This Vegan Kimchi Fried Rice adds a pop of flavor to a traditional dish. The rice is not actually fried and it uses no oil so it’s a healthy quick meal on busy nights. It’s also vegan, gluten-free, fish-free, and comes together in about 15 minutes.
I know you’re probably extremely busy with your job(s), family, friends, school, housework, and/or cooking (just to name a few).
Today I’m sharing another easy, tasty, and lower-calorie dish – my healthy Vegan Kimchi Fried Rice.
This kimchi fried rice isn’t actually fried but it reminds me of takeout – only healthier. It’s super quick and easy to prepare especially if you cook the rice the day before and use pre-baked tofu.
What is Kimchi?
Have you ever had kimchi? I love it. It’s tangy like raw sauerkraut and it is also a bit spicy and I love anything that gives me a hint of spiciness. I thought it would go great in a vegan kimchi fried rice!
My favorite brand of kimchi is Wildbrine and I especially like the Korean flavor. It is made with red chilies, cabbage, mineral-rich sea vegetables, toasted sesame seeds, and a bit of ginger and garlic.
The Wildbrine version is vegan, unlike other kimchi that uses fish sauce or dried shrimp. They also don’t use MSG or sugar so it’s 100% natural, vegan, gluten-free, and GMO-free with no additives.
If you’ve never tried kimchi before, start with a smaller amount if you’d like. If you love it like I do, add more! Can’t find kimchi near you? You can try making it yourself.
Did you know that your stomach/intestinal flora is very important to your health? It’s true! Microorganisms in our GI tract have numerous roles in healthy digestion and disease prevention.
They help metabolize toxins, reduce GI inflammation, and help maintain immune homeostasis (to name a few). Kimchi, like other fermented foods, is rich in raw probiotics which can aid in gut wellness.
I usually have a bite of kimchi before a meal to fire up my digestion but this time around I put the kimchi right in the dish.
One thing to note – kimchi should not be cooked. Once you heat the kimchi, the good probiotics will be killed. This is why I add it in at the end after you finish cooking. When you have leftovers, you won’t get the same benefits because you’ll be heating the kimchi but it still tastes as good!
Healthy Vegan Kimchi Fried Rice
Besides the kimchi, this vegan kimchi fried rice is extra healthy because it’s not actually fried. I don’t use oil in this recipe at all for those that are oil-free.
I also use brown rice instead of white rice. Brown rice is a whole grain whereas white is processed and the bran and germ of the rice are removed. The bran and germ and the most nutritious parts so by eating brown rice, you’re getting more nutrients and less of a blood sugar spike than you would by eating white rice.
Finally, I added tofu for extra protein and calcium.
I think you’ll love this kimchi fried rice because it’s:
- low in calories
- high in flavor
- good for your microbiome (kimchi = probiotics)
- a good source of nutrients & fiber
- so easy to make
Meal Prep Tip: By cooking the rice on the weekend, this meal is ready in no time!
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Kimchi “Fried” Rice
This Kimchi Fried Rice adds a pop of flavor to a traditional dish. The rice is not actually fried so it’s a healthy meal that comes together in about 15 minutes.
- 1 cup frozen veggies of choice (I used an organic carrot, pea, and corn mix)
- 4 scallion stalks chopped
- 1/4 -1/2 cup vegetable broth
- 2 cups cooked brown rice
- 2 Tb tamari (or soy sauce if not gf)
- 5-7 oz package of firm pre-baked tofu cubed (or half package of tofu in water - see recipe notes)
- 1/4 cup kimchi
- 1 tsp sesame seeds (optional)
Add scallions and frozen veggies to a large pan with enough veggie broth to heat them. The amount of broth will vary depending on the size of your pan. You don't want too much, just enough to heat the veggies though and cook the scallions.
Add brown rice and soy sauce. Continue adding a little veggie broth when needed.
Add in tofu and cook until heated through.
Remove pan from heat, wait a few minutes, and then stir in kimchi.
Top with toasted sesame seeds and serve!
*If you're cooking the tofu yourself, take a package of organic extra firm tofu in water, press out the water (I press for about 15 minutes), cube it into small bite-size pieces. Place tofu in a bowl, add 2 TB soy sauce with a half tsp each of garlic powder and onion powder. Bake it for 15 minutes at 375 degrees F.
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Mary Ellen Valverde MS, CNS, LDN is a Licensed Nutritionist and Certified Nutrition Specialist helping clients regain their energy, confidence and health through a plant-based diet. When she’s not reading up on the latest nutrition research, you can find Mary Ellen doting on her two rescue shih tzus, creating the perfect vegan mac & cheese, or exploring the world with her husband.