This baked kimchi fried rice was born in attempts to create a healthier fried rice alternative. It’s a one bowl meal that easy to whip together!
The Search for a Healthier Fried Rice
Every once in a while, my dad will announce a new change in his diet. This is usually brought on by a recent check up from his doctor. If his doctor makes any note about his weight, cholesterol, or blood sugar- you betcha there’s going to be some changes.
One month he won’t eat any chocolate or sweets. (Which is probably super difficult with a daughter who comes to visit with a box of baked goodies.)
Another month, he’ll give up eating red meat. But one constant he always tries to refrain from- fried foods. This is insane for a fried food loving family. Tempura, tonkatsu, fried chicken, doughnuts!, eggrolls, French fries…
On a recent family dinner, my dad ordered fried rice. My husband and I quickly intervened and ordered plain steamed rice instead.
We had to explain, “DAD, fried rice is… fried!” Technically, it’s stir-fried, but it’s fried nonetheless and it’s oily.
Thinking about my dad and his love for fried rice, I began searching for alternatives. BINGO! I found the oven-baked pineapple fried rice from my friend Sarah of Snixy Kitchen and the baked fried brown rice from Oh My Veggies. I looked in my fridge and baked kimchi fried rice was born.
Ingredients for Kimchi Fried Rice
From a young age I was taught to always used day old, cold rice when making fried rice. I applied that same reasoning for this baked fried rice version.
Day old cold rice is sturdier and able to absorb flavors more easily.
The baked kimchi fried rice is flavored with a mixture soy sauce, sesame oil, kimchi juice, and gochujang. It is tossed with edamame, green onion, and kimchi.
Store bought kimchi works perfectly well, but if you are one of those all from scratch types, I suggest trying this homemade kimchi by my friend Ellen of In My Red Kitchen.
This “fried” rice couldn’t be an easier. Once you’ve gathered all your ingredients, simply toss it all together in a large bowl.
Yes, even the frozen edamame. It’ll cook in the oven. No need to cook it ahead of time.
Mix it all together until the rice is fully coated in sauce. Taste it.
If you want it spicier, add more gochujang. If you want a little more punch, add kimchi juice. (Kimchi juice is basically the liquid the cabbage expels as it’s fermenting/pickling.)
Then spread the rice into a thin even layer on a baking sheet. Put it in the oven and wait for a delicious bowl of kimchi fried rice!
I like to serve this with a sunny side up egg and a sprinkling of toasted white sesame seeds, shredded seaweed, and green onions. I can’t wait to share this recipe with my dad… although, I’ll probably have to omit the fried egg.
If you want a healthier option, try my baked kimchi cauliflower rice version!
Baked Kimchi Fried Rice
- 4 cup day old cooked rice, cold
- 1 ½ cup kimchi, chopped into bite sized pieces
- 2 Tablespoon kimchi juice *
- 1 ½ Tablespoon gochujang (Korean chili pepper paste)
- 2 Tablespoon reduced sodium soy sauce
- ½ Tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 ½ Tablespoon rice bran oil *
- 1 cup shelled edamame, frozen
- 3 stalks green onions, sliced, only green parts
- additional sliced green onions
- toasted white sesame seeds
- shredded seaweed
- fried egg
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- In a large bowl, combine rice, kimchi, kimchi juice, gochujang, soy sauce, sesame oil, rice bran oil, edamame, and green onions. Fold to combine until ingredients are thoroughly mixed.
- Spread mixture on a large baking sheet. Bake for 45-60 minutes, stirring rice about every 15-20 minutes. Cook until rice is hot and the rice on the edges of baking sheet start to crisp up. Serve warm and garnish with green onions, sesame seeds, shredded seaweed, and fried egg.
- Kimchi juice refers to the liquid the cabbage expels as it continues to ferment/pickle in the jar.
- I prefer rice bran oil, but feel free to substitute vegetable oil or canola oil
P.S. This cooking method is great if you need to serve a large crowd. Instead of multiple large skillets/woks, you can fill the oven with baked fried rice.