Vegetarian Kimchi Fried Rice (2023)

Kimchi fried rice is on another level. Made without meat, this dish is bursting with flavor and is perfect for customizing. It requires just 15 minutes, making it the perfect dish for busy evenings.

Vegetarian Kimchi Fried Rice (1)

I’m a huge fan of rice dishes for multiple reasons. They’re hearty and filling, but they’re also simple and very versatile. Add your favorite vegetables to a nice, warm bowl of rice, and you have a complete meal!

When done well, fried rice can be an incredibly flavorful dish. And kimchi fried rice? Well, that’s on another level! By adding kimchi to fried rice, you’re left with a dish that’s unlike your standard rice meal. Kimchi adds an element that you simply cannot find anywhere else! It has completely changed the rice game for me.

If you’re unfamiliar, kimchi is a fermented cabbage dish that’s both spicy and sour. It adds the perfect amount of zing to many different recipes. On top of being delicious, kimchi is quite healthy. It’s filled with probiotics and is a great source of vitamin K, vitamin C, and folate!

Follow this recipe to make the perfect kimchi at home.

Vegetarian Kimchi Fried Rice (2)

Ingredients for vegetarian fried rice

As with most stir fry recipes, this kimchi fried rice requires a longer list of ingredients than some of my other recipes. But, have no fear! All of the required ingredients are simple and easy to locate. You won’t be searching your grocery store for obscure items, I promise!

  • Oil: Oil will be used to cook the veggies. If preferred, feel free to use butter instead.
  • White Onion: We’ll be using about ½ of a chopped onion. I like white, but red will work too!
  • Garlic: Minced garlic cloves will add flavor to this delicious combo.
  • Kimchi: This dish isn’t complete without the kimchi! I used this easy recipe to make my kimchi from scratch.
  • Vegetables: Feel free to get creative and use your favorite vegetables! I’m using frozen peas and carrots, but many different options will work.
  • Rice: Rice provides the oomph in this recipe. Use your favorite type! I’m using white.
  • Kimchi Juice: Kimchi juice will add some extra kimchi flavor to this dish.
  • Eggs: We’ll be using 2 eggs for this recipe. If you’d like to add extra protein, feel free to add another egg or two.
  • Soy Sauce: Soy sauce gives this dish the perfect dash of saltiness!
  • Toasted Sesame Oil: Similarly, toasted sesame oil provides the final touch of flavor.

This fried rice is made without meat (pork or spam are often used), and is perfect for vegetarians. Leave out the egg, and it’s vegan-friendly! If you’re looking for a low carb rice idea check out my cauliflower fried rice.

Vegetarian Kimchi Fried Rice (3)

How to make fried rice

Vegetarian fried rice with kimchi is an incredibly easy dish to prepare. It only consists of four different steps. In total, this dish only requires 15 minutes, making it great for even the busiest of week nights! I love to make this dish when I don’t feel like cooking and need something that’s quick, easy, and filling.

Step 1: Prep the base
First, in a large wok, heat oil or butter over medium/high. Next, add onion and garlic, cooking until soft and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Then, add the kimchi and the veggies, cooking until the veggies are cooked through. This first step creates the bulk of the flavor.

Vegetarian Kimchi Fried Rice (4)

Step 2: Add the rice
Next, add the rice and kimchi juice, stirring to evenly coat. Continue cooking until the rice is warm.

Vegetarian Kimchi Fried Rice (5)

Step 3: Cook the eggs
Make a hole in the middle of the rice so you can see the bottom of the pan. Then, crack the eggs in the hole and cook them until scrambled, then stir to evenly combine with the rice.

Step 4: Serve and enjoy
Lastly, stir in soy sauce and sesame oil. Serve warm.

Vegetarian Kimchi Fried Rice (6)

Tips for making kimchi fried rice

There are a few tips that will help take your rice to the next level! Be sure to incorporate these tricks for the best kimchi friend rice.

Use cooled rice: The recipe card reads cooled rice, and for good reason! Cooled rice fries infinitely better than rice that’s straight out of the pot. When it’s cooled, it’s able to soak up the butter or oil and brown up perfectly. When it’s still warm, the rice gets clumpy and just doesn’t work nearly as well. After cooking, give your rice a solid 30-40 minutes in the fridge. To save time, you can even cook it the day before!

Be generous with the veggies: My recipe calls for one cup of veggies, but feel free to use as little or as much as you’d like! After all, extra veggies have never hurt anyone!

Use just the right amount of soy sauce: You don’t want to overdo the sauce. Too much, and your dish will be too salty, and that’s never good. Therefore, if your dish becomes brown, you’ve used too much! By rule of thumb, 2 tbsp should be just right.

Use a large skillet: I recommend using a large skillet so that everything can cook evenly and at one time. Plus, this will speed up your cooking process!

Heat the pan first: Before you add the contents of your fried rice, you should have the pan prepped, heated, and ready to go. If you cook at a medium temperature, your rice will take longer to cook, which can actually cause it to overcook and get mushy.

Vegetarian Kimchi Fried Rice (7)

Try these tasty kimchi dishes!

I am all about kimchi lately. I love the flavor. I love the health benefits. I love everything about it! If you’ve found that you love kimchi as much as I do, you’ve got to try these kimchi recipes.

  • Kimchi Bibimbap
  • Udon Noodles with Kimchi
  • Kimchi Fries
  • Tempeh Tacos with Kimchi

P.S. This fried rice is great with crispy tofu in this Fried Rice Meal Prep!

Vegetarian Kimchi Fried Rice (8)

Kimchi Fried Rice

5 from 5 votes

Prep: 5 minutes minutes

Cook: 10 minutes minutes

Total: 15 minutes minutes

Author: Sarah Bond

Calories: 260kcal

Servings: 4 servings

Print Rate

Kimchi fried rice is on another level. Made without meat, this dish is bursting with flavor and is perfect for customizing.


  • 2 Tbsp oil or butter 30 mL
  • ½ cup chopped white onion about ½ onion
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 cup kimchi 200 g
  • 1 cup veggies such as frozen peas, carrots, and/or corn
  • 3 cups cooked rice cooled, 200 g
  • 2 Tbsp kimchi juice 30 mL
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce 30 mL
  • ½ tsp toasted sesame oil 2 mL


  • Flavor: In a large wok, heat oil or butter over medium/high. Add onion and garlic, cooking until soft and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add kimchi and veggies, cooking until veggies are cooked through.

  • Rice: Add rice and kimchi juice, stirring to evenly coat. Continue cooking until rice is warm.

  • Egg: Make a hole in the middle of the rice so you can see the bottom of the pan. Crack eggs into the hole and cook them until scrambled, then stir to evenly combine with the rice.

  • Serve: Stir in soy sauce and sesame oil. Serve warm.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1serving Calories: 260kcal (13%) Carbohydrates: 33.3g (11%) Protein: 7.8g (16%) Fat: 10.4g (16%) Saturated Fat: 681g (4256%) Cholesterol: 82mg (27%) Sodium: 681mg (30%) Potassium: 193mg (6%) Fiber: 3.4g (14%) Sugar: 2.8g (3%) Calcium: 29mg (3%) Iron: 2mg (11%)

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Vegetarian Kimchi Fried Rice? ›

2KG Freshly UK Made Vegetarian Kimchi based on Authentic Korean Recipe (No Artificial Additives, Gluten Free, Natural Fermentation, Natural Probiotics)

Can you get vegetarian kimchi? ›

2KG Freshly UK Made Vegetarian Kimchi based on Authentic Korean Recipe (No Artificial Additives, Gluten Free, Natural Fermentation, Natural Probiotics)

Why does my kimchi fried rice taste bland? ›

And this is a kind of dish that we don't use the fresh kimchi to make. Fresh kimchi lacks the depth of flavor needed for proper kimchi fried rice. And of course, you can eat it with freshly made rice instead, it would be even healthier.

What is kimchi made of vegetarian? ›

While the basic ingredients of kimchi, like cabbage, radish, and scallions, are vegetarian-friendly, often fish sauce or shrimp paste are added to the mixture to up the umami and saltiness of the final product. That's perfectly fine if you eat fish, but if you don't, it's worth keeping an eye out.

What is the difference between stir fried kimchi and kimchi? ›

Stir-fried kimchi is sweeter and less pungent in flavor than uncooked kimchi. When frying the kimchi, sugar is added to balance the sour and pungent flavor of the fermented kimchi.

Is Trader Joe's kimchi vegetarian? ›

Trader Joe's Kimchi With Napa Cabbage is vegan, which means it is not your typical Kimchi. Furthermore, there is no shrimp paste, fish sauce, or raw oysters in the Kimchi. Instead, shiitake mushroom powder substitutes for the umami taste.

Is Costco kimchi vegetarian? ›

Ingredients. The ingredients list is cabbage, seasonings as well as salted shrimp so this particular kimchi is not vegetarian. Kimchi is known for being full of probiotics and nutrients as well as low in calories.

Why does my stomach feel weird after eating kimchi? ›

The most common reaction to fermented foods is a temporary increase in gas and bloating. This is the result of excess gas being produced after probiotics kill harmful gut bacteria and fungi.

Why does Chinese restaurant fried rice taste so good? ›

The answer: high heat, expert tosses, and something known as 'wok hei. ' As J. Kenji López-Alt writes for Serious Eats, expert cooking with a wok (and the gas range it requires) is one of the main reasons that fried rice from a Chinese restaurant tastes so much better than what you can make at home.

Why is my kimchi fried rice soggy? ›

If your final dish is soggy, my guess is your rice was too moist. It's best to use day-old rice when making fried rice. This is because the rice slightly dries out in the fridge, which allows it to absorb more of the yummy flavors and seasonings and prevents your dish from being a hot soggy mess.

Why isn t kimchi vegetarian? ›

A staple ingredient is shrimp paste and fish sauce which heightens the flavor and makes it extra tasteful. They also add more garlic to improve the taste of this Korean food. The two seafood ingredients are not part of the vegan diet, which makes Kimchi not vegan.

Is there any vegetarian dish in Korean? ›

Dubujeon is a traditional dish originating from South Korea. This type of jeon (pan-fried battered food) is made with tofu. Other ingredients usually include flour, oil, eggs, scallions, salt, pepper, and vegetables such as onions and carrots.

What makes kimchi not vegetarian? ›

Traditionally, kimchi is not vegan. This is because it is typically seasoned and fermented in a seafood paste to deepen the flavour. This means that lots of kimchi bought that is made by Korean brands are not vegan-friendly.

Do Koreans eat kimchi fried rice? ›

Kimchi Fried Rice is as common in Korea as Chinese fried rice is in China. Every household makes it, and it's a thrifty comfort dish that makes use of leftover cooked rice and kimchi from the fridge.

What does kimchi do to your body? ›

Because it's a fermented food, it boasts numerous probiotics. These healthy microorganisms may give kimchi several health benefits. It may help regulate your immune system, promote weight loss, fight inflammation, and even slow the aging process. If you enjoy cooking, you can even make kimchi at home.

Is kimchi basically pickle? ›

What Is Kimchi? Kimchi is a traditional spicy pickled vegetable dish in Korea. While it's usually made with cabbage, there are more than a hundred kimchi varieties, using everything from cucumbers and radishes to eggplants and pumpkin blossoms.

Is most kimchi vegetarian? ›

A traditional Korean side dish, kimchi consists mainly of fermented cabbage, radish and other vegetables. But it's normally made using fish sauce, fish paste or other seafood. That takes it off the menu for vegans, who don't eat any products derived from animals.

Which Korean food is pure vegetarian? ›

One of the most famous Korean veg dishes. Kimchi jjigae is a stew made up of cabbage, and tofu with lots of other secret veggie ingredients. Although it's entirely vegetarian, it still has enough vegetable ingredients to make it tasty and healthy.

Can Korean food be vegetarian? ›

Seoul is a carnivore's dream destination but, while fish markets and Korean BBQ fill every street in the city, there are a number of vegetarian (and even vegan) options for hungry travellers.

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