Save Leftover Kimchi Juice For The Ultimate Fried Rice

Nothing hits like a bowl of fried rice in the morning, especially if it's following a particularly long night. The combination of textures, the warmth, and the way it fills your belly can't be beaten. Plus, with the addition of a fried egg, it becomes breakfast in a matter of minutes. Whether you bring it home with you as leftovers, buy it from the frozen food aisle, or make it at home, it's an all-around staple. And, with some leftover kimchi juice, it can be even better.

Kimchi fried rice or, as it's known and loved in Korea, kimchi bokkeumbap, has been a comfort food for thousands of years. So, to clarify, the idea of adding kimchi juice to your fried rice is nothing new — but it is, always has been, and always will be a delicious way to use up the kimchi that's been sitting in your fridge. Fried up like any other style of fried rice, seasoned with the liquid at the bottom of your kimchi jar, and tossed with any variety of protein or vegetables your heart desires, kimchi is everything you may have never known your fried rice needed.

Kimchi fried rice

For your fried rice, you'll want at least a quarter cup of kimchi liquid. But you won't get that amount of juice from a new container. To ensure you'll have enough juice to season your rice with, you should use kimchi that's at least two weeks old. If your kimchi is running low, My Korean Kitchen claims you can substitute 2 tablespoons of kimchi juice mixed with 1 tablespoon of gochujang or soy sauce. Some people also like to add extra gochujang for the spice.

Like other styles of fried rice, kimchi fried rice usually turns out best if the rice has been able to dry out in the fridge for a couple of days. The same can be said about the kimchi. In fact, the longer your kimchi is left in your fridge, the more fermented it becomes, and when it comes to your kimchi fried rice, the more fermented your kimchi is, the better. That two-week mark will ensure that your fried rice will get that good boost of garlic and chile, along with the signature tangy and sour flavor that kimchi is known for.

Once you've fried up your protein, whether it be cubed spam, bacon, or tofu, and any vegetables — mushrooms are a favorite — simply add your rice, pour the kimchi juice on top, and mix. Then, add some sesame oil and a fried egg on top, and voila: You have the ultimate fried rice.