Reducing food waste by repurposing our bulgogi leftovers into a very flavorful and delicious bulgogi Korean fried rice. The tender Gochujang marinated beef and onions work perfectly with the fluffy leftover rice. And if you've got leftover kimchi, you can add that as well!
Usually, we eat all of the bulgogi we make. However, this time I made the same amount but there were fewer people around the table to actually eat it. I found myself with some leftovers, and it was quite easy to see what needed to be done!
Other ways to use cooked rice
I love my fried rice and I have made one Chinese style fried rice with sesame, scallions and ginger, and one Mexican style fried rice with turmeric and chipotle. Both are made with leftover cooked rice. It is such a great way to use that rice, because I always tend to cook too much rice.
Apparently I'm inspired by countries when I make fried rice recipes, so please let me know if there's another country you would want to see next!
30 minute or less-dinners
All the fried rice recipes are made in less than 30 minutes. Sometimes we love it quick and easy, right? And if it's not rice, it's noodles. Those are also quick, like this vegetarian lo mein, ginger sesame fried noodles or pork stir fry.
Like noodles, like pasta, this rosemary chicken pasta is also on the table in 25 minutes. And soups are also often quick, they can take a long time but if you want it quick you can make it quick! Like this tomato white bean soup. Using store-bought or pre-made pita bread, these serrano mozzarella pita pizzas can be done in about 15 minutes.
How to handle leftover rice
To make fried rice, you definitely need to start with already cooked rice. Using freshly cooked rice will not have the same effect as day-old cooked rice. Just make sure your rice has been in the refrigerator, because cooked rice shouldn't stay in room temperature for more than an hour.
Uncooked rice can contain spores of Bacillus cereus, which is a bacteria that can cause food poisoning. This bacteria can survive even after the rice has been cooked, and the longer the cooked rice sits on the counter, the greater the chances that this bacteria has multiplied and potentially produce toxins.
So to summarize; once your cooked rice has cooled and within an hour (maximum 2), add it straight to the refrigerator in a box with a tight lid. This also applies for re-heated rice (as in this bulgogi Korean fried rice).
More fried rice tips
If you want to cook rice the same day as you're having fried rice, it is possible. Rinse your rice in cold water before cooking it to rinse off some of the starch. This will help avoid the rice to clump together. Cook your rice as according to package instructions and once done, still covered, let it rest for 5 minutes before fluffing it with a fork.
Now you need to let it cool, and I would therefore pour all the rice over to a large plate or baking sheet to let the moisture evaporate. This too will help the rice to not clump together. Once completely cold, you can proceed with the recipe.
It's also a good idea to chop all the vegetables and cooked meat beforehand, because making fried rice is a super quick process. Another tip is to use a large skillet with high heat to wok the vegetables quickly without overcooking them.
How to poach an egg
All fried rice needs eggs. I usually crack eggs directly into the fried rice, but decided I wanted it a little different for this Korean fried rice and poaching eggs instead.
Boil water and add 1 tablespoon of white vinegar to it and crack your egg into a fine mesh sieve over a small bowl. This way the thinner egg white won't give you those weird egg white feathers. Fresher eggs have less liquidy white, so I would definitely opt for fresh eggs!
Once the water is boiling, swirl the water to make a vortex and slowly pour the egg into the center (don't make a vortex if you're poaching several eggs at once). Boil for 3 minutes for that runny yolk. Take it out and pat dry with a paper towel and season with salt and pepper if desired.
For more egg dishes, don't forget to check out chives and cheese scrambled eggs and green shakshuka with pesto eggs!
How to make it
To make leftover bulgogi Korean fried rice, first you need leftover bulgogi and leftover cooked rice. In a large skillet on high heat, add chopped leftover bulgogi and carrot matchsticks and cook for 7 minutes or until carrots are soft-ish. This is also when to add leftover chopped kimchi, if desired.
Add cold, cooked rice and combine well. Next add in frozen peas, onion powder, soy sauce and Gochujang. Cook for a few minutes, or until rice is heated through. Right before serving, add in sesame oil, sesame seeds and cilantro.
Serve each bowl with a poached or sunny-side up egg. Enjoy!
Did you like this leftover rice recipe? Here's more 'leftover' ideas I think you will like:
- 7 tasty ways to use your Thanksgiving leftovers
- Cranberry Sauce Breakfast Oat Muffins
- Sugared Cranberries in Red Wine (I used my sangria fruits!)
- Cranberry Sauce Coconut Trifles
- Salted Caramel Apple Pavlova (perfect for those leftover egg whites)
- Silky Smooth Crème Anglaise or eggnog (perfect for the leftover egg yolks!)
- Leftover watermelon salad can be made into watermelon slushie (if you omit the cheese)
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