Our gochujang fried rice with kimchi and tofu is a super fast, easy, and healthy dinner with huge flavors. Plus, you can have it on the table in less than 15 minutes.
Our love of kimchi
We always liked kimchi, but we really fell hard for it during our trip to South Korea. We ate it by the tiny little plateful when it was served alongside our main dishes like bibimbap and barbecue. And we spent our week living in an apartment there eating our way through the most massive bag of it we’d ever seen (bought at a Costco-like mega-mart).
Kimchi is the perfect side dish. It’s tangy and spicy and – served cold – quite refreshing. We would love to learn to make our own, but until we invest in the proper canning materials or property where we can bury it, we’ll stick to buying it.
We can luckily get our favorite kimchi – Jongga brand – at the Asian market just a few minutes away. For ease, we recommend buying the pre-cut version.
How to make our gochujang fried rice in less than 15 minutes
Our gochujang fried rice is so fast and easy because it uses the aforementioned, beloved, store-bought kimchi and leftovers. If you put yourself on the clock, it will take you less than 15 minutes to go from fridge to plate.
Our assumptions are that you have some leftover gochujang tofu and cooked brown rice to work with. If you do not, honestly, we’d recommend you make something else for dinner tonight and then tomorrow you can make our gochujang fried rice.
The prep is simple. Mix gochujang with a few other ingredients (see the detailed recipe card below) to make a sauce. Cut up the tofu into bite sized pieces.
The cooking is also simple! Heat your wok on high and add your oils. Add the rice and spread it out into a thin layer. Cook it – without messing with it – for a few minutes until it gets crispy on one side. Then you can mess with it and cook it a couple more minutes.
Strain out some of the liquid that comes with the kimchi and add it to the wok. Then add the tofu. Turn the heat off and then mix in your gochujang sauce (you don’t want the rice to absorb the sauce too much, because it become a bit dry).
Serve with kimchi and eat it all up. We put a measurement for the amount of kimchi you may want to use, but you should really eat as much of it as you want. It’s delicious.
- 1 tsp gochujang
- 1 tsp lime sriracha
- 1 tsp hot water
- 2 tsp dark soy sauce
- 1 tsp kecap manis
- 1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil
Gochujang Fried Rice
- 1/2 lb gochujang tofu (see separate recipe), cooked and sliced into bite-sized pieces
- 1 1/2 cups brown rice, cooked (preferably day-old)
- 1/2 tsp flavorless cooking oil
- 1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil
- 2 1/2 Tbsp liquid from kimchi
- 1 1/2 cups kimchi
- To make the sauce, first mix the gochujang with the hot water slowly until it turns into a paste. Then add the rest of the ingredients. Set aside.
- Heat a wok on high and add the flavorless cooking oil (we use sunflower oil) first, and then the toasted sesame oil. Stir it around.
- Add the cooked rice and spread it out into as flat a layer as possible. Let it cook in the oil for 3 minutes. Mix it around and cook for another 2 minutes.
- Pour the liquid from the kimchi into the rice and stir.
- Throw in the gochujang tofu and let it cook for 2 minutes.
- Turn the heat off and mix in the sauce.
- Plate with as much kimchi as you want (or 3/4 cup per person).
- If you can't find lime sriracha, you can use regular sriracha plus a squeeze of lime juice.
- Day old already cooked rice is really best for this recipe.
- Buy good kimchi. Our favorite is "the number one brand in Korea." It's awesome.
- Make it vegan: the kimchi we love has shrimp paste but if you used a version without, the whole recipe would be vegan.