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. It is used in dishes like, Bibimbap, Gochujang Tofu and, of course, Bokkeumbap.
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.
You can source Gochujang in many large UK supermarkets (Asda and Waitrose have it). Alternatively, you can buy both on Amazon or Sous Chef.
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 tablespoon 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 tablespoon 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 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
- 120 g rice
- 3 tablespoon oil
- ¼ white cabbage thinly shredded
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 100 g broccoli cut into small florets
- 1 heaped tsp Doenjang paste
- 1 heaped tsp Gochujang paste
- 3 spring onions finely chopped
- 2 eggs
- Cook white rice for 8-10 mins until it's almost done, then drain it and set aside.
- Heat 2 tablespoon 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 tablespoon 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!
We lived on island close to Asia and had constant access to authentic Asian cuisine, so I’m pretty picky when it comes to any Asian food. But you really nailed it with this Korean Fried Rice!! Great recipe, thank you!
Nic, thanks so much for the wonderful feedback! Especially coming from an Asian food expert! 🙂
Such a comforting dish. I used broccolini instead because that’s what I had and was also delicious!
Thanks, Tavo! I bet it was delicious with broccolini!
I love all the big bold flavors in this Korean rice bowl!
Thanks, Katherine! 🙂
Love those gorgeous Korean flavours – so quick and easy to make, just delicious!
It’s our favourite recipe for when we are short on time, but don’t want t compromise on flavour! Thanks for the feedback – so glad you liked it!
Korean Fried Rice is one of my favorite dishes! I love that you can add a little extra here and there and omit something and it’s still very tasty. Thank you for sharing. I can’t wait to make this soon!
Thanks, it’s all about experimenting here at Somebody Feed Seb to see what works 🙂
This post reminds me that I haven’t been to the Korean market in a while. I think it’s time to go and get the ingredients for this recipe! It looks so good! (And I’m jealous of the perfect egg on top. Mine never come out that pretty!)
Oh you are so lucky to have a Korean market nearby! So jealous…
Great recipe for my rice leftovers! I always make too much, lol! Love your bokkeumbap, thanks!
I always cook too much rice and this is such a great way to use it up. Those flavours are perfect and the fried egg makes this such an easy and quick meal too.
We are the same – always have leftover rice here! Glad you like this dish! 🙂
WHat a flavorful fried rice recipe, this is! Thanks for sharing
If I already have miso in my fridge, is it an acceptable sub for Doenjang?
Yes, we make this substitution all the time! Although doenjang gives that extra bit of flavour, miso (especially brown miso) works very well too! 😀