This fried rice has a lot of flavor (savory umami goodness that makes your mouth water), perfectly cooked rice that is still slightly chewy with a tender bite, and vegetables that give a nice crunch. This is where kimchi and celery can really shine. Just thinking the word kimchi makes my mouth water! Omit the eggs for a flavorful vegan dish.
cooking rice (if you already have leftover cold rice, finish vegetable prep and skip to cooking the fried rice)
Rinse uncooked rice with cold water until water runs clear (about 3 times) and strain.
In a medium saucepan (3-quart), add rinsed rice and smooth down the top surface. Place your palm, faced down on rice and fill with cold water until the water level covers your fingers, right below the knuckles (about 4 cups cold water).
Stir and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then immediately cover and turn down heat to simmer over low heat. Simmer for 18 minutes, remove from heat and allow to sit covered for 5 minutes.
While rice is cooking, wash and prepare vegetables as listed in the ingredients prep list above and set aside.
chilling the rice
Spread cooked rice evenly on a parchment paper-lined small sheet tray. Create diagonal lines in the rice using the side of a spatula to allow quicker cooling. Chill in the refrigerator until all your prep is ready. You can chill for 5 - 10 minutes in the freezer if all your ingredients are ready to go.
cooking the fried rice
Measure out the seasoning ingredients separately and have them ready by the stove.
Heat a large 12-inch non-stick pan (or seasoned wok) over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil followed by diced shiitake mushrooms. Allow mushrooms to brown, add diced carrots and cook for another 2 minutes while stirring.
Season with 1 tablespoon of low sodium soy sauce, stir, and add celery, cabbage, ginger, ground black pepper, and chopped kimchi. Cook until fragrant (about 1 minute) before adding garlic. Stir and deglaze with rice cooking wine.
Create a pocket in the middle of the pan. Add another 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil and 2 teaspoons of sesame oil in the center. Add chilled rice, the remaining 2 tablespoons of soy sauce and stir everything together well, breaking up clumps with a spatula as you mix.
Flatten the fried rice mixture throughout to allow the bottom to toast. Stir in reserved kimchi liquid, turn off heat and stir in minced cilantro.
cooking sunny-side up eggs (optional)
Heat a small non-stick pan on low heat. Add ¼ teaspoon vegetable oil, and 3 eggs separately into the pan. Cook the eggs on low heat until egg whites are mostly cooked (translucent to white), cover for 1 minute or until desired doneness. Serve over fried rice.
Not all kimchi is vegetarian since it is traditionally fermented with the addition of raw oysters or seafood. Check the ingredients list to confirm.This is a quick recipe if you already have leftover cold medium-grain white or brown rice. Move on to the vegetable prep if that’s the case. If not, cooking and chilling rice should only add about 10 minutes to your total time since you can get most of the vegetable prep done simultaneously while the rice is cooking.Chilling the rice is a key step so the rice gets a thin layer of “fried” crispy goodness rather than becoming soggy.Low sodium soy sauce can be substituted with Tamari if you prefer a gluten-free option.