If you’re a kimchi fan, you will be all over this kimchi fried rice from the new cookbook by Celine Steen, Bold Flavored Vegan Cooking.
This easy, weeknight meal comes together in only 20 to 30 minutes. But don’t let the simplicity fool you! It’s bursting with flavor that will make your taste buds do a jig.
When I was contacted about the blog tour for Celine Steen’s newest work, I was immediately all in.
I’m a longtime fan of her recipes. Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day, which she co-authored with Tamasin Noyes, is a beloved favorite in my cookbook cupboard.
(If you can only make one recipe from VSSTD, make sure it’s the chickpea shawarma. Amazing.)
You can check out my glowing review of Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day from 5 years ago, and see how much my photography (and equipment) has improved in that time.
(The pictures were taken with a point and shoot camera during my construction paper phase. Haha!)
Judging from her creative recipes in Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day, I knew Bold Flavored Vegan Cooking wouldn’t be full of the same recipes we’ve seen in various incarnations over and over again.
Celine doesn’t shy away from using ingredients and spices that may require a trip to a specialty grocery store or online order. And the dishes are all the better for it.
You’ll find a variety of recipes in the book – from weeknight friendly meals, like the kimchi fried rice I’m sharing today, to more involved projects.
You can also find gluten-free, soy-free, and oil-free options as well.
Once I get another batch of squash blossoms, you can bet that the squash blossom pizza will be making an appearance in my kitchen. I’m also looking forward to trying the Indonesian-inspired rice pancakes.
Kimchi fried rice
I’m a huge fan of kimchi. So I couldn’t wait to make this kimchi fried rice that’s featured in the book.
Celine notes that the recipe is highly adaptable. You can reduce the amount of kimchi, depending on how potent the kimchi is in your refrigerator.
She has a recipe for homemade kimchi in the book, but I used a store-bought variety and reduced the amount by half. That worked perfectly for my tastes.
(Some kimchi is made with fish sauce. So remember to look for vegan kimchi at the grocery store. Although, at my natural grocery store, they sell 3 or 4 different kinds of kimchi, and all of it is vegan.)
For optional garnishes, Celine recommends peanuts, sesame seeds, scallions, nori, baked tofu, or Gochujang Kimchi Sausages (a recipe which is also included in the book). My bulgogi tofu would work beautifully here.
However, I decided to top the kimchi fried rice with kimchi sausages that I had in the freezer from Herbivorous Butcher.
I thawed them earlier in the day. And they were ready to be sliced and browned before topping the kimchi fried rice, along with peanuts, scallions, and sesame seeds.
This hearty dish reminded me of a Korean version of jambalaya. It’s a full meal in a bowl with loads of textures and flavors.
Celine has done it again!
Kimchi fried rice
- 2 Tablespoons melted coconut oil or peanut oil, divided
- 1 medium white onion peeled, trimmed and chopped
- 1 pound Homemade Kimchi or store-bought, roughly chopped*
- 1 ½ cups frozen green peas
- 3 cups rice cooked and chilled
- 1 Tablespoon reduced-sodium tamari
- 1 Tablespoon kimchi brine
- Garnishes: Chopped dry roasted peanuts and sesame seeds, thinly sliced scallions, crumbled roasted nori sheet, mild-flavored fried or baked tofu of choice, Gochujang Kimchi Sausages
- Heat 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of oil on medium-high heat in a large skillet or wok. Add the onion and cook until it starts to brown, about 5 minutes. Stir occasionally.
- Add the kimchi and cook until it isn’t too juicy anymore and is heated through, about 5 minutes. Add the green peas and cook until bright green and heated through, about 3 minutes. Set aside.
- Break the rice apart with a spoon to remove clumps. In another skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of oil on medium-high heat. Add the rice to the oil and cook until heated through and crisp, about 3 minutes.
- Add the tamari and kimchi brine, and cook until absorbed and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Be sure to stir occasionally.
- Stir the rice into the vegetables to combine. Cook for another 2 minutes to let the flavors meld. Serve with your garnishes of choice.