Crispy Kimchi Fried Rice with Cheese
Crispy on the outside and cheesy inside, this kimchi fried rice with cheese brings the best of both East and West.
If you have a jar of sour kimchi, you can turn into many delicious Korean dishes made with kimchi. Kimchi stew with pork, or soft tofu stew with kimchi are some of dishes that most people think of.
Anyone who loves kimchi can’t refuse a plate of kimchi fried rice (kimchi bokkeumbap, 김치볶음밥). I have made several different kimchi fried rice recipes before, including kimchi bacon fried rice and my fusion style kimchi casserole.
This crispy kimchi fried rice recipe with cheese (치즈 김치볶음밥) was not my idea, though. It was introduced on a popular TV show in Korea a couple of years ago, and many people have tried it and loved it. Although cheese is not usually a feature of Korean cuisine, my curiosity led me to take this culinary adventure. Here is my version.
I like to cook my kimchi fried rice in butter instead of oil. There is something about sour kimchi cooked in butter that tastes so good! As many western cooks say, butter makes everything tastes better, and that is definitely true in this case.
I added minced pork to add some protein to the dish. You can certainly substitute it with another pork product, such as ham or bacon. You can even try it with minced chicken or turkey. Needless to say, you can omit the animal protein altogether and it would still be a wonderful meatless dish.
The best thing about this kimchi fried rice is that it has a crispy crust on the surface, just like you see on the Spanish paella. Plus it has a cheesy filling inside. How do you accomplish that? It is all in the cooking techniques.
As you can expect from any kimchi fried rice recipe, the recipe itself is very simple. Sour kimchi is fried with minced pork and green onion, then seasoned with soy sauce, kimchi juice, and sesame oil. The only exotic ingredient has to be the CHEESE.
What Type Of Cheese Goes Well with Kimchi Fried Rice?
You can use any melt-able cheese, such as Mozzarella, Cheddar, Provolone, Pepper jack, Fontina, Gouda, Gruyère, Harvati, or Colby. Be adventurous! However, I would avoid strongly flavored cheeses. Kimchi itself has a potent flavor and you will want the cheese to be mild enough to provide balance, rather than clash flavors.
I used a combination of Mozzarella cheese and a Mexican cheese blend. It’s cheesy yet mild enough to balance the strong flavor of the fermented kimchi.
How Do You Make the Crust Crispy?
You will need to cook in batches to obtain the desired crispiness. You may need to cook individual serving portions one at a time. I also recommend a cast iron skillet or carbon steel skillet to get a good result.
Please see the cooking instructions below to get an idea how to get the crispy crust.
How to make Kimchi Fried Rice with Cheese
Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the Asian leek or green onion and saute for 2 minutes.
Push the onion to one corner and add the minced pork. Drizzle soy sauce and cook until pork is browned halfway.
Add kimchi, Korean chili flakes (gochugaru, 고추가루), a little bit of sugar and stir-fry for 5 minutes. Sugar will cut down the sourness of the fermented kimchi.
Add the cooked rice and kimchi juice; continue to stir-fry until everything is well incorporated. Taste and season according to your taste. Drizzle a little bit of sesame oil at the end.
Divide the kimchi fried rice into halves or quarters depending on the size of your skillet. Put an individual-sized portion back into the skillet over medium-low heat. Gently press down with spatula and let it cook until you hear some sizzling sound.
Put cheese in the center and cover the skillet with a lid. Cook until the cheese melt. When done, slide it onto a serving plate halfway then fold the other half over to cover
Crumble a few sheets of roasted, seasoned seaweed and sprinkle over the kimchi fried rice. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds on top. Serve immediately.
If you enjoy Korean fusion style dish, try my Philly style bulgogi cheesesteak. It’s quick, delicious, and everyone loves it.
More rice dishes
- Bibimbap (Korean Rice Bowl with Beef and Vegetable)
- Smoked Salmon Bibimbap
- All-Time Favorite Thai Pineapple Fried Rice
- Fragrant Thai Basil Fried Rice
- Quick Spam Fried Rice
- Rice balls (Leftover Rice Recipe)
Crispy Kimchi Fried Rice Recipe with Cheese
- 1 tbsp butter
- 4 tbsp chopped Asian leek or green onion
- 1/3 lb minced pork, optional
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 ½ cup chopped sour kimchi
- 1 tbsp Korean chili flakes (gochugaru)
- 1 tsp sugar
- 4 cups cooked rice
- 2 tbsp kimchi juice
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cups shredded meltable cheese; mozzarella, provolone, gouda, fontina, colbi, and etc
- 1 handful roasted seaweed, optional
- 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
- Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the Asian leek or green onion and saute for 2 minutes.
- Push the onion to one corner and add the minced pork. Drizzle soy sauce and cook until pork is browned halfway.
- Add kimchi, Korean chili flakes (gochugaru), a little bit of sugar and stir-fry for 5 minutes. Sugar will cut down the sourness of the fermented kimchi.
- Add the cooked rice and kimchi juice; continue to stir-fry until everything is well incorporated. Taste and season according to your taste. Drizzle a little bit of sesame oil at the end.
- Transfer the kimchi fried rice into a large bowl. Divide it into halves or quarters depending on the size of your skillet. Put an individual-sized portion back into the skillet over medium-low heat. Gently press down with spatula and let it cook until you hear some sizzling sound.
- Put a portion of cheese in the center and cover the skillet with a lid. Cook until the cheese melt. When done, slide it onto a serving plate halfway then fold the other half over to cover
- To garnish, sprinkle with crumbled roasted seasoned seaweed and toasted sesame seeds. Serve immediately.
Fantastic! I couldn’t imagine adding cheese, but it worked. Also using homemade kimchee helped. I used Asiago cheese.
Asiago cheese sounds delicious as well. Glad that you liked it. Thanks.
These photos are amazing, Holly! I must admit that I’ve never had kimchi fried rice, but after seeing this cheesy version, I know I need a plate of this on my life ASAP. As you noted in the post, I was a little surprised to see cheese in a Korean dish, but I’ve had some fantastic fusion recipes in the past – and this one looks like it will earn a place on that list, too! I’m going to be thinking about this one all day!
Cheese and kimchi…..what a fun and delicious combination!
I know, right? They balance each other pretty well.
What a wonderful asian chicken. I will try your recipe nest time. Thx for this.
Although this is not a chicken recipe you are looking for, but I highly recommend to try this one.