A very popular Korean fried rice dish – Bokkeumbap – has been a firm favourite in Somebody Feed Seb kitchen, especially when we have some leftover rice and cabbage to use up! A super quick, inexpensive and flavoursome meal is made with two of the traditional Korean pastes: Doenjang and Gochujang, creating a feast in a simple rice bowl!
How We Discovered Bokkeumbap?
When Seb travelled to South Korea on business a good few years back, he brought me a bag of goodies to enjoy, including shin cups, a very unusual candied sweet potato and, of course, two of Korea’s favourite pastes: Gochujang and Doenjang. I didn’t hesitate to put them to good use! Having researched Korean cooking methods, ingredients and popular recipes, Bokkeumbap was the first Korean meal I made in our kitchen.
Bokkeumbap is a wonderful dish, in the sense that it can be made with virtually any leftover vegetables. Whilst cabbage is always included in the dish, you can add any carrots, green beans, broccoli, kale… anything you have in the fridge! If you’re not cooking for vegetarians, you can also add some shredded cooked meat too!
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- rice: any typical long-grain white rice will work just fine. I wouldn’t recommend using jasmine rice as the flavour will be completely overshadowed by the strong Korean pastes used in this recipe.
- oil: choose a flavourless, odourless oil, such as vegetable or sunflower oil.
- white cabbage: can be substituted with green cabbage too.
- garlic cloves: can be substituted with garlic paste.
- broccoli: tenderstem broccoli (broccolini), cauliflower, kale, chickpeas, or any other leftover vegetables can also be used.
- Doenjang paste
- Gochujang paste
- spring onions: salad onions or scallions.
- eggs: to top the Korean fried rice. Keep the yolks soft, as they will act as a sauce.
What is Gochujang? What is Doenjang?
Gochujang is a Korean chilli paste, typically made with red chillies, fermented soybeans, rice and salt. It has fiery heat and mild sweetness that arises in the fermentation process.
Doenjang is another Korean staple! Made with fermented soybeans and brine, Doenjang paste isn’t spicy, but adds an ever-so-difficult-to-describe umami flavour to dishes. It’s salty and sweet and reminds me of strong Japanese Miso.
The trick to using these two pastes, especially when catering for European pallets, is to remember that a little goes a long way!
How to Cook Bokkeumbap with Leftovers?
Gather all your ingredients together. If you have any leftover cooked chicken, half an onion, some grated carrots, green beans etc, you can add them to the dish too! Shred and thinly slice cabbage, spring onion and any other vegetables you choose to use, cut the broccoli into small florets.
Cook white rice for 8-10 mins until it’s almost done, then drain it and set aside. Alternatively, you can use microwave rice or any leftover cooked rice from the day before.
Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a frying pan over high heat. Add the cabbage, garlic and broccoli (together with any other leftover vegetables you may have) and stir-fry for 3-4 minutes. Spoon the lot into a bowl, cover and keep warm.
Add a tbsp of oil to the same pan and fry the cooked rice over medium heat for 5 mins, stirring occasionally. The rice should start to crackle and brown a bit.
Fry 2 eggs in a separate pan for a few minutes, keeping the yolks soft.
Divide the rice mixture between bowls, top with the fried egg and dig in!
Other Recipes Centered Around Rice
For other rice dishes, have a look at our recipes below:
- Tuna Rice Salad with Grapefruit | Office Lunch Staple
- Leek Risotto with Poached Eggs
- Green Bean and Chickpea Biryani with Crispy Onions
- Cook white rice for 8-10 mins until it's almost done, then drain it and set aside.
- Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a frying pan over high heat. Add the cabbage, garlic and broccoli and stir-fry for 3-4 minutes. Spoon the lot into a bowl, cover and keep warm.
- Add a tbsp of oil to the same pan and fry the cooked rice over medium heat for 5 mins, stirring occasionally. The rice should start to crackle and brown a bit.
- Stir the gochujang and doenjang pastes and the spring onion into the rice. Then return the cabbage to the pan and mix well to combine. Keep on low heat whilst you fry the eggs.
- Fry 2 eggs in a separate pan for a few minutes, keeping the yolks soft.
- Divide the rice mixture between bowl, top with the fried egg and dig in!