add the hot dogs and cook until lightly browned around the edges.
  • Add the rice, spreading it evenly over the hot dogs, and drizzle it with the rest of the sesame oil. Cook undisturbed for a minute or two.
  • Stir in the kimchi and gochujang (or subsitute). Spread the rice mixture out evenly over the bottom of the pan again, reduce the heat to medium low, and cook undisturbed for 3-4 more minutes or until the rice on the bottom starts to brown and crisp a little.
  • Season to taste with soy sauce.
  • Divide the mixture between two bowls and stick ’em in a low oven or the microwave to stay warm.
  • Return your pan to the stove, adding a little oil or cooking spray if you’d like. Crack the eggs into the skillet. (The original recipe recommended using a separate pan for the eggs, but I didn’t feel like washing two pans, so I didn’t.)
  • Cook the eggs until they reach your preferred level of doneness. (We prefer ours runny-sunny-side-up.)
  • Top each bowl with an egg, then sprinkle with the cilantro and serve.

Micah and I both really enjoyed this lunch. The rice had just the right amount of bite to it, and the flavors were pungent and spicy and tangy. That hot dog gave things a meaty, savory punch, and it also worked with the egg to make this hearty enough to stand alone as a one-dish meal.

Like this recipe? Go visit coolcookstyle for more delicious inspiration! That gal really knows what she’s doing. 🙂

Categories: people, recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

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14 thoughts on “quick lunch – 5.29.12 – kimchi fried rice

  1. enjoywithjoy

    I love kimchi…I have to try this 🙂

  2. Yum, this looks great, and nice going on your substitute sauce. We just picked up some more kimchee on Friday. (It stunk the car out on the way home!) I like the egg on top. Reminds me of nasi goreng. We had an international dinner last night of kimchee, leftover Indian chicken curry and leftover sweet and sour pork. Odd combination but it worked. We have leftover rice. Kimchee rice with an egg on top sounds like a plan.

    • Kimchi is pretty stinky, but so, so good! And your pan-Asian dinner sounds pretty tasty, too. Let me know if you try this out–I’d love to hear how it goes! I think it’s pretty hard to beat food that’s topped with an egg. 🙂

      • I did try it out, and the egg was a good colourful addition. I used white radish kimchee, chopped up with lots of the sauce it came with, added sauted onions and garlic and added the rice. Came out really well. Thanks for the idea! 🙂

      • I’ve never had radish kimchi, but that sounds delicious! So glad to hear you tried it and that it was good. 🙂

      • It’s my favourite kind, (ggakdugi) radish kimchee, but I also like the sprout (kong namul) version too. But it has to be the big bean sprouts. And I also love their savory omelet/pancakes too. I have yet to try making my own of these, and it seems there are so many versions. I suppose every home has their recipe. I ‘m feeling really hungry now.
        Our local Korean restaurant has a great lunch special and they give about 5 plates to share between two people on top of what you order. Of course Chinese cabbage kimchee is the staple dish but it is like a feast. I usually order Bibimbap and put on extra hot chilli sauce. And mix it all in well before I eat. Really delicious.
        I especially like it when kimchee in general gets to the “bubbly on your tongue” level of fermentation. I wonder what the correct term is for this? Do you know what I mean when I say that? Fresh kimchee is not ready, then there is the stage of niceness then there is the extra bonus level of bubbliness. There are no physical bubbles but it feels like champagne but tastes like kimchee. The added dimension in taste. A bit like wine/beer making I think, getting the right proportions, heat and time. Really hungry now. 🙂

      • I think I do kind of know what you mean about the bubbliness–like, you can kind of taste the ferment, something a little beyond just tangy and pungent. I’ve had new-ish kimchi and kimchi that has aged for a little longer, and there’s definitely a difference.

        I’ve only been out for Korean food twice, and both times our Korean friend Jinny just ordered us a bunch of stuff to share. I do love the eggy pancake-omelets and bibimbap. Bulgogi, too. And the array of different kinds of kimchi is amazing! I’ll keep an eye out for radishes and sprouts next time we head to Atlanta–here in Athens, we can only get cabbage. Still lovely, though. 🙂

  3. This looks amazing! I am so impressed that you made your own version of gochujang. It looks like it turned out great and Micah is one lucky man to have someone who would make him kimchi fried rice for dinner.

    Thanks for the shout out too! It’s so nice that you think I know what I’m doing . . . because my mom doesn’t think so. I asked her today how to stir-fry. I’m such a pathetic Asian that I have only ever stir-fried twice? Maybe three times in my life?

    There was just silence on the phone.

    So I made something Italian instead 😉 But kimchi fried rice I got down! And I am so happy you tried it too 🙂

    • Ha, that’s awesome. If it makes you feel any better, I’m Italian, but I’ve never made a meatball in my life! (My mom made them all through my childhood, so I suppose I could ask her about it. :))

      The gochujang substitute was super easy (especially since I dumbed it down a bit), but I have no idea if it tasted right. (It tasted good, so I guess that works.)

      You’re very welcome for the shout-out–thanks for creating such a yummy meal to inspire me!

      • So I actually attempted a stir-fry today for the fourth time in my life.


        I even called my mom again. Silence on the other end of the line again! My mom’s response made me think of that definition of crazy. You know, when you do the same thing again hoping for a different result?

        In any case, I ended up googling how to stir-fry. And I still messed it up 😦 AND I still ate it. Now that is very Asian of me!

        You definitely inspire me too! If you can master gochujang, one day, I will make Chinese food better than my non-Asian friends!

        Do you have any leftover gochujang? Make Korean spicy tofu stew!

      • Oh, no! So sorry to hear it didn’t go well for you. My stir-fry dishes are always kind of almost good, but not quite right.

        We do have leftover gochujang–the recipe I followed made a little over 1/2 cup, and I only used a tablespoon in the kimchi fried rice. My friend Jinny, who’s Korean, showed me how to make kimchi stew, but I’ve never made tofu stew. Sounds like a delicious idea!

  4. Pingback: Kimchee Rice | throve

  5. Pingback: 8 Dinners, One Ingredient: Kimchi


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