Yangzhou fried rice, kimchi fried rice, chicken and salt cod fried rice, whatever-that’s-in-your-refrigerator fried rice…I love it all. Fried rice is the ultimate comfort food – it’s filling, healthy-ish (if you put in a lot of vegetables), and just hits the spot every time. Perhaps the best thing about fried rice is how easy it is to make at home!
As someone who is still really learning how to cook, trying out a new recipe usually means that I’ll be spending anywhere from 30min – 2 hours in the kitchen (actually sometimes it takes me 30min just to prep everything because of my lack of knife skills). So for me, when I want a quick meal because I need to get back to reading or studying, or just because I don’t feel like devoting that much time to cooking, my go-to is always making fried rice. It usually takes me 15-20 minutes to cook fried rice at the most and while it probably is not the healthiest meal to eat every day, I usually end up making some kind of stir fry or fried rice at least 3-4 times a week because of how easy it is. Also, since fried rice is by nature something that requires the usage of pantry ingredients, I never have to worry about buying fancy ingredients.
Here’s my very simple kimchi and spam fried rice recipe! It’s spicy, sweet, and salty and takes about 20 minutes altogether to make from prep to cooking (and probably 10 minutes for washing up afterwards or less if you eat straight from the pan, which I do sometimes when I’m lazy).
Spam and Kimchi Fried Rice Recipe – serves 2
I’ve made this recipe countless times and I’ve gotten to the point where I can probably do it in my sleep. I don’t have a source for this recipe since I’ve based the taste off of the kimchi fried rice from Kimchi Garden and then the more I made it the more I changed it to suit my taste. I tend to not follow recipes very well and work mostly from look and taste, so my measurements may not be entirely accurate and may not suit everyone’s taste, so some adjusting may be needed depending on how spicy, sweet, sesame oily, kimchi-y, etc. tasting you want it.
- Rice: 1 cup (My rice cooker makes 2 cups and I usually take half of that for 2 people. Also, I tend to use fresh rice more than refrigerated rice and never really noticed that much of a difference, but maybe it’s because I prefer my fried rice to still be a little sticky.)
- Kimchi: About 2 cups roughly chopped kimchi or enough to suit your taste.
- Spam: 1/3 of a block of Spam, diced
- 2 teaspoons toasted (or regular) sesame oil (1 for initial stir-frying, 1 for finishing)
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar or regular sugar (use less or more depending how much kimchi you use)
- 1 tablespoon gochujang (more or less depending on how spicy you like it – 1 tablespoon makes for a *pretty* spicy fried rice)
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon olive oil (or any kind of oil, including sesame) for the eggs
- Heat up 1 teaspoon of sesame oil over medium high in a relatively large frying pan or wok. I always prefer woks instead of pans because when I flip over the rice with my spatula, it doesn’t fall over the sides.
- When oil starts to crackle a little, put 2 cups of kimchi and diced Spam into wok. Stir-fry, making sure that nothing is burning (adjust heat if necessary to medium).
- When the kimchi begins to release some liquid and starts turning a little translucent, add in a teaspoon of brown sugar. A caramel-y thick sauce should start forming with the kimchi liquid. Stir-fry a bit longer (about 3-5 min) until Spam starts browning a bit.
- When the kimchi and Spam look like they’re cooked enough to eat on its own, add the rice in. Break up clumps of rice with spatula and mix thoroughly. Leave some of the rice at the button to get it a little burned or crispy if you like it (it’s my favorite!). If not, keep on stirring!
- Add in tablespoon of gochujang and mix thoroughly so that it distributes evenly. It’s a thick sauce so it may take quite a bit of stirring before it’s fully incorporated. (Usually this process from when you add the rice to fully incorporating the gochujang takes about 5-7 min.)
- The mixture will probably be looking a little dry, so add another teaspoon of sesame oil and mix thoroughly. Set burner to “warm” or remove from heat.
- In another pan, add a teaspoon of sesame oil or regular olive oil. Crack 1 or 2 eggs and cook like you would normally to whatever level of doneness you prefer. (I make sunny-side-up fried eggs by cooking for about ~2 minutes on medium high heat and then ~2-3 minutes on medium low with a lid.)
- Place egg on top of fried rice and you’re ready to eat!