Kimchi Fried Rice Oats (Kimchi Bokkeum Bap) – Oatmeal Project No. 25

Kimchi Fried Rice Savory Oatmeal[The Oatmeal Project, Day 25: Kimchi Bokkeum Oats]

This is the one we were waiting for, the best savory oatmeal we were going to save for last, but we couldn’t hold out until the end.

Because we had nothing left in the house to eat except oats, a half bottle of kimchi, and a can of Spam that we bought more years ago than we’d care to ponder since we did end up adding the possibly expired protein to our saute pan of Kimchi Bokkeum Bap Oats.

(We will address the Spam as a complete and separate issue in a future post; this post is dedicated to kimchi bokkeum bap.)

We don’t need to do a lesson on Kimchi Bokkeum Bap, or “kimchi fried rice” for the Korean-ly uninitiated, as there is plenty of information out there in the world wild web about the original reason why this dish is cooked (use up leftover rice or over-ripe kimchi) and how to cook it.

We do want to say, though, that kimchi fried rice is a Korean comfort food. The dish is convenient in terms of ingredients because a single ingredient, kimchi, is actually a whole lot of ingredients in one, is quick to cook in a single pan, is spicy and warm and utterly unfussy. And since oatmeal is also a comfort food, the combination of kimchi fried rice (minus the rice) and oats makes it the perfect dish for a girl who can barely handle a partially cloudy sky, let alone a torrential downpour on a day where the all-around stress-level is already just below the point of explosion.
Kimchi and Spam

Kimchi Fried Rice Oats

The recipe for Kimchi Bokeeum Bap is fairly loose, and can be used with the standard white rice, brown rice, or in our case, steel cut oats. We’ve also made kimchi fried rice with barley.

serves 2, can be doubled, tripled, etc.


1 tablespoon canola oil
½ – 1 cup kimchi, drained and chopped
½ cup diced Spam (substitute: crumbled tofu, diced chicken, pork, or beef, chopped bacon, or nothing for a vegetarian version)
2 cups cooked steel cut oats, cold or room temperature
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
salt and pepper to taste
optional toppings for each bowl: fried egg, sliced scallions, nori komi furikake


Heat canola oil in saute pan over medium heat. Add chopped kimchi and Spam and stir fry until kimchi has browned slightly at the edges, about 5 minutes.

Add oats and stir until oats are separated and mixed evenly with kimchi and Spam. Add soy sauce and stir fry until oats are heated through, about 5 minutes. If the Kimchi Fried Rice Oats are not spicy enough, add some of the red pepper liquid “juice” from the kimchi container.

Season to taste with salt and pepper, remove from heat, and drizzle in sesame oil.

Serve hot, along with any of the optional toppings.

by Sarah J. Gim on February 25, 2011 · 15 comments

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

brhau March 1, 2011 at 11:38 pm

Dang, girl.


TasteSpotting March 2, 2011 at 11:56 am

we’re scared… this might be our gateway dish to extreme oats…

Aud March 2, 2011 at 12:22 am

What a great idea, I still have some kimchi and will make it soon and top with a fried egg, m m m! I recently made oat “jook” Chinese porridge style and stirred in a bit Marmite vege yeast, so good!


TasteSpotting March 2, 2011 at 11:57 am

hm. now if we could actually get our hands on some marmite here, we’d probably have to give that a try!

only slightly dubious March 2, 2011 at 1:08 am

the flavors sound solid, but do the size of the steel-cut oats and texture–finer and chewier but also wetter? than rice–hold up to the technique and somewhat fulfill the textural expectations of fried rice?


TasteSpotting March 2, 2011 at 11:59 am

well, kimchi fried rice for us has always been slightly “stickier” because of the nature of the starting rice (sticky, short-grain, different from, say, Chinese light and fluffy rice) and the addition of kimchi “juice” … we also cook the oats with only 1:3 ratio of cooking liquid, so it’s not as porridge-y. if we plan ahead next time, we’ll probably cook the oats from the get-go with chicken stock, too, for added flavor…

zaphia March 2, 2011 at 3:18 am

Here’s a recipe that might hold your interest
“upma” is eaten either for breakfast or at tea time in India


TasteSpotting March 2, 2011 at 12:00 pm

thank you!

chisai March 2, 2011 at 6:41 am

I think this would probably be pretty good with steel cut oats that are started in boiling water since the grains tend to be individual and mushy when done that way. I totally want to make this.


TasteSpotting March 2, 2011 at 12:01 pm

PLEASE DO make this! and let us know what you do and how it tastes! (we started with cooked steel cut oats, too – cooked, as comment-noted above — in a 1:3 ratio of oats to water)

sippitysup March 2, 2011 at 8:10 am

I know this is an oatmeal project, but you have inspired me about SPAM. I have been considering doing some sort of SPAM slider and this just pushed me over the edge! GREG


TasteSpotting March 2, 2011 at 12:02 pm

SPAM SLIDERS! yes! though, we have to admit – we are not crazy about spam, it sort of freak us out when we think too long about it, but there are some dishes that just wouldn’t be the same without it… kimchi jjigae, ramen, and of course, kimchi bokkeum bap :)

julialikesred March 2, 2011 at 10:02 am

Yup, this is my fav so far. You could veggie-fy it by using soy hot dogs and get that same nasty/awesome thing happening.


TasteSpotting March 2, 2011 at 12:03 pm

love “nasty/awesome” – can we shorten that to “n’awesome,” sort of like fugly? :D

Dayeong Park June 21, 2017 at 7:01 am

Hi, I am Korean and I was searching for the steel cut oats recipe. Anyway, thanks for your interesting recipe and I have some questions. I tried steel cut oats for the first time, and somehow I felt ‘bitter’ flavor from the oats (I just boiled them) and I didn’t like it. How can I reduce this bitter flavor? Also, if I want to cook this kimchi fried rice, do I need to soak the steel cut oats in the water for sometime before I cook? It seems you didn’t mention it separately, so I am confused. in the comments, you said “in a 1:3 ratio of oats to water”. What does it mean? It means while I am frying oats, I have to put some water?


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