Vegan kimchi fried rice is a great way to explore the vibrant flavor that kimchi offers.
This year, we’ve been exploring fermented foods. We first fermented cabbage to make sauerkraut for our Vegan Oktoberfest event, and it was a big hit. We really enjoyed the process, so moved on to what seemed like a bigger challenge – kimchi! It’s spicy, sour, crunchy and even a little fizzy (if you let it ferment for long enough!).
An introduction to fermentation –
We learned everything we know about fermenting from the very talented Erin Baker, of the wonderful Natural Cookery School (check her out if you haven’t already as she’s awesome). Jess attended one of her fermentation cookery classes. We’re looking forward to making more fermented foods in the coming months!
So, what is kimchi anyway?
Kimchi is a traditional Korean condiment made from Chinese cabbage, spring onions, white onions, garlic, ginger and spices including Korean chili flakes – gochugaru. It usually takes around 10 days to ferment.
In Korea, kimchi is served with almost every meal – it’s the ultimate condiment. And in our opinion, it makes everything better! Traditional kimchi is usually made with fish sauce or shrimp paste, so if you’re buying some from a shop, just make sure to check the ingredients.
We’ve tested this vegan kimchi fried rice rigorously, so know how delicious it is – and we’re confident you’ll love it!
Top tip: taste the dish before you add chili flakes as well as kimchi. Our kimchi packs a punch so it may not need the extra chili hit – go with whatever floats your boat.
- 2 cloves garlic - finely chopped
- 1 cup kimchi - roughly chopped (especially if there's some if your some larger pieces in it)
- 200g mushrooms - we often use a selection of Asian mushrooms like king oyster, enoki and shimejii
- 400g vegetables – like carrots, tenderstem broccoli and green beans – we're trying to be more 'seasonal' with the veg we use and want to encourage others to do the same.
- 300g brown rice
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- Optional: spring onion, sesame seeds and strips of nori (seaweed) are all great as garnishes for this dish
- For the sauce:
- 1 tbsp Korean chilli paste (gochujang) – this has a pretty unique flavour so you won't get quite the same result if you use another type of chilli paste, but it'll still be good.
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp vegan honey or maple syrup
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp rice vinegar
- Optional: 1 tbsp Korean chilli flakes (gochugaru) – this really depends on how spicy your kimchi is and how spicy you want your food! It's worth nothing that gochugaru is a little sweeter and less spicy than regular chilli flakes, in case you're substituting.
- If you haven't pre-cooked your rice, get that on to cook now – the brown rice we buy usually takes 25-30 minutes to cook and the rest of the dish is only going to take around 20 minutes.
- Mix all the sauce ingredients in a bowl and set to one side for later.
- In a large wok, add the sesame oil and bring up to a medium heat.
- Fry the garlic for a minute, being careful not to burn it, then chuck in your mushrooms and cook for a few minutes until they've softened up. If you're using enoki mushrooms (the really thin ones), don't add those until you add the rice to heat through.
- Add the kimchi and the rest of your vegetables and fry for around 5 minutes – meaning the veg will be hot but still fresh and crunchy.
- Pop the rice in the pan, give everything a quick stir, then pour the sauce over and give everything a more thorough stir – you only need to heat the rice up at this point, so as soon as that's done, it's ready!
- Serve up into some big bowls, garnish with sesame seeds, nori and spring onions (if using) – that's it – your spicy, rich and delicious vegan kimchi stir fry is ready to eat!
If you pre-cook your rice, the rest of this dish will come together in the space of about 20 minutes!
If you enjoyed the flavors of this Korea-inspired dish, why not try this recipe for spicy tofu and meaty mushroom vegan Korean BBQ stir-fry?
According to the recipe creator, it “incorporates sweet and savory flavors with a zesty kick to excite your taste buds.” It’s also packed with protein and vegetables and works as a great nutritious mid-week recipe. You could also make it in large batches and eat throughout the week.
This recipe was republished with permission from Vegan Punks.