Using Up Leftover Rice: Kimchi Fried Rice

All recipe posts are written by our co-founder Jennifer J. Yoo unless otherwise noted. 

I love a good low key Chinese or Thai delivery night at home and thanks to that, I always have a healthy supply of left over rice.  Cooked rice will keep for a long time in your freezer and has been one of my favorite go to items since my college days.

Most Korean home cooks have their own recipe for Kimchi Fried Rice, the ultimate comfort food. We probably have about 4 or 5 different versions we regularly make. There really is no rule in making Kimchi Fried Rice so feel free to experiment. This version with the bacon, is one of our most frequently made - cooking the onion and kimchi in bacon, along with its rendered fat, brings out a sweet flavor that makes this rice addictive.

TIME   20 minutes

SERVES 4 as main, 6 when used as a side


  • 5 1/2 cups rice (about two Chinese take out containers)*
  • 3 cups ripe kimchi, chopped
  • 8 oz bacon, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 small-medium sized onion, chopped**
  • 2 Tablespoons strawberry gochujang 
  • 2 Tablespoons sesame seeds
  • Infrared-roasted sesame oil, to be drizzled
*Old rice works best for fried rice as fresh rice have too much moisture and will make fried rice too soggy. If using left over frozen rice, make sure it is defrosted before use.

**I ended up using a shallot when making this recipe because it happened to be one of those odd days when I ran out of onions! How did that happen? Feel free to use any type of onions (yellow, red or even shallot like I did here).


  1. Add bacon in a heated wok and cook for about 3 minutes until fat is rendered.
  2. Add kimchi and onion, stir as it cooks, until onions become transparent.
  3. Add gochujang and rice.
  4. Toss well as it cooks for another 5-7 minutes, until rice is properly blended in.
  5. Drizzle sesame oil and sprinkle sesame seeds prior to serving. You can have left overs for breakfast the next day with a fried egg on top!

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