This one pot kimchi fried rice with spam is made in the rice cooker resulting in a savory, slightly acidic and spicy rice dish. All you have to do is add all the ingredients (rice, kimchi, spam, spicy sauce) in the rice cooker (or stovetop pot) and wait for the magic to happen!
Kimchi rice with spam is a comforting Korean dish made with well fermented (sour) kimchi, rice, garlic and spam. Traditionally, day old rice is fried in a pan along with spam and kimchi but this version is made (steamed in the rice cooker) by combining all the ingredients and cooking it all at once to create a delicious and satisfying one pot meal. If you like one pot recipes, you have to check out my delicious pepper lunch inspired beef rice and chinese chicken and rice recipes.
Ingredients & notes:
- Zojirushi rice cooker – this is the rice cooker I use and it works great! I bought it at Costco 8 years ago and it’s still reliable to this day. The rice always comes out delicious! I recommend checking Costco if they have this brand or you can buy it on Amazon.
*note: use the standard measuring cups, not the rice cups*
kimchi rice with spam
- short grain rice (soaked in water) – I find that this rice is chewy, and yields great texture for this dish
- garlic – extra garlic provides a great aroma and fits well with the spam and kimchi
- spam – I feel that the regular spam is in general too salty for my taste, so I like to use low sodium spam because this dish can be very salty from the kimchi.
- sour kimchi – For this dish, I recommend aged, well-fermented and sour kimchi so your rice has an acidic and complex flavor. If it’s too sour, add 1 teaspoon of sugar to the rice
- gochujang – also known as korean spicy red pepper paste gives the kimchi rice a deep savory and spicy flavor
- kimchi juice – the acidity and saltiness of the kimchi juice gives the dish an extra kick of flavor!
- red pepper powder aka gochugaru – this gives the rice a redder color and can make your rice more spicy. Add more if you like extra spicy!
- sugar – this is needed to help balance the acidity of the kimchi and kimchi juice.
- fish sauce (can substitute with soy sauce) – I love adding fish sauce to make the rice taste more umami.
- unsalted butter (optional) – makes the rice fragrant!
- sesame oil – a little bit of sesame oil goes a long way. The sesame oil helps enhance the flavor of the kimchi and spam
- sliced green onion – brings freshness to the dish
- roasted seaweed – I love cutting shreds of roasted seaweed to the rice or eating it with the rice like a crispy taco!
- roasted sesame seeds
- fried eggs (optional)– I love the texture of the egg yolk mixed with the kimchi rice. It makes it creamy and bits of the fried egg gives it more texture.
How to Make One Pot Kimchi Fried Rice with Spam
Prepare rice and kimchi:
Soak the rice with water.
Cut kimchi and spam in small pieces. Mince garlic.
Mix the sauce: 1 tablespoon gochujang, 2 tablespoon kimchi juice, ½ tablespoon red pepper powder, ½ tablespoon sugar and ½ tablespoon fish sauce
Put all ingredients in the rice cooker:
Wash rice and strain as much water as you can. Add 1 & ¼ cup water to the rice and add the kimchi, minced garlic, spam, mixed sauce, and butter in the rice cooker. Press ‘cook’ and wait for the rice to cook.
When the rice is done cooking, add sliced green onions, sesame seeds, sesame oil and a fried egg (optional).
Expert Tips and Tricks
- Soak the short grain rice in water while you prep the sauce and cut the spam and garlic. This helps soften the rice and give you great texture. Don’t worry, the rice is still chewy and tender, it will not be mushy after doing this. This also ensures that the center of the rice grain is cooked.
- Use short grain rice for this dish. Don’t forget to wash the rice in a strainer a few times until the water runs clear. If you don’t wash off the excess starch in the rice, the rice clumps together and tastes a little grainy when cooked. After washing the short grain rice, the grains will separate and make the rice smooth and soft!
- The flavor of spam goes great with the kimchi in this recipe. The spam also adds saltiness to the dish, so I highly recommend to use it! If you don’t like spam or don’t want to use it, I would recommend adding your preferred cooked protein to this rice recipe. Remember to use the same portions as ½ can of spam (6 ounces).
- If the rice is too sour for your liking, add 1 teaspoon of sugar to the rice to balance the flavors. I prefer sour kimchi to make this kimchi rice because I like the acidic and spicy taste.
- Make sure your strain all the water after washing your rice to ensure that you add the right amount of liquid to the dish. The water should barely cover the surface of the rice. The right amount of proportions ensure that the rice is tender, flavor and not mushy!
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I store leftovers?
If you have leftovers, you can put them in an enclosed container (yes, closed!!) so it doesn’t stink up your fridge. The rice is good for 3 days and you can reheat the rice by frying it on the stove or microwaving the kimchi rice with a lightly damp paper towel. Heating it up with a damn paper towel helps steam the rice in the microwave.
Which rice setting should I use?
One pot meals are very easy when you have the ‘right’ rice cooker! I recommend to use a Zojirushi rice cooker because it is high quality and makes delicious rice every time!
I recommend to use the ‘white rice’ setting on your rice cooker to make this dish. If you have a pressure cooker rice cooker (Cuckoo brand), I would recommend to pressure cook or press the button twice to ensure the rice is cooked. Since every rice cooker is different, you may have to play around with the settings if the ‘white rice’ setting doesn’t work for you. If you have an Instant Pot, you can also use the ‘white rice’ setting to cook the rice. Leave the rice in the pot for 10-15 more minutes after it says it’s done so it can steam longer.
Which brand of kimchi should I use?
I used this Jongga brand that I bought at H-mart (Korean grocery market) for this recipe. I buy the kimchi in the foil packing instead of the jars because I think they taste better but the jar version is also great! For cooked kimchi recipes, I always recommend well-fermented and sour kimchi so you have an acidic, sweet, and complex flavor to your rice dish.
One Pot Kimchi Fried Rice With Spam
kimchi fried rice with spam
- 1½ cup short grain rice soaked in water
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- ½ can spam (light sodium preferred)* diced
- ½ cup sour kimchi chopped
- 1 tablespoon gochujang (red pepper paste)
- 2 tablespoon kimchi juice
- ½ tablespoon gochugaru (korean red pepper flakes)
- ½ tablespoon sugar
- ½ tablespoon fish sauce can substitute with soy sauce
- 1¼ cup water
- ½ tablespoon unsalted butter optional but recommended
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 green onion sliced
- roasted seaweed
- sesame seeds
- fried eggs optional but recommended
- Soak 1 cup short grain rice with 2 cups water. Soaking the rice in water helps soften the rice as short grain rice can be hard in the center if not soaked. Soak the rice as long as it takes for you to prep the sauce, kimchi and spam.
- Cut kimchi and spam in small pieces. Mince garlic finely.
- To make the sauce, mix together 1 tablespoon gochujang, 2 tablespoon kimchi juice, ½ tablespoon red pepper powder, ½ tablespoon sugar and ½ tablespoon fish sauce (can substitute with soy sauce).
- Wash the soaked rice in a strainer (or in the same bowl you used before) until water runs clear. Make sure your strain all the water to ensure that you add the right amount of water in the next step. The water should barely cover the surface of the rice.
- In the pot with rice, add chopped spam, chopped kimchi and minced garlic. Add the sauce from step 3 and mix everything together. Lastly, add 1 ¼ cup water and slice of butter. Place pot in rice cooker and press the cook button. If you don’t have a rice cooker, use the alternative cooking instructions below.
- When the rice is done cooking, add sliced green onions. This is optional, fry sunny side eggs on a pan and place on top of the rice. Garnish with a teaspoon of sesame oil, roasted seaweed, and sesame seeds. Hope you enjoy!
- Heat pot to medium and cook for 5-7 minutes covered with a lid. The water will start boiling. Make sure to watch over the fire because the water might boil over ◡̈
- After 5-7 minutes, turn heat to low and cook for 10 more minutes covered. Do not open the lid during the entire cooking process.
- Then turn off the heat and do not open the covered pot. Leave for 15-20 minutes covered. After the 15-20 minutes is up, mix the rice well. Garnish with sliced green onions, sesame seeds, sesame oil and a fried egg (optional). Hope you enjoy with some roasted seaweed.