This kimchi fried brown rice recipe has all the comforting properties of takeout with none of the poor-quality oils or processed ingredients. With just a bit of meal prep in advance, you can have this dinner on the table in under 20 minutes.
Cooked brown rice is something I always have a pot of in my fridge. I like to cook a big batch on Sunday and then use it throughout the week in grain bowls or to make this fried rice. The way I see it, fried brown rice is a perfect blank canvas for whatever vegetables I have on-hand. Here I’ve used just mushrooms, but you can use almost anything – from asparagus to broccoli to zucchini.
I start this fried brown rice recipe by sautéing the vegetables to get them slightly softened and caramelized. Then I add the rice. It’s important that the precooked rice is straight-from-the-fridge cold; refrigerated rice is drier than freshly-cooked rice, which helps the grains stay separate. If you use still-warm rice for this recipe, you may end up with a mushy mess.
It’s All About the Toppings
What really takes this dish to the next level is the variety of toppings used. This may be unusual, but I love to pile crunchy toppings on my fried rice. Briny kimchi, crunchy raw cucumbers, grassy cilantro, and nutty crumbled nori result in a dreamy combo of textures and flavors that make this one-bowl meal perfectly balanced. Trust me, once you taste all the chewy-crunchy-spicy goodness of this recipe, you’ll never go back to fried rice sans toppings again.
(You’ll notice I use kimchi as a topping instead of cooking it with the rice because heat can kill some of kimchi’s gut-friendly probiotic bacteria.)
Lastly, even though I measured out all the seasonings below, feel free to use your palate as your guide instead.
This fried brown rice recipe has all the comforting properties of takeout with none of the poor-quality oils or processed ingredients. With just a bit of meal prep in advance, you can have this dinner on the table in under 20 minutes.
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 ½ cups stemmed and sliced shiitake mushrooms (fresh or frozen)
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce or tamari, divided
- 1 cup shelled edamame (frozen or thawed)
- 2 ½ cups cooked brown rice, cold from the fridge
- 1” knob fresh ginger, peeled and minced
- 1 large or 2 small garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon fish sauce (optional)
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 2 small cucumbers (preferably Persian), finely diced
- 1 cup kimchi, roughly chopped
- ¼ cup packed fresh cilantro leaves and/or chopped scallions
- 4 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
- 4 snack-size nori sheets, crumbled
- Heat the oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the shiitakes and cook until soft and lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes.
- While the mushrooms cook, crack the egg into a small bowl and add 1 tablespoon of the soy sauce. Whisk to combine; set aside.
- Add the edamame to the skillet with the shiitakes and cook until softened, about 1 minute. Stir in the rice and spread the mixture into an even layer. Cook undisturbed to lightly crisp up the bottom, about 1 minute. Then add the ginger and garlic, stir the rice, and cook for 1 to 2 minutes more.
- Push all the contents of the skillet to one side and pour the egg-soy sauce mixture on the empty side of the skillet. Cook the egg while continually stirring it with a spatula until small curdles form, about 15 seconds. Then combine the rice with the egg and add the fish sauce, sesame oil, and the remaining tablespoon of soy sauce. Stir to combine, turn the heat off, taste, and adjust the seasonings, if needed.
- Divide the rice among bowls and top with the cucumbers, kimchi, cilantro, sesame seeds, and nori. Serve immediately.
- Serving Size: 1/4 of the recipe
- Calories: 325
- Fiber: 2.5 g
- Protein: 8.3 g
Keywords: rice, fried rice, kimchi, nori, cucumber