Flavorful kimchi and crunchy cashews take this kimchi cashew fried rice to the next level! Made easily in minutes with basic pantry ingredients and so much better than any takeout.
Back to school is in full swing and with it comes the return of ALL the easy weeknight dinners!
Fried rice is a busy weeknight staple in our house. There are SO many ways you can customize it to keep dinner fresh and exciting, plus it’s literally the easiest thing to whip up in less than an hour.
And I think it goes without saying that the leftovers kinda rule. Takeout-schmakout, we don’t need that nonsense anymore.
This beauty of a fried rice is a combination of my love for kimchi and my obsession with texture. (enter, cashews) It is a GOOD one, y’all!
One of those dinners that you can throw together in less than hour AND clean some items outta your fridge! Best kinda dinner.
This Kimchi Cashew Fried Rice features…
- Perfectly spicy, sour kimchi
- Crunchy roasted cashews
- A flavorful fried rice base
- Tons of fried rice toppings including eggs, sesame seeds, and green onions
Making the Kimchi Cashew Fried Rice
(scroll down to the bottom of post for the full recipe)
Ingredients You Will Need
- Soy sauce
- Sweet chili sauce
- Vegetable oil
- Yellow onion
- Matchstick carrots
- Eggs, sesame seeds, and green onions for topping
What is Kimchi?
Kimchi is a traditional Korean dish made from fermented vegetables, usually napa cabbage being the most prominent vegetable. It’s packed full of spice from gochugaru (red chili pepper flakes) and lots of aromatics like garlic and ginger.
It’s important to realize that kimchi can greatly vary depending on the type you buy, but key flavors you’ll find are salty, sour, a little funky, and a varying level of spicy.
I personally love making my own homemade kimchi using Julie’s recipe if you’re interested in a challenge! I love being able to control the level of spice and different flavors, plus it keeps for months in the fridge.
Where to Buy Kimchi
Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, and Asian markets are my top three favorite places to purchase kimchi. You will typically find it in the refrigerated section of the produce aisle alongside other fermented products such as tofu.
For online shopping, I’ve had success buying kimchi on Amazon.
Tips for Perfect Fried Rice
- Use cold cooked rice – ideally, you want rice that’s a cold and a little dried out from being in the fridge. Don’t use hot fresh rice here, it won’t be the same!
- Cook vegetables separate from rice – the carrot + onion will cook at a different rate from the rice, so it’s important to cook these separately.
- Use a wok – woks are ideal for cooking fried rice because of the tall sloping walls that create two heating zones, enabling you to cook the vegetables + rice fast, evenly, and efficiently. However, if you don’t own a wok, a large stainless steel skillet will also work!
- Add cashews at the end – we want the cashews to keep as much of their crunch as possible, so don’t add them until the end of cooking.
Make Ahead Options
Fried rice is a weeknight dream because you can prep almost all of the components ahead of time!
- Make the rice ahead of time. Again, leftover cold cooked rice actually works best here!
- Chop vegetables ahead of time. Prepping the veggies ahead of time is a little life hack here. It makes assembly go much faster!
- Mix fried rice sauce together. Mix it up and store in the fridge until you’re ready to assemble.
Fried rice is also one of those meals that makes excellent leftovers since it reheats beautifully. Store sealed in fridge up to 6 days and reheat in microwave for serving.
Fried Rice Toppings
You can certainly serve your fried rice as is, but if you’re a toppings kinda person, try out some of our favorites!
- Eggs (cooked your preferred way – fried, sunny-side up, over-easy, over-hard, etc)
- Sesame seeds
- Sliced green onions
- Dash of hot sauce
- Nuts – try a different nut such as slivered almonds, or skip the nuts entirely!
- Add protein – cubed cooked chicken, sausage, or cooked beef strips would be great additions.
- Try another vegetable – sauteed sweet pepper, mushrooms, zucchini, or your favorite!
Y’all, it’s not fancy food, but it sure is freaking good. The kimchi is perfectly sour, the cashews are crunchy, the fried rice base is insanely flavorful and loaded with texture…
I’d almost recommend a double batch here for leftovers. Trust me, you WANT THEM!
Just 100% the best takeout-fakeout your weeknight dinner game will ever see.
More rice dinner favorites you’ll want to add to the rotation!
- Grilled Tandoori Salmon with Lemon Basmati Rice
- One Pot Caramelized Onion Chicken Wild Rice
- Cilantro Lime Chicken Fried Rice
Kimchi Cashew Fried Rice
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons sweet chili sauce
- 1 cup kimchi, coarsely chopped and 2 tablespoons juice reserved
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1 cup matchstick carrots
- 1 tablespoon grated ginger
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 cups cold cooked rice
- 1/2 cup chopped cashews, toasted
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Eggs, green onions, and sesame seeds for topping
- In a small bowl, whisk soy sauce, chili sauce, and reserved kimchi juice until smooth. Set aside.
- In a large wok or skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat until shimmery. Add onion and carrot and saute 3-5 minutes until vegetables are just softened.
- Add ginger, garlic, and kimchi to vegetables and saute an additional 1-2 minutes until bubbly and fragrant.
- Add rice and soy sauce mixture to vegetables and cook an additional 5 minutes until rice is heated through. Fold in toasted cashews and season fried rice with salt and pepper to taste.
- Top fried rice with eggs, green onions, and sesame seeds. Serve hot and enjoy!