Kimchi Bokumbap: Kimchi Fried Rice

Kimchi Bokumbap: Kimchi Fried Rice

The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

Prep: 12 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 27 mins
Servings: 4 servings

Quick, easy, and cheap to make, kimchi bokumbap is simple Korean home cooking at its best. Kimchi fried rice (bokumbap or bokkeumbap) makes for a simple meal that helps you use two items commonly found in Korean pantries and refrigerators—rice and kimchi. This recipe is humble food that is mostly enjoyed at home, but you might also see it in some casual Korean eateries.

Using kimchi that's made with Napa cabbage is a good choice for this recipe, and making kimchi fried rice is a great way to use leftover kimchi that's a bit past its prime and sourer than fresh kimchi. It is actually what helps make this dish special. Most Koreans enjoy kimchi every day of the year. Kimchi is rich in vitamins and minerals and makes for an extremely healthy food choice.


Click Play to See This Kimchi Bokumbap: Kimchi Fried Rice Recipe Come Together


  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter or oil (divided)
  • 1 cup kimchi (preferably the kind made with Napa cabbage; drained and chopped)
  • 1/2 sweet onion, chopped
  • 3 large garlic cloves, chopped (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 4 oz thinly sliced beef, such as tenderloin
  • 3 cups cold cooked rice
  • Salt (to taste)
  • 4 fried eggs
  • 1 scallion, chopped

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Gather ingredients for kimchi fried rice

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of butter or oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the kimchi and onion and sauté for a few minutes until onion is tender.

    Kimchi in frying pan

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  3. When vegetables begin to look transparent, add garlic and soy sauce; sauté for another 2 to 3 minutes.

    add garlic and soy sauce to the kimchi in the pan

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  4. Add the meat and continue to sauté until meat is cooked.

    Add the meat to the kimchi mixture and continue to sauté

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  5. Add the cooked rice and the rest of the oil or butter, mixing to combine.

    add rice to the kimchi mixture

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  6. Salt to taste and top each serving with a fried egg and scallions. Enjoy!

    Kimchi Bokumbap: Kimchi Fried Rice with a fried egg on top

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

Raw Egg Warning

Consuming raw and lightly-cooked eggs poses a risk of food-borne illness.

Recipe Variations

  • Instead of beef, you can use pork, ham, bacon, Canadian bacon, or even Spam. If using American bacon, first sauté briefly in a large un-greased pan and omit the butter when adding the garlic and soy sauce.
  • Some recipes for Kimchi fried rice use chicken or baby shrimp as the protein source, so don't be afraid to experiment once you've got the basic recipe mastered.
  • Kimchi fried rice can also be made vegetarian by substituting tofu squares for the pork, beef, chicken, or shrimp.
  • If you like more spice, try adding Korean pepper flakes (gochugaru) and Korean chili paste (gochujang)