Kimchi-fried rice with shiitake mushrooms

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For a Korean main or side dish that packs a punch, you can't do better than this kimchi-fried rice recipe from Shu Han Lee, which includes shiitake mushrooms for added earthiness. If serving to vegetarians, check the ingredients list on the jar of kimchi to make sure it doesn't contain fish. Check out Shu's other fried rice recipes here.

First published in 2019

The secret to a good kimchi-fried rice is to use both the kimchi and its juices, so that you’re packing as much umami punch as possible into the dish. I like to separate the two, frying the kimchi so its edges caramelise and turn extremely fragrant, before using the kimchi juices to make a stir-fry sauce along with sweet sticky gochujang (Korean fermented hot pepper paste).




Kimchi fried rice

To serve


As cooked short grain rice is much stickier than long grain, I like to stir the sesame oil into the rice first, breaking up any large clumps along the way. Prepare your sauces by stirring the soy sauce, kimchi juice and gochujang together in a bowl
In a wok or large frying pan, preaheat the groundnut oil over a medium heat. Fry the chopped onion until golden. Add the shiitake mushrooms and kimchi, then fry until their edges caramelise and the mixture smells very aromatic
  • 200g of kimchi, ideally more mature funky tasting kimchi, drained and roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp of groundnut oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 200g of shiitake mushrooms, fresh, sliced
Turn the heat up to high before adding the cold cooked rice. Spread the rice out so that everything is heated through, and jab lightly with the edge of your spatula to break up any lumps
Pour the sauce mixture over the rice, stirring and tossing to make sure all the grains are thoroughly coated. Continue cooking until the rice starts to brown and crisp up on the edges
As the saltiness of kimchi varies, check for seasoning, adjusting with a pinch of sea salt as necessary. When ready, stir in the chopped spring onions and serve topped with fried or boiled eggs

Shu grew up in Singapore and continues her nation's obsession with food in London, where she writes about food that's seasonal, British, yet Singaporean at the same time.

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