30-minute meals

Kimchi fried rice is a hero dinner that uses up your leftovers

Whether you scale it up, adapt it or eat it as is, this 30-minute meal from Francis Lam is one to remember

Thursday 07 October 2021 15:23
<p>This recipe uses a simple, but genius, technique </p>

This recipe uses a simple, but genius, technique

Not the high-heat stir-fry you might expect, this recipe relies on a simple technique: a flavourful kimchi sauce is mellowed out with butter, then used to sauté leftover rice. The resulting dish is easily scaled up, as adaptable as it is brilliant, and a great way to use up leftovers (not just rice!). Spam, ham or any leftover meat you have around would work well here. (And vegetarians, of course, can just leave the meat out altogether.)

Kimchi fried rice

Makes: Serves 2

Total time: 30 minutes


3tbsp unsalted butter

½ small onion, medium dice

170g roughly chopped kimchi

2tbsp kimchi juice, or to taste

100g small-dice Spam, ham or leftover cooked meat

400g cooked, cooled rice (preferably short-grain)

2tsp soy sauce, or to taste

1tsp sesame oil, or to taste

2tsp vegetable oil

2 eggs

Salt to taste

Crumbled or slivered nori (roasted seaweed) for garnish

Sesame seeds for garnish


1. In a non-stick saute pan or well-seasoned cast-iron pan, melt butter over medium-low heat, and add onions. Cook, stirring, until the onions start to sizzle, about 2 minutes. Add kimchi and kimchi juice, and stir until it comes to a boil, about 3 minutes. Add Spam or other cooked meat, and cook until sauce is nearly dried out, about 5 minutes.

2. Break up the rice in the pan with a spatula, and stir it to incorporate. Turn heat to medium. Cook, stirring, until the rice has absorbed the sauce and is very hot, about 5 minutes. Stir in soy sauce and sesame oil. Taste, and adjust with more soy sauce, sesame oil or kimchi juice. Turn heat down slightly, but let the rice continue to cook, untouched, until lightly brown while you cook the eggs.

3. Place a small non-stick saute pan over medium heat, and add the vegetable oil. When it is hot, add eggs, season with salt and fry to your desired doneness. Serve rice topped with fried eggs, nori and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.

© The New York Times

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments