Kimchi bacon fried rice (kimchi bokkeumbap)! Turn leftover rice into an amazing dish with tangy kimchi and crispy bacon. This easy recipe has delicious crispy rice (nurungji) at the bottom. Simple and delicious!

Kimchi bacon fried rice topped with a fried egg and seaweed in a serving dish.

“I’m surprised there aren’t more comments on this recipe. It’s a great one!”


As a Korean, I often find leftover rice and kimchi in my fridge. What’s the best use for them? Making kimchi fried rice (or kimchi bokkeumbap, as we call it), of course!

Have you ever thought of adding bacon to your kimchi fried rice? Trust me, it’s a perfect combo.

Kimchi fried rice with bacon in a skillet.

Kimchi Fried Rice with Bacon

Kimchi boasts a robust flavor, thanks to its prominent taste from fermentation. The mild flavor of pork doesn’t conflict with the kimchi but rather complements it well, creating a balanced flavor profile.

This is why many dishes featuring kimchi include pork, as seen in kimchi jjigae (stew), kimchi stir-fry with tofu, and Braised kimchi (kimchi jjim), to name a few.

When making kimchi fried rice, I like to add bacon. As you know, bacon comes from pork.

The crispiness of fried bacon adds a delightful texture and flavor to kimchi bokkeumbap. Once you try it, you’ll find yourself making this kimchi bacon fried rice every time you crave something special.

Kimchi fried rice tastes spicy, a bit sour, and very flavorful. The kimchi adds a tangy kick, while the rice makes it hearty.

Adding bacon gives a salty bite and a bit of smoky taste, making everything taste even better. This mix of flavors makes the dish really yummy!

For a more modern twist, consider trying the Crispy Kimchi Fried Rice with Cheese recipe, a popular dish among young Koreans.

Sour cabbage Kimchi for making kimchi fried rice.

My Cooking Tips

Use overripe kimchi

One secret to a rich and tangy kimchi fried rice lies in the state of your kimchi. Opt for overripe or well-fermented kimchi as it has developed deeper and more complex flavors over time.

This intensified taste profile infuses your fried rice with an authentic Korean flavor that’s difficult to replicate with fresh kimchi.

If you kimchi is over a year old, then it might be too potent to use in the rice dishes. In that case, try my Braised Pork Short Ribs and Kimchi recipe. Your elderly kimchi might shine better there.

Add kimchi liquid

Don’t discard the liquid from your kimchi jar; it’s a treasure trove of flavor! Incorporating the kimchi liquid into your fried rice imparts deeper, more nuanced flavors, and heightens the overall kimchi taste. This simple trick turns good kimchi fried rice into great kimchi fried rice.

Crisp bacon

When it comes to bacon, going for a crispy texture is the key. Frying bacon until it reaches a crispy, crunchy state ensures a satisfying contrast against the tangy kimchi.

The robust flavors of the bacon and its delightful crunch add a whole new dimension to the dish, making your kimchi fried rice even more enticing.

Use leftover rice

Leftover rice that’s been chilled in the fridge is the secret ingredient to perfect fried rice. Its dry and firm texture prevents clumping and allows each grain to separate easily, leading to a better-fried rice texture. It’s a simple way to turn yesterday’s leftover rice into today’s satisfying dish.

Scorched rice on the bottom (Nurungji)

An optional but transformative final step is to let the bottom layer of rice toast in the skillet, creating a nutty and crunchy Nurungji, or scorched rice.

This simple technique imparts a desirable textural contrast, making your kimchi fried rice even more enjoyable with its delightful crunch

How to Make Kimchi Bacon Fried Rice

Bacon pieces fried to crisp texture in a skillet.

Cook bacon pieces in a cast iron skillet or other heavy skillet until crisp. You will need to reserve 1-2 tablespoon of bacon fat to fry-up the onion and kimchi.

Chopped onions cooked soft in a skillet.

Onion is a great companion for any fried rice. When you saute them, it becomes mellow and brings sweetness, which cuts down the acidity of sourness of kimchi.

Cook onion in the reserved bacon fat over medium high heat.

A spoonful of gochujang added to fried kimchi.

Add chopped kimchi and stir-fry kimchi for 5 minutes to soften. Then add a tiny bit, about 2 teaspoons, of Korean chili paste (gochujang). Add some kimchi liquid, too. 

A wooden spatula is breaking down the grain of rice to make kimchi fried rice.

Add the cold rice, mix them with kimchi and onion. Using the vertical edge of the spatula, try to cut through the chunks of rice to break up the rice grains without smashing them.

Continue to stir fry until the mixture becomes well mixed and heated.

Toasted sesame seeds and sesame oil added to bacon kimchi fried rice.

Sesame oil and sesame seeds are must for kimchi bokkeumbap. So don’t skip them, please.

How to make Nurungji (Scorched Rice) – Optional but Recommended

Nurungji, or scorched rice, refers to the golden brown layer of rice that forms at the bottom of the pan, adding a uniquely crisp texture and nutty flavor to your kimchi bokkeumbap

Making scorched rice (nurungji) on the bottom of kimchi fried rice.

Although this step is optional, I highly recommend giving it a try.

Near the end of your cooking process, let the fried rice toast at the bottom of the skillet by leaving it on medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Heavy cast iron pan or carbon steel skillet works the best for this job.

Crusty scorched rice (nurungji) on the bottom of skillet.

This technique, which essentially creates a version of the scorched rice found in paella known as Socarrat, is a popular method in Korean cuisine where it’s referred to as Nurungji (누룽지). The result is a delightful crispiness that elevates your dish to new heights

Crisp bacon pieces added to kimchi fried rice.

Finishing Touch

Once your dish is prepared, it’s time for the finishing touches. Topping it off with a crispy fried bacon pieces over the fried rice.

Fried egg and roasted seaweed not only adds a burst of color but also rounds out the flavors of your dish.

Creamy golden egg yolk running over kimchi bacon fried rice.

What pairs well with kimchi fried rice?

Kimchi bokkeumbap pairs well with simple Korean soups and main dishes like samgyupsal and bulgogi. There’s no right or wrong way to enjoy this delightful dish.

Serve it as a main dish, a side dish, or even as a late-night snack. Each adds different tastes and textures that make the meal even more delicious!

More Delicious Recipes Using Kimchi

Bacon Kimchi Fried Rice is topped with a fried egg and seaweed.

Easy Kimchi Bacon Fried Rice (Kimchi Bokkeumbap)

Kimchi bacon fried rice (Kimchi bokkeumbap)! Turn leftover rice into an amazing dish with tangy kimchi and crispy bacon. Don't miss our easy tips for getting delicious crispy rice (nurungji) at the bottom. Simple and delicious!
5 from 10 ratings



  • In a heavy skillet, cook bacon pieces until crisp. Transfer the bacon to a platter, and set aside. Using a paper towel, wipe off the bacon grease remained in the skillet but leave 1 tablespoonful.
  • Saute onion in the reserved bacon grease until soft and tender over medium heat. Add the kimchi and continue to saute until kimchi is soft, about 5 minutes over medium-low heat, then add Korean chili paste and kimchi juice to the skillet and mix well to incorporate with kimchi and onion.
  • Add the rice to the mixture and toss well. Try to separate the rice grains by using the vertical edge of spatula so that you don’t smash the rice much.
  • Add sesame oil and sesame seeds, and toss well. Season with salt and pepper as you wish.
  • Raise the heat to medium heat and let the fried rice to sear for 2-3 minutes. This will help the rice on the bottom of skillet to be crisp. Adjust the heat, if needed, so that you don’t burn it too much. Check the bottom of the fried rice to see it created desired crispness on the rice.
  • Remove the skillet from the heat and sprinkle with the reserved bacon pieces and crumbled roasted seaweed. To serve, add sunny side up fried eggs on top. Enjoy while hot!
Calories: 341kcal, Carbohydrates: 36g, Protein: 12g, Fat: 16g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 7g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 178mg, Sodium: 211mg, Potassium: 184mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 316IU, Vitamin C: 2mg, Calcium: 52mg, Iron: 1mg
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