Korean Kimchi Fried Rice & Sides

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Korean food is a favorite in our family. Korean food consists of main and side dishes. The food is served family-style with dishes in the center and everyone gets their own small individual rice bowls. It’s a blend of colors and flavors range from sweet, sour, bitter, spicy, and salty.

FUN FACT: Traditional Korean food consists of five main colors(Obangsaek): green, red, yellow, white, and black. Each of them signifies the five elements: wood(green), fire(red), earth(yellow), metal(white), water(black).  They also represent emotions, organs in the body, essential flavors to directions of the universe. The concept is based on the Yin-Yang theory of balance – just like them so should the 5 elements in the food. For Koreans food is not only a source of energy for the body but also as nourishment for the mind and soul. 

Gochujang paste and Kimchi are staples that you will need for cooking this meal.

Gochujang paste: you can make your own (recipe below) or find it in the Asian section of some grocery stores. If you want to do none of the above and like the convenience, then you can order it online.

Kimchi: Is the heart of most Korean meals and is basically spicy, fermented cabbage with ginger, garlic, and chilies. You can make your own if you are adventurous ( I hear it is not that hard but has to be just right) or you can find in most refrigerated grocery sections (where tofu is kept). If you can not find it at your local store, you can order online.

My only knowledge of this is from a friend in college so I can’t tell you much more about that. But I do know that these are some of our favorite Korean vegetarian dishes – Kimchi Fried Rice, Spicy Cucumber, Sprouts, Spinach, and Sweet Broccolini. We love to travel and what better way than to experience the foods of that country. This is just a small sample and one day I hope to have Blue Marble Escapes plan my trip so I can continue the exploration. I know the recipe looks complicated but it really was not that hard.


Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: korean
Keyword: fried rice, kimchi, sticky rice, vegetables


  • 2 cups jasmine rice day-old rice is always better
  • 2 tbsp vegetable/canola oil
  • 2 tsp butter optional
  • 1 ½ cup kimchi coarsely chopped
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 medium-sized diced onion
  • ½ cup peas optional
  • 2 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • 3 cup mushrooms sliced (as per taste)
  • 1 cup matchstick carrots
  • 2 large eggs cooked sunny side up
  • ¼ cup scallions

SAUCE (whisk together)

  • ¼ cup Kimchi juice at the bottom of the kimchi jar
  • 3 tsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp Gochujang (Korean Red Pepper Paste) recipe is below in case you do not have paste on hand and add per taste
  • 2 tsps sesame oil
  • Salt as per taste
  • Optional : sesame seeds green onions, nori strips


  • cup miso paste
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp chili flakes
  • ¼ cup Tamari soy sauce add as per taste as it is salty
  • 5 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tbsp water (can add 2 more tsp if needed)
  • Blend Together adding water slowly to make a sauce.


  • Cook rice as per package instructions, with a little less than 3 cups water and keep aside. (Day old rice is even better)
  • Heat vegetable/canola oil and add onions and cook until tender.
  • Add ginger, garlic, carrots, peas, mushrooms, kimchi , cook for a few minutes till veggies are tender
  • Stir in cooked rice, sauce, butter and mix
  • Serve immediately with eggs(on top), scallions, nori strips, and sesame seeds, if desired.



  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp white sugar/honey
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon hot chili oil
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes


  • Whisk all the ingredients together


Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: korean
Keyword: cucumber, spicy


  • 3 large cucumbers
  • Side Dressing (Recipe above)


  • Sliced lengthwise or cut in 1/2 inch thick half rounds Or cut in thin circles
  • Make sure to remove any seeds if there are seeds
  • Put in a colander and drain for like 30 mins
  • Drizzle with dressing and chill for at least an hour
  • Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve


Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: korean
Keyword: korean, side, sprouts


  • Sprouts
  • Side Dressing (Recipe above)


  • Boil sprouts for like 5 mins
  • Remove from water
  • Quick Sauté in sesame oil
  • Add some Gochujang paste/ sambal/soy sauce and saute for a quick few mins

Spicy Spinach

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: korean
Keyword: korean, side, spicy, spinach


  • Spinach
  • White Onion
  • Side Dressing (Recipe above)


  • Quick blanch spinach in hot water for like 1 min
  • Remove and put on ice to stop the cooking
  • Chop Spinach and separate and untangle
  • Add some sesame oil to a medium pan
  • Quick Sauté chopped onions and spinach
  • Add some side dressing (recipe above)
  • Let it sit for at least 10 mins for the flavors to seep in
  • Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve


Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: korean
Keyword: BROCCOLINI, korean


  • Broccolini
  • Sambal
  • Side Dish Dressing recipe above


  • Quick blanch in hot water for like 2 min
  • Remove and put on ice to stop the cooking
  • Quick Sauté in sesame oil
  • Add some dressing above and sambal

As always have FUN IN YOUR KITCHEN as every creation is your very own, and one of its kind masterpieces.

This is my creation that I am sharing. If you try the recipe, do tag me on Instagram – Footprint The World and add the tag #footprinttheworld as it’s always so fun to see the different variations.

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