Kimchi Fried Quinoa

Ever since I started making my own Homemade Kimchi,  this has quickly become one of my favorite things to make for myself at lunch. I often have leftover quinoa sitting in the fridge from the lunches that I make for my husband. Like I mentioned in my kimchi post I have recently become obsessed with Korean dramas. This obsession is what led to me making homemade kimchi, and has led me to find all sorts of ways to use my homemade kimchi. I have watched so many of my favorite fictional characters enjoy kimchi fried rice, or kimchi tofu soup, or kimchi ramen on my television screen. I am not the type to sit idly by when I am craving something. Even if I am irrationally craving something I have never had before! My favorite part about being proficient in the kitchen is being able to cook whatever I want, whenever I want (granted I have the ingredients at my disposal). Since I more frequently have leftover quinoa in the fridge rather than rice (which I also have but it’s normally indian style Basmati Rice) I just adapted the basic kimchi fried rice recipe to kimchi fried quinoa which in itself is a healthier rice substitute! 

This recipes ease hinges on the fact that you will have already prepared Kimchi sitting in the fridge, and quinoa ready to use. You can easily make the quinoa fresh before making this recipe, fresh quinoa and leftover quinoa are equally great in this recipe. A lot of fried rice recipes use leftover rice that is cold from the fridge, but for quinoa that is not necessary. You can use whatever you have. There is one ingredient that I would highly recommend not skipping out on and that is Gochujang Paste. It is a fermented Korean chili paste and it plays a vital role in pretty much any red Korean dish. It’s not insanely spicy, in fact it has a more subtle pleasant spice level to it. So even if you normally cannot handle spicy food as well, I would still recommend giving this a try. You can adjust how much you want to use based on your own spice preference. I had found the one I currently have in my fridge at my local east Asian market, I had done a bunch of research on it beforehand, but I cannot read Korean and all of the packages for this paste look pretty similar. I didn’t realize until I was making this post that the one that I have has MSG in it, which I am generally sensitive towards. The one on amazon does not, which is where I will be ordering it from now on here: Gochujang Paste. If you are on a gluten-free diet, then you can find a gluten-free gochujang paste here. I tend to have adverse reactions whenever I eat anything with MSG, sometimes subtle, like just extreme exhaustion, or sometimes extreme like total voice loss. It really depends on the quantity and my state of health at the time. I need to be more careful myself in the future. Now my severe fatigue after eating this makes perfect sense. I am confident that the MSG free version of Gochujang paste would have no adverse reactions with me. 

Anyways, now that you have the basics down, let me walk you through how to make this!

First things first, we need to heat up some neutral oil in a medium-sized pan on medium heat.

Once the oil is hot, we will add 1 cup of prepared Kimchi. Preferably Homemade Kimchi but store-bought will work too. Leave the water in the jar. We just want the cabbage and other vegetables. I also like to add additional Korean Chili Flakes otherwise known as Gochugaru at this point. If you made your Kimchi at home, you would already have these since they are a main component of kimchi. 

Once you have fried it around for a few minutes, add a heaping tablespoon of Gochujang Paste.  For a gluten-free gochujang click here.  

The Gochujang Paste will melt from the heat pretty quickly.  

After that add in your quinoa! I used cold quinoa straight from the fridge but you can use fresh quinoa also =)

Mix everything together and you get this! If you want to keep this vegan then you would stop and serve it now! If not then you have 2 more steps!

If you want to add an egg, which is optional, move everything in the pan to the side, add a little bit more oil or butter, and crack an egg inside. I like to add a little soy sauce or tamari(for gluten-free) into the egg also for additional flavor. Mix that around separate from the quinoa until it’s almost fully cooked. 

Then just mix everything together and drizzle a little toasted sesame oil on top and you are ready to serve! =) 

Enjoy! =)

I hope you give this recipe a try for yourself! Please be sure to let me know in the comments if you do! I would love to hear what you thought of it! Be sure to subscribe so that you can be notified when I post new recipes! (link in the sidebar). Follow me on Instagram @saltyoversweet (I also post a lot of Instagram stories of what I am making that day) and find me on Facebook (the link is in the sidebar). You can also tag me on Instagram @saltyoversweet if you make any of my recipes I would love to see! =) 

Kimchi Fried Quinoa
Serves 1
An easy quick recipe that is equally healthy, delicious, and satisfying! =)
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Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
20 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup - Homemade or Store-bought Kimchi (no liquid)
  2. 1 teaspoon - Gochugaru/Korean Chili Flakes (optional for more flavor and spice)
  3. 1 Tbsp - Neutral Cooking Oil
  4. 1 Cup - Cook Quinoa
  5. 1 Tbsp - Gochujang Paste (if you are gluten-free make sure you use a gluten-free gochujang paste)
  6. 1 - Large Egg (optional)
  7. Splash - Soy or Tamari Sauce
  8. 1 teaspoon - Toasted Sesame Oil
Instructions
  1. Heat Some Oil in a medium frying pan.
  2. Add Kimchi without the liquid and Gochugaru/Korean Chili Flakes.
  3. Fry in oil for a couple minutes then add Gochujang Paste.
  4. Once Gochujang paste has melted into Kimchi add cooked quinoa.
  5. Mix around and fry for a minute. (if wanting vegan kimchi serve now).
  6. After a minute move the quinoa to the side of the pan, and add some more oil or butter. Crack an egg on top and splash some soy or tamari sauce on top.
  7. Cook the egg mixing it around occasionally (kind of like if you were making scrambled eggs) Once its almost cooked completely mix it around into the quinoa. It should not take more than a minute or 2.
  8. Once the egg has been mixed into the quinoa, remove the pan from the heat and drizzle some toasted sesame oil on top!
  9. You are now ready to serve and enjoy! =)
Notes
  1. *To make this recipe vegan, just leave out the egg.
  2. *To make this recipe gluten-free just use tamari instead of soy-sauce and make sure your gochujang paste is gluten-free. (I have links in my blog post)
  3. *Quinoa is a great protein rich substitute for rice, but this recipe can easily be made with cold rice instead of quinoa. =)
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