The Grumpy Garbanzo vegan food for real life

Kimchi Fried Rice

If you didn't grow up eating kimchi, you might classify it as a weird food. If eating cold, slightly slimy fermented cabbage doesn't appeal, maybe try a different approach. I've successfully introduced myself to kimchi by combining it with the utterly non—threatening backdrop of fried rice.

The result: a tangy, flavorful, colorful, fried rice sneakily packed with cabbage. Bulk it up with a little tofu, add some freshness with lightly dressed lettuce, and you have yourself a full—blown meal. There are certainly more authentic ways to prepare kimchi fried rice, but this is how I do it. It's quick, simple, and a nice change of pace from your average stir fry. Plus, the orange hue of the rice will make you look like a master of spices. Who doesn't want to be a spice master?


kimchi (make sure it doesn't contain fish sauce)

rice (day old rice preferred)


red leaf lettuce

sesame oil

optional: salad dressing

sesame oil

minced garlic

minced ginger

rice vinegar


coconut aminos


Press tofu to remove excess liquid, lightly toss with sesame oil and salt, and let air fry, pan fry, or bake until crispy while preparing the rest of the meal.

Fry rice with a light drizzle of sesame oil.

Stir in kimchi until the desired ratio of kimchi to rice is achieved.

Add coconut aminos or other seasonings as desired. Continue frying until thoroughly mixed, heated, and crispy.

Make a dressing to taste and lightly coat chopped lettuce.

Top kimchi fried rice with tofu, lettuce, and serve.

What did I use and why?

Coconut aminos add a sweetness which compliments the acidity and saltiness of the kimchi and salad dressing. If you do not have coconut aminos, I might suggest experimenting with a little maple syrup or brown sugar.

I don't always dress the lettuce when I make this dish. If you want to shred the lettuce and sprinkle it on top taco—style, go for it.

Freshly cooked rice can get mushy when immediately fried. Day old rice from your refrigerator works better.

I use red leaf lettuce because it reminds me of a Korean lettuce variety that I once tried. Kimchi is Korean. Makes sense, right? You can use whatever lettuce you like.