Use up that leftover bit of rice in the fridge along with any odds and ends veggies to make this super satisfying, slightly spicy gochujang fried rice!

Fried rice in a bowl with chopsticks, sunny side up egg and green onions

Why I’m obsessed with fried rice:

Do you all have those meals that are you go-to “clean out the fridge” meals?

Fried rice is totally mine.

It is like THE thing I make when it’s the end of the week, I’m uninspired but gasp! I remember the bit of leftover rice in the fridge and the random veggies dying a slow wilt-y death in the corners of my crisper drawer.

Fried rice is:

  • Inexpensive
  • Easy
  • Quick
  • Full of Flavor
  • Versatile

Everything you want a weeknight meal to be right!?

In this version of fried rice we’re using Gochujang to really amp up the flavor and deliciousness. Gochujang fried rice for the win.

Here’s everything you need to know about Gochujang:

What is gochujang paste?

Gochujang is a spicy paste used in Korean cooking made from red chili peppers, fermented soybeans, rice and salt.

Is there a difference between gochujang paste and gochujang sauce?

YES. In this recipe we are using gochujang sauce, which is quite a bit easier to find in local grocery stores, than the paste, which you would generally need to go to an Asian market for. Gochujang sauce is made my diluting gochujang paste with vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil and a sweetener. It is sweeter, less spicy and more mild than the paste. I like this brand.

What does it taste like?

Gochujang is spicy and deeply savory. It is a little bit funky related to the fermentation but in a way that keeps you wanting bite after bite.

Bowls of each ingredient for fried rice including green onions, sweet onion, carrots, soy sauce, leftover white rice, garlic, celery, bell pepper, eggs

What you’ll need for this recipe:

Leftover rice: I nearly always have that pesky bit of day-old rice just lurking in fridge. It’s seemingly not enough to make a whole meal but the beauty of this recipe is that we are majorly bulking it up with veggies and protein to make it a satisfying meal!

Veggies: I mean, really choose your journey here. Use up any odds and ends in the fridge! I always have carrots, celery and onion on hand as well as peas in the freezer. Bell pepper, green onions and garlic are amazing adds if you have them!

Sauce: to give this vegetable fried rice loads of flavor we’re whisking together a simple sauce of gochujang for heat, soy sauce for saltiness, toasted sesame oil for depth and honey for a hint of sweetness.

Protein: eggs are traditionally scrambled into fried rice. To keep this ultra quick and easy I top with an additional sunny side egg for a bit of yolk-y goodness but add any protein you enjoy like tofu, chicken, shrimp, ground beef or pork.

Finishing touches: you know me and I love a little flair at the end- sesame seeds, sriracha mayo and a handful of cashews finish this dish perfectly!

Cast iron skillet with gochujang fried rice studded with tons of veggies, scrambled egg and green onions

How to make it:

  1. Chop up your veg. Whisk up the sauce. You may want to adjust the amount of gochujang sauce based on your desired spice level. I would say the recipe as written is about a 2.5/5 on spice.
  2. In a large cast iron or ceramic-coated nonstick skillet, heat a tablespoon of high-heat cooking oil (I like avocado oil) over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, bell pepper, and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic and quickly stir-fry until fragrant, 30 seconds or so. Add the peas.
  3. Remove all the veg to a bowl. Add another little swish of oil and add the egg. Don’t touch it, let it bubble and cook up into a thin pancake shape. Once it is mostly cooked use your spatula to chop it up into pieces. Remove it to the bowl with the veggies.
  4. Add another little swish of oil and add the leftover rice to the pan. Toss the rice grains with the oil to get each grain evenly coated. Return veggies and eggs to the pan with the rice. Drizzle in the sauce and then toss everything to combine well. Season with some cracks of black pepper.
  5. Top with additional protein, green onions, sesame seeds, sriracha mayo and cashews, if desired!

Serving Suggestions

Meal prep: make a big batch, portion into airtight containers, top with your favorite protein and you’ve got a stellar weekday lunch all week long!

Main Dish: use up your day-old rice for a simple, satisfying weeknight meal

Side dish: whip up this fried rice to serve as a side dish for your favorite Asian dishes like orange chicken, cashew shrimp or beef and broccoli, any stir-fry, pad thai or some storebought dumplings or potstickers!

Add some extra veg: this recipe is loaded with veggies but check out these other delicious veggie recipes to round out the meal! Veggie Summer Rolls, Chinese broccoli or Garlic Bok Choy

Bowl of fried rice topped with a fried egg, sesame seeds and green onions

FAQ

If I can’t find gochujang sauce what could I use as a substitute?

Try Sambal Oelek, chili garlic sauce or sriracha (you may have to decrease the quantity of these as they are a bit spicier) OR if you can find gochujang paste but not the sauce, use that!

What’s the best type of rice for fried rice?

Any rice will work! Jasmine, short grain, long grain, brown rice, etc. What I do recommend is that it be a day or two old!

Can I make my rice fresh the day of?

You can, but after it cooks spread it flat on a baking sheet and pop it in the fridge for 30 minutes or until it is completely cooled.

How should I store this?

Simply place the assembled fried rice in an airtight container and keep it in the fridge for up to four days. If you are serving with a fried egg on top, you may want to wait and fry up the egg when you’re ready to eat your leftovers.

WATCH THE RECIPE VIDEO

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Bowl of gochujang fried rice topped with a fried egg, sesame seeds and green onions

Easy Korean Gochujang Fried Rice (15 minutes!)

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 3 reviews
  • Author: Erica
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stir-Fry
  • Cuisine: Korean
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

This gochujang fried rice is your flavorful solution to use up the leftover rice and random veggies in your fridge!


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 2 tablespoons Gochujang sauce
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 sweet onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup peas
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups cooked and cooled rice
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • Protein of choice: shrimp, tofu, edamame, fried egg, chicken, pork or beef
  • For topping: sriracha mayo, sesame seeds, roasted cashews, Korean kimchi

Instructions

  1. Chop up your veggies. In a small jar whisk or shake together the gochujang sauce, soy sauce, toasted sesame oil and honey.
  2. In a large cast iron or ceramic-coated nonstick skillet, heat the avocado oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, bell pepper, and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic and quickly stir-fry until fragrant, 30 seconds or so. Add the peas.
  3. Remove all the veg to a bowl. Add another little swish of oil and add the egg. Don’t touch it, let it bubble and cook up into a thin pancake shape. Once it is mostly cooked use your spatula to chop it up into pieces. Remove it to the bowl with the veggies.
  4. Add another little swish of oil and add the leftover rice to the pan. Toss the rice grains with the oil to get each grain evenly coated. Return veggies and eggs to the pan with the rice. Drizzle in the sauce and then toss everything to combine well. Season with some cracks of black pepper.
  5. Top with additional protein (if using), green onions, sesame seeds, sriracha mayo and cashews, if desired!

Notes

To make this gluten free, use coconut aminos or tamari in place of the soy sauce.

You may want to adjust the amount of gochujang based on your desired spice level. I would say the recipe as written is about a 2.5/5 on spice.

Nutrition information is only an estimate and will vary slightly based on different brands used, etc.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/4 recipe
  • Calories: 327
  • Sugar: 13 g
  • Sodium: 470.5 mg
  • Fat: 11.2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 48.1 g
  • Protein: 8.8 g
  • Cholesterol: 93 mg